Six Ways to Freshen Up Service at Your Store

Customer service is something any business owner should always be focused on—and it’s particularly important for retail coffee businesses.

Your customers come into your shop for the local personal touch, as much as for the quality beverages you produce. It’s important to remind your staff and new hires of how important the little things are. We have provided a few tried and true ideas, to help boost your customer service levels!Improve Customer Service At Your Store

Be Yourself: Friendly greetings should carry some personality. Customers know when they are being sincerely greeted vs. just fed a forced hello. With some freedom your employees can share some of who they are with the customers, and still meet the greeting requirements for high-level customer care!

Get Feedback: Make sure your baristas, managers or servers are all listening to complaints and compliments. Huddle with your employees monthly/weekly to get their feedback on customer satisfaction. Did they over hear any complaints on something in your shop? You should know about it—and be doing your best to meet concerns. Not every customer is going to be 100% pleased, but re-occurring complaints should be addressed.

Respond Quickly and Earnestly: If a customer is dissatisfied with any aspect of your product or service, be sure to address their concerns right away. Not only will a quick solution appease the complaining customer, it will make all other customers in your store at the time feel more comfortable. You should also be checking the internet regularly for complaints/compliments on your business. Reinforce the compliments with your employees and address complaints professionally.

Show Your Personality: Encourage your baristas and servers to come out from behind the counter when it’s slow. Double check to see if the customers are doing all right, and if there is anything that can be done to make their visit better. When customers feel friendlier with your employees: they are more likely to hang around, come back or order more drinks and food.

Know the Menu: When your employees are well educated, they implement the best customer service. Give your employees all the information you can on new products so they can share this information with customers. Even have servers and baristas sample new products so they can describe them to customers. What coffee pairs best with the new granola bars you have? If your employees can answer questions about your products they can sell them.

Strive for Quality: If your employees are all creating consistently good and similar drinks, your customers will always be satisfied with their beverage experience. To help with this we offer Coffee College. Our Specialty Coffee Basics course teaches employees how to prepare espresso, as well as other hot, iced and blended made-to-order beverages properly drink-after-drink, customer-after-customer. Training ensures quality and improves productivity, sales and customer satisfaction.

For more customer service tips, contact our Customer Care Associates at 800.835.5943 and ask for more information!

Should your baristas get tips?

Helena Echlin of food & drink blog Chow wrote about barista-tipping etiquette a few days ago. Here is the gist of her take:

When it comes to the person who makes your coffee, I say use the same rule of thumb you should use for any food-service counter worker (ice cream scooper, deli sandwich-maker, boulangerie attendant, taqueria employee): If you feel he or she has gone beyond the industry norms, made you laugh, given you something extra she needn’t have, in some way noticeably improved your life, if only for a moment, tip her.

Ms. Echlin makes some interesting points that reveal the customer’s perspective to us, but what does this mean to you as a retailer?

If tipping is part of your vision for your café, it’s worth paying attention to. Tipping is a good indicator of the level of service your staff provides as well as the level of service your customers expect. If your baristas aren’t getting tips, it may mean that your drinks aren’t to your customers’ tastes, that your customers perceive a lack of craft, or simply that your baristas haven’t engaged their customers like Ms. Echlin describes.

If your baristas are getting tips, you may want to check for big differences in the amounts they collect. Disparities in tips can reveal inconsistent drink preparation, lack of up-selling, and other problems that a little retraining could solve.

If you’re interested in getting high-quality training for your staff, drop us a line! Ask about our Barista Certification program at 800.835.5943.

Tips

We’re Blogging!

Stockton Graham is proud to introduce our new blog!

You might have noticed, but we have a lot to say! We’ve received a lot of great feedback from the dedicated readers of Graham’s Gazette encouraging us to create a blog. Ask, and ye shall receive! Stockton Graham & Co.’s new blog has launched and is now available for reading at stocktongraham.wordpress.com.

With our combined experience in the specialty coffee and beverage industry, we’ve seen it all. Our blog give us more opportunities to pass along more tips, advice, coffee roasting updates, specials, discounts and trends to you, our valued customers.

We hope you’ll find our posts to be informative and valuable, but we can’t do it alone. We invite you to submit your ideas for posting to share with the fellow members of your coffee community.

Browse often and keep the submissions coming! Also, be sure to check the SGC blog frequently during the week of October 5th – 9th for an incredible offer only good for the day it’s posted! You must mention the blog to receive the special.

Mike Adams, Customer Care
Stockton Graham & Co.
www.stocktongraham.com