The Importance of Customer Service Consistency

By Bob Morrell on February 20, 2017

10 years ago, Reality Training shared an office in Tunbridge Wells with a design agency. It was a happy arrangement that lasted for some years. The parade of shops that our business centre sat behind, was adequate but not exactly inspiring.

One day, to our combined delight, a shop was refurbished, and opened as an Italian coffee shop and deli. This was a massive thing for us – real coffee (before the day of pods) and other delights, on our door step. Sadly, the warning signs were there from day 1. It took forever to be served! To get a couple of cappuccinos was a long, drawn-out affair.

The owner was obsessed with displaying and managing his immense cheese collection. This was his dream shop. Yet he made the classic error of being far more interested in his products than he was in his customers. He was oblivious to the slow service provided by his untrained staff. He didn’t get the fact that if you’re serving coffee, people pop in, they don’t really have time to hang around.

He thought that the draw would be his highly priced cheese, sauces and wine, but in truth the draw was the coffee. When that was too slow we, and everyone else, lost interest.

So, what’s the lesson here? Well, a chain coffee shop has just opened in a location near to one of our offices. And it’s busy. There has been a great wailing from the local populace and the independent cafes as you can imagine. Sadly, some of those cafes refuse to move with the times, because we actually want faster service, Wi-Fi, nice cakes, loyalty cards and all the flufferies that come with it.

Service is so delicate sometimes, that the smallest thing can mean everything.