b'PAGE 22 / NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE / AUGUST, 2020Peter BlakeLessons learned from the pandemicContinued from page 20 and I will add you and your thank-you has been. masks, hand sanitizer, and a brace these ideals and help youYears ago, Safety-Kleen had services to the list. Now here Afewcompanieshave host of other small gifts.to reach out to your customera promotion for the industry: is my third lesson. taken the time to handwrite a Now is the time to stand out base.Caring for the Fabric of Life. personalthankyoumessage and make an impression. Use DonottakethemforI do not think there is a more #3: The power of fortheirbestcustomersex- this time to reconnect on per- granted, especially now. Youfitting motto for our industry. gratitude pressing how much they care, sonal levels. Finally, here is my need to show them you careYou all are in the business Sometimes it takes incredi- andhowmuchtheythank last lesson. for them as well.of keeping your communities ble hardship for us to realize them for their loyalty. One way is to arrange em-safe and clean. howimportantpeopleand Those messages more often #4: Your biggest asset is ployeeappreciationevents.Get involved, and your ac- services are to our everyday than not have resulted in even a strong team Thatcanrangefrombuyingtivities will translate to more lives. highersalesthefollowing Youareonlyasgoodas lunches to just working in thesupport as things continue to Take this time to say thank weeks. your personnel. You need to trenches with them. An iced-re-open. youtoyourcustomersand I have seen members host- keep investing in their profes- downtoweloracoldmilkI am starting a new section your staff and show them that ingcustomerappreciation sional development and con- shake on a hot humid day canofourassociationwebsites you care. A little gratitude goes events like free lunches with tinue to foster their company go a long way to showing yourdedicatedtoourmembers a long way.hot dogs grilled in front of the pride. employeesyouunderstandwho are supporting their com- I am on weekly conference store.AllofthethingsIhave their challenges. munities. calls with our members hear- I know some members who talkedaboutinthisarticle ThesedonothavetobeIneedtohearfromyou. ingideasandstoriesfrom haveassembledwelcome from communication, commu- huge grand gestures, but smallSend me information on how across the country. One of the back gifts for their customers nityinvolvement,andgrati- personal ways of saying thankyouareparticipatingand mostconsistentmessagesI that have included incentives tude, extend to your team as you, and small efforts to tryCaring for the Fabric of Life hear is how powerful a simple and specials, lint rollers, face- well.Youneedthemtoem- and make their job as comfort-able as possible will go a longwaytohelpingkeepmoralehigh and help your employeesstay invested in your success.When times get difficult, weoftenstarttakingitoutonthose closest to us. We often donot see their world and with-out even realizing it, we begintotakepeopleforgranted.Take time out of your day justto talk to your team. Listen tothem, and you may find waysyou can help each other.I wish I could tell you thiswillallbeendingsoon.Thegreat unknown is how long wewill have to endure these hard-ships.It would be infinitely easierif we had a timetable, a datewhere we knew this would bebehind us, but the truth of thematter is, we do not have thatluxury.We need to keep adapting,planning, and being vigilant tokeep up our guard and do thebest we can to keep movingforward.All indications are that theindustryiscontinuingthesame slow steady climb backto prior success, but it is notgoing to be as quickly as wewish. It is a long road back torecovery. I am here for youand if Ican help you strengthen yourbusinessinanyway,pleasereach out. Let me know whatsteps you have taken to adaptyour business, and please letThe ONE and ONLYme know how you are beingactive in your community. Youmay be featured on our newOriginal EM NaturaCaring for the Fabric of Lifewebpage!Cartridge Filters I wish you the best of luckas you begin a new chapter inyour business.Peter Blake serves as executivedirector of the North East Fabri-care Association, the Southeast-ernFabricareAssociation,theMidAtlanticAssociationofCleanersandtheCaliforniaCleaners Association. He can bereachedbyemailatpeteblke@aol.com or by phoneTo learn more, visit www.natclo.com/ads at (617) 791-0128.'