The other day I went to pick up my laundry at the Laundromat. It was something I’d done many times before. This time, when I went to pay, the guy behind the counter could not make change. He suggested I go down the street to the deli to make change and come back before he could give me my laundry. My first instinct was to be frustrated with that kind of service.
How on earth could you not have enough cash on hand to make change for your customers? Why are there places that still do not accept credit cards? I want my laundry!
But as I took the 30 second stroll to the deli, I was able to catch myself.
I don’t go to this Laundromat over any other because of the quality of service. I don’t choose them because they always have the best operations, or their efficiency, or their (lack of) credit card reader. I choose them because they are the closest to my apartment, and they are cheap. And those two facts have not changed.
It’s important when you are responsible for running a business to remember why people are choosing you. Why are your customers coming in the first time? Why are they returning?
Sure, it’s nice to go out of your way to make your business better, smoother, more efficient, more helpful. But it’s not always necessary. If you are the cheapest, be the cheapest. If you are the friendliest, be the friendliest. Know your role, and own it.