For Your Windows – blog

All About Windows and other Stuff

COMMON SENSE=MORE CENTS Replayed

The bolder print, along with pictures below, comprise a post I wrote in 2010. The restaurant I refer to is going strong, treating customers with lots of care. I am in a “hungry for good customer service” mood so I decided to revisit the feelings I hold about good customer service. When I go to the grocery store today, I am heading to a different one than normal. I have shopped at the same well known store in several of its locations for a very long time. They have made many changes over the last 18 months and I have been patient. I have talked to people at the top of the food chain and filled out surveys, telling them how I feel. I spend a lot of money there, but I do not think they care. I am a very loyal customer. I think it is sad that it does not seem to matter.

I love good customer service! I am looking forward to this evening because I will be dining at a new restaurant that was opened a few weeks ago by some neighbors. They had another one a few years back that they sold, and whenever I went there I got treated like royalty. I am sure the food will be good too, but the customer service is what will make it really enjoyable.

Years ago, when I first started in the service industry, and the yellow pages were the major force behind advertising, I remember reading in some of their promotion the results to a survey they had conducted. Ninety percent of the people surveyed said that how they were treated was more important than the quality of the work done.

When I ran our window cleaning businesses, I noticed that customers were left with a strange sort of hunger if they got bad service. One time when I asked a woman what exactly she wanted us to come back for, she had a hard time pinning it down. Windows were clean she told me, but something was not quite right. It all boiled down to our employee treating her disrespectfully. Fortunately, I was able to save the situation and the customer; did not save the employee. I learned early on to listen and let the customer vent for as long as they needed without interruption before I jumped in to solve the problem. That venting usually soothed more that my solving did.

It is easy to say that good customer service is just plain common sense. However, in today’s world, where common sense often seems lost,  great customer service is sometimes not very common. When you experience wonderful service make sure you shout it to the world, including to those responsible. When it is not so good, offer some correction, if possible, with a touch of forgiveness. Make sure if you train younger employees as part of your duties that you never assume they have common sense. Teach them that how they treat people is right up there, and maybe surpasses, the actual work itself, and happy customers equals returning and referring customers.

So, I am off to enjoy good company, good food and wonderful customer service.

So today, I am off to to something similar, along with hopefully finding lower prices. Wish me luck on my test run!

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3 Cheers for Dads

happy-fathers-day-fathers-day-ecards

We may not shower him with praise
Nor mention his name in song,
And sometimes it seems that we forget
The joy he spreads as he goes along,
But it doesn’t mean that we don’t know
The wonderful role that he has had.
And away down deep in every heart
There’s a place that is just for Dad…..

                                                                  Author Unknown                                                                             

If your Dad is still in your life, give him a hug for me too. Mine has been gone for 16 years. However, I will celebrate with other Dads who are important in my life. Put down your squeegees or whatever tool of the trade you use, and enjoy your day. We won’t be requesting the windows be cleaned today.

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BEYOND THE CALL/REVISITED

I always take advantage of  a window of opportunity to comment on anything that hints of “windows to the soul.”

This weekend, I hope we all remember why it is a holiday weekend, especially since it most likely is not a  holiday for our troops out there risking their lives.

Of course I want to display Frank’s Flag first.

Uncle Frank died about 7 years back, but I want to mention he served our country when he was a young man. His brother, who was also my husband’s father, fought in WWII and lost his life in the Battle of the Bulge.  He was hardly more than a teenager himself at the time, and he never really knew his son who was just a toddler then.

 Douglas Dieckman

Fast forward to present time, about 65 years later. I recently got back in communication with my friend Chris from my teenage years. Not sure how she managed to live through it, but in 2006 her son Richard was killed in action.  It feels right to honor him as well.

Richard Henkes II

These two young men are only a representation of many who risk their lives, or even lose them.

Join me in gratitude this weekend.

 

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MY WINDOWS DO NOT NEED BULLET-PROOF GLASS

This morning, I was thinking about a conversation I had with a man who belongs to a study group I attend. He was commenting about how sometimes he is amazed when he is driving at how few mishaps there really are. Overall, drivers do what they are suppose to do. I have often thought that myself. It applies to vandalism as well. With all the potential situations that could occur, for the most part, people respect each other. In fact, when you think about how much doesn’t happen that could, it far outweighs what does happen.

I am sure this would not indicate to all those people affected by the terrible event this week in Colorado. What happened to them far outweighs what should ever happen to any of us. It is so appropriate to have them in our thoughts and send them well wishes.

That being stated, it is also a very good time to remember that most of us get up each day with an opportunity to be very grateful that most people respect each other and want the same thing for others that they want for themselves. The unfortunate, and even evil, things that happen are not the rule, they are pretty minuscule in the whole picture.

I am so glad I have a category titled “windows to the soul” so I can get away with a post that has absolutely nothing to do with business, at least not directly.

Count your blessings, and remember :

GRATITUDE IS EASY AND IT IS FREE

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CELEBRATE!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”
Albert Camus

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A SMILE AND A HANDSHAKE

Nothing like back to back, out of town family visiting, with major dental work sandwiched in the middle, to knock the blog right out of me. Where did the month of June go? All in the name of summer fun!

I guess you might say it gave me time to reflect a bit about business related events happening around me. I was reminded of an employee who worked for our window cleaning company back in the mid 1990’s. He was a troubled fellow who had moved here from California with his mom. He sort of wore his problems on his sleeve, and would often complain about whatever was occurring in his life.  For the most part, he completed his work regardless of his personal problems.

Once, after a long couple of hot days, he came into my office madder than a hornet, ready to jump on anyone who got in the way. I cannot remember what he was upset over, but he made it clear that it was my fault and our company was treating him badly. He quit and stormed out of the office without giving me any notice. I was frustrated, feeling somewhat deserted by a person who I had accommodated more than once when he needed help.

Then something very unusual took place. Within 10 minutes, he walked back in, looking like a sad little puppy.  He did not want his job back because he knew he needed to make a change, but he wanted to apologize for taking his stuff out on me. He told me that he knew it was all about him, not me or my company. I will never forget that incident.

This young man wanted to take responsibility for his behavior.  I don’t even think he thought of me in terms of a future reference. He just wanted to make things right.  To this day, I have appreciated that more than he could possibly realize. I am sure it made me a better employer.

Because that same business is still family owned, I am aware when upsets occur. Only the faces have changed. The types of employee problems remain the same. In a small business, it is hard to always keep business and personal separate. Employees have bumps in the road that you end up knowing about, and because you care about them, it is hard not to be involved. Empathy is appropriate, but you also have to remember that the survival of the business itself has to come first or no one will have an income. 

Recently, there was a similar upset that did not have the same ideal ending. Different lessons to be learned, I guess. Hopefully, the upset, and now terminated, employee will on some level want things to get repaired. Life will go forward, and somewhere in the future it will become obvious that when a change is needed, a smile and a handshake work best.

Another thank you to that honest window washer who needed a change. You showed me that no one has to be made the bad guy.

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BEING GRATEFUL

It really amazes me that I was somewhere in my fifties before I realized that it was impossible to feel gratitude and negativity ( overall word chosen to describe anything that disturbs my peace) at the same time. This may sound simplistic, but I find it a useful tool when I get stirred up. Recognizing what I can be grateful for right now usurps all the stuff that is out there in the universe ready to distract me if I let it.

Today, Memorial Day, is a day to reflect on gratitude. My kids…all five of them…are lucky to know their father. He is around to tease them or advise them. He was not that lucky. His dad died in WWII at the age of 20.  He is one of so many who fought for all of us to have freedom. 

Whatever you do today, remember to pause and take a quiet moment to be grateful. It might just start a habit. 

Frank’s Flag

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A WINDOW MELODY

You know me, if it has to do with windows I will find it.  And, if you can add Josh Groban singing along with it, that’s even better.

The For Your Windows store will be offering some new items soon, ones that I want outside my windows.  In the meantime,  why not hire a professional to clean your windows for fall. I had mine cleaned today by My Window Man, and they look wonderful.

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IMPROVE YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE

The window cleaning guy I live with always promotes window cleaning by mentioning it will, “Improve your outlook on life.”

Yesterday, I got this email from my sister – thanks Linda – and I proceeded to research where it comes from so I could give credit. I found it on many blogs, but I still have no idea where it originated. But, I do know for sure I have to post it here. After all, it is about clean windows.

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they are eating breakfast,
The young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
“That laundry is not very clean”, she said.
“She doesn’t know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,
The young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a
Nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:

“Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.
I wonder who taught her this.”

The husband said, “I got up early this morning and
Cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others
Depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

It really is much easier to change how we view the world, as opposed to attempting to change what’s in it. 🙂
Good reason to keep all our windows clean.

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RAMBLING REFLECTIONS

I always enjoy highlighting a window cleaning business in my blog. This morning I decided to feature the company with the first post I saw on Facebook that was a window cleaner I was friends with. Fortunately, I found one who set the theme for my day.

REFLECTIONS WINDOW CLEANING not only sets a great example in the business, its  well presented website reflects genuine customer service from the heart. If you live in or near Spokane, Washington, make sure you check them out for window cleaning, pressure washing or gutter cleaning. 

Later in the morning, I went to a weekly study group I attend. We talked about how we see beauty, and how it is a reflection of love or a higher power.  It reminded me of how I seem very attracted to artwork and photos that show reflections. Lately, I have been learning how to use my right brain a bit more and paint with watercolor pencils. Ponds that have reflections in them seem to jump out and grab me.

This was on of my favorite ones to use as a model.

Later today, this all led to me studying more about reflections and mirror images. If you want to learn a bit about mirror images, check out  Amoeba Crunch. It explains quite well how reflections occur. Clean windows allow wonderful reflections.

I warned you I was going to ramble.

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