Property Grunt

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yo Joe

No. Not this Joe.

I was in the middle of writing an email to a coffee joint that I frequent regarding my recent unsatisfactory customer experience but I figured why waste good content on an email when I can blog about it.

This coffee place is not Starbucks but it is starting to grow into a very well known local chain with their impeccable coffee and service. However, there was a bit of a change at my latest visit.

Usually when I go to my favorite bean slinger there is a line out the door. This time it was no different, however that was because the doors were closed despite they should have been open 30 minutes ago. That anomaly was explained with a sign on the door saying that they would be right back.

Just as the coffee mob was about to kick the doors down, the employee arrived with an ice coffee in hand and babbled apologies while opening the doors. When it was my turn to order, I indicated that I wanted an extra jolt of caffeine with my drink. I am unsure why she responded this way but she stated that the drink I was requesting already had a jolt of caffeine since it was a coffee based drink. I attempted to clarify but she walked away from me while preparing it and it was only after repeating to her that I knew that but I wanted an extra jolt. When she presented my drink she loudly stated that it had the extra jolt and the included jolt of caffeine.

From what I gathered from the situation the employee's entire schedule was thrown off course because upon arriving on time for work, the employee found that there was no milk and that a new employee was supposed start their first day with her and had not shown up.

As someone who deals with customer service, I find this whole situation appalling and that if they had taken certain steps, it would have eliminated or mitigated the impact of the situation.

Here are my recommendations.

1. The last crew to leave the store should check on all the essential inventory before closing shop. And whatever is needed, they should stock up on. If they are unable to do so, they should inform the next crew in advance of the situation so they are not taken by surprise. In this age of email, texting and cell phones that that should not be a problem. So they fact that she found out that they had run out of milk just as she arrived to start her day is mind boggling.

2. The employee who was late starting their first day needs to be informed that type of behavior is completely unacceptable and because of their tardiness they disrupted the work flow of my local bean slinger, which affected their customers, which has negative impact on the profitability of their company. Once again, we are in a recession and anything that f**ks up profits is really bad. And considering that we are in a recession, they need to understand they can be easily replaced.

3. Stew Leonard's adage is the following
"Rule #1 Customer's always right.
Rule # 2 If the customer is wrong look at rule # 1."

I would also like to add the following.

"No matter how you s**ty you feel, never , ever f**k with the customer."

When the employee in question responded to my request for an extra caffeine jolt, the tone and content of the response felt very patronizing and passive aggressive. One could argue that I should have been clearer with her. My rebuttal is this; perhaps, however what this employee should have done was to ask did I want an extra caffeine jolt and not go in a lecture of how all coffee, unless it is decaffeinated, already has caffeine in it.

When you treat your customers as if they stepped off the short bus, you are not asking, you are demanding to be put of business. Part of being successful in business is saying "Thank you" and meaning it even if you are thinking "Go f**k yourself."

As I said before I have been in their shoes before which is why I am exercising such compassion. But honestly, my patience for this type of bulls**t is wearing thin. People need to know what happens when you act like an 800 lbs gorilla. and the consequences it brings.

Things are rough all over for all of us. But that is no reason to become animals. As human beings we have the ability to overcome and control our mental states.

To all of of you f**k ups in customer service, stop it. All it takes is one rude comment and it won't ruin your day. It will ruin the rest of your life.