Wow’ing the customer

(Image courtesy: tristangage)

I had the good fortune of being wow’ed with customer service and quality yesterday.

Yesterday, I had agreed to meet with a prospective new-hire for breakfast. He had some questions, I had some info to give him before he joined us. We wanted to meet some place, where we could sit and chat over breakfast and a good coffee.

We had initially decided on Cafe Coffee Day. The website had said 7AM and we wanted to meet at 830AM. So it was perfect. Both of us reached the venue. Wham ! We were hit with a brick wall, and I had never seen this wall before. Apparently they open at 7AM, but do not serve anything until 9AM. In the words of the one employee who was cleaning up the place, “you could sit and chat until then”. Hmm. Ok. That did not seem quite right. This specific shop was a “Lounge” category shop, and he  suggested us to try another coffee day, ” a regular one” – about half a km away. And there we went. Same rule ! Whoa. And it was already 9AM, and still the staff had not come. Yes, you heard that right.

By this time, I was a tad bit irritated. I knew there was a Costa Coffee a block away, and we decided to try our luck there.

There was just one person who was manning the shop – a bright and cheerful lady. The shop was brightly lit. A welcoming aroma of coffee. A cheery “Good morning” from the lady. We asked for the choice of vegetarian sandwiches available. She made a good recommendation. We ordered our sandwiches and coffee, and went and sat at a table facing the road.

In just a few minutes, the nice and hot sandwiches made their appearance. And the awesome cappucinos along with them. Beautiful chocolate and cinnamon sprinkles on top. Heaven. On the initial sighting of the cappucino along with the food, I was a little apprehensive though. Coffee shops tend not to give hot coffee in India, but are only mildly hot (bordering on not hot at all) for immediate drinking ease. But the lady had beautiful heated up the coffee just right.

In a single word – “Wow”. Well three more words- “New found respect”.

What did Costa do, that Coffee Day did not ?

  • Opened their stores on time.
  • Realize the full potential of the market. There are folks who would want to come in for breakfast and a coffee.
  • Cheerful customer service.
  • Luring the customer in.

And yep, Costa did it right. Good going guys. You guys just got a regular customer.