Two tales of customer service

I was in London a couple of weeks ago for several meetings so I stopped in a nearby coffee shop before each one.

I expected to get a bit of work done but what I got was a quick lesson on how two businesses can deliver the same service and yet leave the customer with a completely different feeling.

The first café was busy with a steady stream of customers and three members of staff. Each customer was greeted by a server as you might a friend … with a smile, great eye contact and a “Hi!” or “Hello!”

All three looked as though they wanted to be there and appeared to be having fun … and every customer got a thank you and goodbye as they left.

They remembered regular customers, let people try or taste before they bought and explained what was happening when service slowed down.

All in all it was a masterclass in customer service!

The second café I entered wasn’t very busy but no one greeted me. Not so much as a smile. I asked for my drink and got it but at no point did the server look me in the eye … not even when she gave me my change.

There were three staff there – but they kept disappearing at the same time so when two customers did arrive there didn’t seem to be anyone serving … and both left without ordering.

No one seemed to want to be there.

Genuinely I couldn’t have created a scenario to show how not to behave when working in a café had I tried … I certainly won’t be back in a hurry!

How did they make me feel?

In Café One the team always looked their customers in the eye and smiled; I felt wanted and welcome. In Café Two they didn’t and I didn’t! It was that human connection that made the real difference and the apparent desire to be working there.

It’s not just when you’re presenting that your body language matters … If you think your customer service team is missing that special something and you want them to be able to control their body language to create the right first impression, then give me a call and we can see if our approach could work for you.

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