Great Service in Unexpected Places | Travel Research Online


Great Service in Unexpected Places

One recent afternoon, my wife decided the down cushions and covers from our sofa could use a good cleaning. Being too large for our own washer and dryer, a trip to a commercial laundry was in order.

That evening, armed with detergent, dryer sheets and about $15 in quarters, I loaded up the car and headed to the only laundromat I knew of close to our home. After hauling everything inside, I tried to stuff a cushion into a washer only to discover the equipment was actually smaller than our own.
Frustrated, I did what anyone with a smartphone would do, I asked the Google. Turns out there was another laundry a few more miles in the opposite direction but since it was late, I ordered Chinese takeout and went home.

The next morning at 0730, I walked into the storefront laundry next to a Safeway and was immediately greeted by a cheerful lady named Deena. She was already quite busy with “fluff & fold”, but I had the look of someone who had not been in a laundromat in over 30 years and she instantly took pity on me.

Not overly excited about the task at hand, I asked how much for her to do them for me. It was over $200, but I could do it myself for about $40 bucks. She then proceeded to show me exactly which machines to use, how much detergent, how many coins and how long each cycle would last. She even gave me six tennis balls for the dryer to help fluff the down.

Deena greeted the regulars with hugs, asked about their families, and made their kids feel important. I mean who does this in a laundromat of all places? I was so surprised and impressed with her service and that of “Laundry Laura” who had been there for 15 years. It is a clean, family run, family friendly place. They allow no alcohol, drugs, bad behavior, or harassment of any kind.

Apparently, down cushions take a long time (hours and hours) to dry and she explained that while they may feel dry on the outside, they could still be damp and mildew from the inside out. Not a good thing. She gave me very large, clear plastic bags for each and said to wait a few hours and look for moisture in the bag. If there was none, they were ready to go back on the couch.

We can learn a lot from Deena. She made every person feel wanted and appreciated. What started out for me as a major hassle, turned out to be one of the best customer service experiences I have had in years. As Deena explained, we treat others the way we want to be treated, like family.

The old saying “People do business with people they like” came to mind. I like her and so do a lot of others -enough to keep them in business for over 35 years.


Dan Chappelle is a professional business advisor and best-selling author. His training and consulting firm helps develop sales focused business leaders and entrepreneurs in the travel and tourism industry.

His book, Get Your S.H.I.P. Together: The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales, is available on For information on the Wealthy Travel Agent Academy’s business transformation programs, visit:

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