If you had to choose, what would you prefer – good customer service OR good coffee?
I have a story to tell.
I happened to have an amazing opportunity to be roasting coffee for one quite successful coffee chain. And at the same time I managed to become a very loyal client of their main competitor.
How did it happen?
Quite easily. When I entered this place, I was noticed, met with the smile, kindly attended, helped, taken care of. Barista brought the tea to my table. Next time I visited them – the same attitude. One of the times when I was ordering a juice to go, barista went out, and brought a straw for me. Opened it, and gracefully put it in my drink. Next time I was drinking tea, and needed to take out the teabag. And before I even did it – barista brought me a plate to put it at. He, with loads of work, noticed that small inconvenient moment, and did it immediately. And, not mentioning that he knows my face and wave to me every time I come.
That’s how they got me. That’s it. Because people go to the cafes not just to buy something – they go there to have a good time. To be treated well, with respect and attention.
And I can explain why it works. As a coffee professional, I can appreciate good coffee, even with lack of service. And when I am in that mode, I enter the shop to taste the coffee, not to be served. How many coffee professionals enter your shop? 1 per month? Are they the ones who bring you money? No. People who enter it every day have other reasons. Service is the key.
I don’t like their coffee. They are not very cheap. But I am a usual there. Because they make me feel welcome and safe.
This is the key. Because when I enter their competitor – I am not noticed. And that’s how they lost me.
No latte art, no exquisite plate, no “specialty” (which is now a new “gourmet”) coffee will ever fill that gap of lack of attention.
P.S. Right after publishing this post, the barista came here and offered to heat my croissant, cause he noticed I am here for a long time, and it is already cold. Voilà. Checkmate.