Coffee shops are like a second home to me. It’s the perfect place for a part-time telecommuter and full-time blogger such as myself, and these shops provide the perfect atmosphere to drum up endless blogging ideas. And yes, I am creating this post from a cozy swivel chair in a local shop as you read this.
Seeing as I frequent coffee shops, it’s important that I find a good venue that provides the setting necessary to help me work. Wi-Fi should be available (for the cost of free ninety-nine, s’il vous plaît), outlets a-plenty, and delicious coffee. Although Atlanta is home to many coffee shops that have incredible coffee – seriously, if you need a recommendation for a great cup o’ joe in my town, don’t hesitate to ask – the one aspect that I will not put up with finding a coffee shop to give my business to is bad customer service.
I understand that it’s an unspoken truth that all baristas must have a sense of entitlement when serving up an overpriced cup of coffee to customers, but where is it written that bad customer service is acceptable anywhere ever? You can serve me the greatest cup of coffee this world has ever seen (okay, tasted), but if you make me feel inadequate for not knowing the correct pronunciation of that rare Ethiopian roast, you can bet I will never give you my business again.
This situation doesn’t just arise in coffee shops: bad customer service is everywhere. Whether it’s the lack of training in front-line employees, or possibly too much empowerment of these staff members from management, these businesses should keep this in mind:
When you sacrifice customer service, you will sacrifice customers.
Every original business will have competitors that have practically identical product offerings, even that boutique coffee shop with the gluten free menu and 37 flavors of frappes. What will help them stand out against the monotony of the industry is superior customer service. Even something as simple as a smile when you take an order will make a difference to people, and that alone might secure you a repeat customer.
There may be a select few out there that will put up with anything in order to have this one specific roast at your coffee shop, baristas, but don’t count on those customers being enough to keep your business afloat. Start making better customer service a priority; otherwise your customers will find a quality chai latte elsewhere.