I'm pretty sure it's been said many times before but all businesses need to strive to always do better than the customer expects!
As s self- employed dressmaker I rely on word of mouth recommendations and repeat custom, this means I need to ensure all my customers are happy customers, wether they spend many hundreds of pounds on dressing a wedding party or a few pounds on getting a pair of trousers shortened. I believe the best way to secure happy customers is to do their particular job better than I intimate I can at the start of the job process.
If like me you underestimate your skills even a little, this is easy, I quote a job in terms of cost and time, I generally underestimate the time required so usually manage to complete jobs early. Bonus!
One difficulty with early completion of jobs is the reliance I have on suppliers, I have found the answer to this is finding good suppliers in the first place and in the second place having a full understanding of their delivery systems. A good example is the fabric and haberdashery supplier 'Calico Laine', the company has stores in the North West but also operates an excellent online store with a good selection of fabrics, patterns and haberdashery, good prices and importantly great staff on the end of a phone line who take my order and dispatch it quickly.
Another difficulty is my reliance on my tools, to help alleviate this I have at least two of almost everything including sewing machines, of which I have three ready to use. It also helps to keep tools in good condition, machines need to be serviced and blades need to be kept sharp. So again good suppliers of tools and the services to keep them going are essential.
The other way to improve on your offer is of course to complete a job to a higher standard than the customer expects, in my case I complete my sewing to the best of my abilities and hope for the best!! fortunately my customers are generally more than happy with their garments or curtains and some are very happy indeed. These are the ones to get testimonials from, but more of that another time!
Caroline Jones 'Fashion Revived'
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