This train got the disappearing railroad blues. –Arlo Guthrie, “City of New Orleans”
The cleaners I used for over two decades made a decision to go out of business.
They just didn’t know it.
It all started with a closed sign on the door one morning. I walked away carrying the clothes I had planned to drop off.
The next day, a sign announced they had relocated. Since the new site was closer to my house with more convenient parking, that did not make me unhappy.
Next, they began cutting back on the hours. The young man newly hired to run that branch informed me they were now opening at 11 am and closing at 7. No longer would people be able to drop off clothes on their way to work.
I asked him, “Shouldn’t you have a sign outside with the hours of operation? Since this is a big change.” Why I should care is another question, but I did.
He casually assured me that the small notice on the glass door would suffice.
He was wrong. To read that a customer would have to leave the car and walk to the door. This is an ideal recipe for frustrating one’s customers…and thus for losing them.
Thereafter, I never saw a car in front of the store indicating a customer inside.
Pretty soon, I was gone too.