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Lessons from The Coffee Shop

Tamara Forrest-Smith

Lesson from the Coffee Shop

Each day half way through a 90-minute walk we stop at a coffee shop that is new and much needed in the English village we live in.

I’m new to coffee but my partner Tamara is a coffee expert with a taste for good, bad and ugly coffee.

This coffee shop is cute, village like with a city feel, we love it and go sometimes twice daily.

Inside the shop there are two brothers and another partner all of them are really great. When you walk into the shop they smile, welcome you like friends, sit you down and deliver great service.

Now Tamara might be a coffee expert but after 17 years in the front-lines of the service industry I would certainly consider myself a service expert.

In my business I would spend at least the first 3 days inducting new people into OUR service standards. I would then have new staff shadow old staff to make sure they knew exactly what was to be expected form myself, my brilliant team and of course, our clients.

It worked it worked well.

The reason I did this was something we used to call T.D.C … this meant thinly disguised contempt. This was a form of contempt that displays itself at a level that isn’t that obvious but the client or customer feels from the staff member. You know that feeling right. You walk in and you feel almost like you are imposing?

Because of that you almost instantly feel resentment towards the person that resentment grows towards the business and that eventually results in a lower tolerance rate. This lower tolerance rate finally ends with you as the customer no longer using this business or you as the businessperson losing the most valuable thing you have in your business and that is a paying client.

Today we went to our coffee shop as per usual. We walked in the country for around 45 minutes, along the river where the ducks and swans are and then into the coffee shop at around 8:15am for a coffee.

As we walked in it wasn’t one of the brothers or partners it was a member of new staff.

We were welcomed with someone that acted like they never knew us, no smile, no good morning just a member of staff that never knew we always drink soya cappuccino.

She saw us, rolled her eyes, as we were first in simply walked over and handed us a menu for food when all we wanted was a coffee to go. She delivered the coffee, it was lukewarm, it was weak and it was resentfully made almost as if we had intruded on her quiet morning.

Of course we paid for the drink left the coffee shop we love to go to and it felt like a totally different place.

Why am I sharing this with you?

When you bring new people into your business they carry something that could make or even break your business. It called the right or the wrong personality. Now of course you will never change their personality or ever get perfect people to work in your business as if they are you but you can reduce the impact very easily.

When new staff makes a fresh start in my business the first things I do is INDUCTION. Induction takes on many forms.

Our philosophy towards clients

Our business concept

Our brand concept

Our service concept

Our service standards

Our client relationships

And how we do almost everything and anything that a client touches, see, hears and feels.

Of course there’s a lot more because every business has its own way and ideas of doing things yet the core rarely changes.

As you read above in the Coffee shop just a simple greeting can affect the way you feel in the same shop from a new staff remember.

Yet a yes, no, hello or goodbye is the difference between keeping customers loyal and making it easy for customers to change allegiance.

So maybe this is a reminder to you and your own business. How your staff; old and new are dealing with leads, with enquiries with your hard earned prospects.

As a business and marketing consultant I have watched and seen business being destroyed by staff. When I have advised the owners to move the staff out or retrain them they can look at me with horror.

One shop owner had a manager that was actually turning business away. He were being rude to clients, he would take no direction from the owner. The owner asked me what she should do? My reply was very simple – fire him!

The bottom-line is this is about you and your business, you and your client/customer relationships. When that is out – business will suffer.

I’ll go back to the coffee shop in fact we are going over in 30 minutes or so. If it’s the same girl again, it’ll be fine and we will put up with it. If it carries on just 200 yards down the hill there is another coffee shop, maybe we will go there.

Business consultant Alan Forrest Smith has had over 27 years real-life business experience. He can offer you well over 200 ways to take your business to market. All you have to do is ask. CONTACT ALAN BY CLICKING HERE.

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