What a (Single) Cup of Coffee Taught Me About Quality Service.

TSAE Coffee

I went to lunch with a coworker / friend / mentor today.   We had a great general conversation about our company and where its headed, and specifically how I can be more of an asset to the people around me.  Whenever I go to lunch with this guy I learn something new that I can apply to my work/life.

If you don’t have 2 or 3 really good mentors in your place of work now, I would recommend you either seek some out…or maybe just come work here.

The benefits of having a mentor or three is a topic for another post though.    What I want to talk to you about today was the coffee.

Why coffee you ask?

Because in the span of 10 minutes I got to experience a very powerful lesson in customer service.

Our lunch was done and had we requested coffee.

The server brought out 2 cups.  They looked delicious.

With the coffee, the server also brought the check, and as she dropped it off she said, “You guys take your time, and I’ll keep an eye on those coffees for you!”

I’m thinking “Fantastic!”  There’s nothing worse than ordering a $2.50 cup of coffee and never getting a refill if I want it.

My coworkers will laugh when they read this because they know when it comes to good coffee I’m good for at least 2 or 3 cups.

Here’s the thing though.

We never saw our server again.

Now, you can go ahead and accuse me of being high maintenance(and you’d be right), but as a person that lives and dies on the quality of my service, I have a serious issue when someone goes out of their way to make a promise, and then fails to follow through.

We sat and chatted for another 10 minutes or so after she said that, and then finally left.

I was a little annoyed, but not so much that I didn’t get the refill.  I was annoyed that she had SAID I would.

It would have been better to say nothing than to specifically promise excellent service.

The application to our lives in sales is the same…except its deadly to not follow through here.

When it comes to a new prospect or an early stage customer, not doing what you proclaim is a marker that you can’t be trusted.  Don’t wonder why they aren’t keen on working with you if you’ve failed to deliver on a previous commitment.

If you make a promise anywhere in life to do something for someone; a proposal, bringing a sample, following up at an agreed interval, or anything else that requires you to follow through, DO IT.

Otherwise you will leave your prospect/customer/friend with a bad taste in their mouth.

If you can’t be trusted with little things…no one will ever give you big things to work on.

It doesn’t matter how small you have to start.  Just follow through and watch your trust and scope of responsibility grow.

Good selling!


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