I have high expectations for new businesses.
I have an expectation when entering a new store that I’ll be treated like royalty. I want that business to do everything they can to show me that I am a valued customer.
Frequently, this lofty ideal is crushed, leaving me departing the venue dejected, despondent; a new business’ worst nightmare.
I’ll tell my friends about my miserable experience, enlightening them about all that went wrong.
On a sunny Monday morning in Austin, Texas, a shining, triumphant new business star was born. Nothing went wrong.
A new Coffee Bean Tea & Leaf store opened in our neighborhood, and my wife and I were eager to give the store a try.
Opening the door for my wife, we were serenaded with welcomes from the staff: “Hello, how are you today? Welcome, it is great to see you.”
We may have come in strangers, but we felt welcomed within an instant.
What store makes this a common practice? In most in-store experiences, it’s tough to get eye contact with an employee. This interaction, though, was authentic, engaging, breathtaking, refreshing.
After ordering our drinks, we relaxed in soft, cushiony chairs; the sunlight threw long shadows across the spotless floor.
Nearby, a young woman looked frustrated at her laptop. Within seconds, a Coffee Bean employee appeared: “Are you having trouble connecting to the WIFI? Let me help you.” The woman’s scowl disappeared; a fresh, surprised smile grew across her face.
Was this really happening? Employees that appeared happy to work there, and happy to please – there is hope for customers.
Our drinks arrived quickly. My wife couldn’t stop commenting on the flavor in her Latte. My coffee tasted fresh, not burnt. A few minutes passed, and a friendly employee asked: “Would you like a glass of ice water?”
If this is the new standard for service, I am a believer. Don’t just give me what I expect; blow me away with kindness; go out of the way to show you care.
Sadly, the day was too nice to stay at the Coffee Bean. The calendar said January, but the weather shouted April. As we left, the manager stopped by our chairs, thanked us for coming, picked up our glasses, and gave a hug to a young woman with her children.
“It’s great to see you again. Thanks for coming back,” he told the young woman.
“It’s great to be here. What a nice day it is today, “ the woman responded.
Another customer dazzled by attention, care, diligence, friendliness.
Give Coffee Bean a try. I hope your experience is a pleasant one. If it’s anything like our recent experience, you’ll come back for more.
Idea for Coffee Bean: Not sure of the return on investment for those loyalty clubs, but how about starting a Coffee Bean rewards club called the Beaners? Personally, I don’t need a program such as this to come back again, but it could help the skeptics.
Check Coffee Bean on Twitter: @TheCoffeeBean
Until next time,