Tale of Two Coffees

“It was a wonderful time [making “The Partridge Family”] and I loved every minute of it. We had a great executive producer who was in tune with all of us . . . We had an incredible rapport and I think that’s what made us successful.” – Shirley Jones

For the last two or so years of my Salmat life I have been based in an office in Sydney. Being an office worker we all find our favourite local business to buy lunch, coffee or snacks (and consume them at our desk).

Below my office suite is a cafe run by Gavin. His coffee shop is directly in my building undercover so it is conveniently close, it protects me from the heat and cold during the seasons, he has a large television screen with business and entertainment playing and has recently invested into some quiet large and comfortable seats. His coffees are quiet affordable and has some great combination deals with food. Gavin owns this business.

I don’t buy coffee from him.

Recently Sydney had some horrible weather with heavy rain that lasted for days.

I still didn’t buy coffee from Gavin.

Right now you might be thinking to yourself why on earth wouldn’t Anthony buy coffee from Gavin? He is convenient positioned in my building, his prices are reasonable for coffee or it would have stopped me from being soaked from the heavy rain. I can sum it all up in one word – Rapport.

Wikipedia mentions “In sales, rapport is used to build relationships with others quickly and to gain their trust and confidence

The man I buy my coffee from each day is Morris. When God was handing out skills and attributes I think he was having a nap. He always has a smile on his face no matter what time you arrive, he remembers everyones name and he as a genuine interest in his customers. His cafe is in an alley way between shopping complexes and is mostly out in the open so he is subjected to the elements.  Even when the elements were crazy I still bought my coffee from him… but why?

Rapport.

How many times have you chosen not to make a purchase from a business due to an interaction with one of their representatives? I have chosen on multiple occasions to pay a little extra or go that extra mile to be satisfied with customer service. In a day where price matching is at an all time high, I’m hear to say that price isn’t as important as you think and people are willing to pay a little bit more if you give them the reason to.

The twist in this story is that my choice in coffee is a mocha, a coffee which is dominated by the taste of chocolate and the quality of coffee beans is not as important.

So here I am, representing the consumers that deal with your business each day and I am telling you that I am willing to pay extra for your product if you increase the value through your customer service. You might not have the best quality in the market and your price is not as cheap as others but if you create a pleasurable experience not only will I come back but I will tell others.

As we continue our journey in the art of conversations, take this moment to look into your own business and your own interactions with people. Are you creating a memorable moment of pleasure or do they remember you for the wrong reasons and the things you didn’t do?

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4 comments

  1. Some sound advice. 95% of my sales are from building positive rapport with a customer, specifically with regard to noticing their needs and catering a solution to them.

  2. I changed coffee shops due to service. One coffee shop would bite a clients head off if they asked for a medium instead of a long and another the other is always friendly, they remember your coffee and when there not busy would bring it up stairs for us. Service with a smile makes a difference.

    1. Remembering names, remembering past orders, free additions to your order like a small chocolate or marshmallow, acknowledging customers despite a possible queue of orders are some of the many things cafe owners and managers can implement into their own business to increase loyalty and referrals for new business.

      It’s amazing how some owners treat their customers as you mentioned Nicole. I would believe everyone who reads this blog would have been turned off from a business due to the actions to their customers. You might have a fancy name for a large coffee but as the customer, I want my order simple and to what I want. Tall, large, grande… who cares. You are potentially taking the focus off the coffee.

  3. I completely agree with this! I used to work in a coffee shop, and made friends with so many regular customers and knew not only their names, but where they worked and knew their usual orders off by heart. Id even surprise them every now and again by making and delivering drinks for the staff in the surf shop next door because there was often only ever one or two staff members that were there at one time, or instead of throwing food away at the end of the day Id pack some things that were still fresh and give it to some of them at the end of the night.

    Building relationships with customers is an important key to the growth and maintenance of any successful business imo. I also found that by looking after my regulars, they in turn looked after me in their places of employment.

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