Monday, April 04, 2005

Coffee and customer service

A morning doesn't go by when I don't miss "my coffee shop." I commuted from Lawrence to Kansas City for about three years and I stopped by La Prima Tazza for a soy latte each morning. It was as much a part of my routine as putting on my shoes and letting the dog out.

Situated on the north end of caffeine-saturated Massachusetts Street, La Prima Tazza was seven coffee shops away from my house. It was and remains my favorite, not because of its brew (excellent) but because of its service. What made me drop four bucks once (and sometimes twice) a day? The answer can be found in the three keys to all good customer service:
1) Know your client
2) Stay one step ahead of your client
3) Reward your client

1) Know your client: The baristas at LPT value memory as much as milk-frothing skills. That knowledge made LPT part of my life, not just a stop in my morning.
2) Stay one step ahead: I rarely had to order my drink – the espresso was pulled and the soy poured when I walked through the door. Instead of repeating an order each day, we talked about more important things. When the to-go lids were gone due to a delayed shipment, I was told of the situation before I had a chance to ask where they were.
3) Reward your client: LPT understood the power of investing in a relationship. In a given week, I'd spend roughly $20. At least once a week, one of my drinks would be free or the barista would throw in a scone. Reward for a currency greater than money: loyalty.

These three keys are as applicable to an agency or firm as they are to a coffee shop. I've yet to find a coffee shop in Kansas City that makes me feel the same way, and would bet the cost of a soy latte that I won't.


Anonymous beck said...

Whatever... you just dug the free stuff. Kidding -- those are important qualities of good customer service. Maybe they should hook up with the GE repairman.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...guess I could learn a little something here, huh? Points well taken! You also just liked the company at PLT....if my memory serves me correct!

2:01 PM  

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