More lessons from the café experience

The coffee shop lessons continue. Long-time Terrific Tips reader and Veterinary Epidemiologist, Chris Hawkins, writes:

“Another great Terrific Tips, thanks! The article on the coffee shop from your reader in Darwin reminded me of two similar incidents:

“I asked for a banana smoothie in a cafe adjacent to a major supermarket which was open. Being told they were out of bananas, I offered to get some. I returned with 2 bananas, and the cafe made my smoothie. What amazed me was why staff hadn't just bought bananas when they knew their supply was out. What then stunned me was that I was charged full price for the smoothie!

“In another cafe, adjacent to a bakery, I was advised by the waitress that they had no multigrain bread for a sandwich. I offered to get a loaf, which I did, and handed it to the waitress. After lunch, when the bill came, I was charged full price for the sandwich, and the cafe kept the rest of the loaf of bread.

“Needless to say, those cafes have lost my custom, and one of them no longer exists!”

Below in part was my response to Chris:

“Thanks so much for sharing, Chris – I can’t believe that one of them didn’t offer to at least refund the cost of what you’d supplied. If they’d done that and given you the order ‘with compliments’ you’d most likely have become a customer for life.

“As you well know, the problem in both cases lies with the owners’:

  1. Failure to talk with staff about customer focus and what that means for their roles
  2. Failure to empower the staff and lack of trust in them
  3. The staff being too scared to make a decision that could affect profits… And that of course does affect profits!”

Are you wondering why a veterinarian would be interested in customer relationships? Click on this superb article by Chris Hawkins. It explains how veterinary science, relationships and a sense of community are all part of achieving the best outcome.

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at Alternatively, email