Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Educate and Elevate! The role of the artisan coffee shop

Customer service is about quality and care, not convenience. Customer service is about education, not platitudes. Ultimately, the customer is best served by delivering them the best product possible, and seeking to improve upon both product and experience each day.  When you put the coffee first, you put the customer's coffee experience first. Customer service is a coffee first decision.

Sadly, there are those who fail to take a leadership role and opt for convenience and platitudes. Theirs is the world of pre-ground coffee and smiles. Of duping the uneducated customer into paying for product that is rapidly declining by the minute. Convenience in order to make a sale is patronizing the customer rather than serving the customer. The best way to serve the customer is to provide them the best tools and education to continue their coffee experience at home. That is why an artisan coffee shop should only sell fresh, properly roasted whole bean.

Once you take the role of an artisan coffee maker, excellence is more than a set of words, it's a set of actions. The artisan coffee provider has an obligation beyond the average coffee shop, an obligation to educate the customer to help them elevate their own coffee experience. The customer looks to the coffee shop owner, to the barista for guidance. To outwardly speak of cultivars, sourcing, brew ratios, and craft, and then sell the customer ground coffee demonstrates a pure and calculated facade. When a customer comes to buy coffee to take home, the care for the coffee does not end in the coffee shop, it begins at the grinder in the customer's home.