Is it the Coffee or the Service?

I am a complete coffee snob, I’ll admit it!  As much of a coffee snob I am, I am equally a customer service snob.  Coming from 20+ years of customer service, I expect service to be there or my business isn’t.

This morning after dropping my daughter off at school, I decided to go to 7-11 for a coffee.  Typically, like I said, I enjoy awesome coffee and 7-11’s coffee is ok.  However, the service I usually get at this 7-11 has been phenomenal until today.  The usual gal at the register that is so jovial and conversational was quite melancholy.  I noticed that the boss was at the other register (not the usual one).  The boss’ customer service skills were lacking and you can tell that she was just not a happy person.  This attitude must have spilled over to my favorite gal on the other register.

The point of this story is that sometimes it isn’t the agent that is the problem, it is the manager.  If the manager is stifling their agents ability to provide great service because of their need to reach certain KPIs, then ultimately customer satisfaction and loyalty will drop tremendously.  When coaching agents, a manager needs to understand what their customers need and want when it comes to service.  Obviously, the new boss at my 7-11 has seriously disrupted a great thing.  Me, as a 3rd party, customer and quality advocate, can recognize it because I am removed from the day-to-day functions.

Looking at customer service from a different perspective (your customers’) can provide you with great insight in the health of your call center.  Listening to your customers through engaging CSats and 3rd party monitoring companies can lay down an awesome foundation for your supervisors and managers to understand what needs to be coached and what to just leave alone. 

I am still debating on whether or not to continue getting my “ok” coffee from my 7-11 with hopes of finding a morning where this particular boss isn’t there to ruin my experience.  I may just go back to ordering my Quad Grande Pumpkin Spice Lattes that are 5 times the cost of my “ok” 7-11 coffee because I always know that the service I have received has always been great, no matter location or time.  (Starbucks utilizes 3rd parties to rate their stores to ensure the ultimate in customer experience.) 

So, what would you do?

4 thoughts on “Is it the Coffee or the Service?

  1. I know how you feel. Sometimes no matter how great the product, if you have to be frustrated or angered in the pursuit, you will choose somewhere else to go. I have to say though, 7-11 has another aspect to it. It is quite possible that the demeanor of the manager has something else you may not be aware of – did the night manager quit and he pulled an all-nighter? Is he a professional who was laid off and really is just there because he needs to put food on the table? It is not an excuse for the behavior but my point is that 7-11 may (or may not) be susceptible to these types of issues, and someone who is sensitive to this lack of customer service may find 7-11 is not the place for them. I have a poll at my blog for coffee drinkers if you are interested….

    http://ginzotalk.wordpress.com

  2. Good points, but that is exactly my point. When looking at service, there shouldn’t be a reason / excuse for their unacceptable behavior. In today’s fast paced, social media fueled world, companies cannot afford just 1 unhappy customer. If 1 unhappy customer sends out a complaint on a blog or via twitter, facebook, etc., then their message is fed to hundreds and possibly more. If a company can nip that in the bud by providing ample information to their managers and supervisors, then they can take it and coach it. If they don’t know about it, then how can they manage it? If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it … or if you aren’t measuring the right behaviors, how can you manage/coach properly to maintain or increase a great customer experience?

    I checked out your poll and I am an espresso fan; however, I do add whip cream and sugar … and if there is a lemon rind curl, I am in heaven.

  3. Yes I agree wholeheartedly there is no excuse. All I mean is that I think certain businesses may be more susceptible to this type of behavior because of their hiring practices or other reasons. It is up to us to choose to either live with it or choose elsewhere, hopefully sending a message to the owner that customer service matters to us. Thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry I didn’t have an option for espresso with whipped cream and sugar. 🙂

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