Tuesday, 7 April 2009

When It Comes to Customer Service, Try Thinking Like A Coffee Shop

In Edinburgh at the weekend I soon sussed out the neighbourhood’s coffee shops and I came across Coffee Angel. Friendly, serving good coffee with a nice vibe and a mixed clientele; from people having a meeting, parents and babies in buggies to workers with their laptops. It had all the necessary ingredients to become my coffee shop base for the 4 days I was in the city. In that short experience, customer service was spot-on, and I had a good chat with the proprietor who juggles the shop with a business advising clients on food safety. He joked that I was such a regular; it would have merited me having one of their loyalty cards for my short stay.

After having enjoyed their espressos and free wifi. I checked out their website. It’s always good to experience a product or brand first; and compare against their website or brand promise second. So much of the time we experience brand promises that are never delivered. Other times we may spot things in a brand's positioning or mission statement that we didn't experience or notice. Coffee Angel delivered. Their philosophy is ‘that it is always about the customer. So we’ll make your drink, your way; we’ll listen. We’ll chat’. They also source their products locally and pride themselves on their independence. They've not yet been open 12 months but deserve to be a great success. Here's proof too that you can juggle more than one role or business interest withour diluting individual success.

That customer focus is – of course – so essential whether you are a huge brand or a single neighbourhood shop. And I got more of a quality experience in my four days of visits than I have with other neighbourhood coffee shops that I have visited forty times.

So whether you are a one-person business or a big business, learn a few lessons from Coffee Angel.


dave wheeler said...

Some folks get it...some folks don't. The operative word and secret to me? WE'LL LISTEN!

Ian Sanders said...

Great observation Dave - and so-many businesses are poor at the listening bit...