He sat on the right side of the pew a row up from me. Wearing noticeably expensive trousers, alligator shoes without socks and a new dress shirt, he looked like a wealthy man on holiday that, on a Sunday morning impulse, elected to stop by our quaint mountain church. When we stood up for the first hymn, he sang enthusiastically, like he was enjoying an old song he had not sung since his youth.
Then, I noticed the cuff of his neatly pressed light blue shirt. A three-letter monogram of his initials. But, these were unique. They were styled in calligraphy, not just ordinary script or block.
Customers like customized service; but, they absolutely love personalized service. When I tell the short order cook to “hold the pickle,” on my hamburger, that’s customized…like a shirt in my size. But, when the cook sees me coming and prepares my coffee just as I like it before I cross the threshold, that’s personalized—like a monogrammed cuff in a unexpected font.
A friend raves about Shirley the housekeeper she met during a recent vacation to Walt Disney World. “The first day when we checked in, I saw a nice note: ‘Your room was cleaned by Shirley. Have a great stay.’ I noticed the ‘i’ in Shirley was dotted with a little Mickey. That was cute, but we were at Disney. The third day Shirley really wowed me. I’d left her a note asking for more towels. When we returned to the room, there was a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on our bathroom door. Inside, Shirley had taken our morning paper and the eye glasses I’d left by the sink and arranged the extra towels in the form of a man sitting on the toilet reading the daily paper. I laughed so loud – I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.”
Calligraphy is a style of writing typically reserved for special invitations, announcements or documents. It comes from the Greek word meaning “beauty writing.” The next time you elect to help your customer “have it their way,” make it monogrammed service; then take it one step further. In the words of a patron overheard at an upscale dress shop, “I don’t want it designed for someone like me; I want it designed specifically for me!”