Coffee Lessons for Customer Experience

As a serious coffee aficionado, I can’t get through a day without several cups of this delicious, aromatic brew. That said, just recently, I had a discussion around Customer Experience for a automobile dealer. With the changing market and consumer needs, sales were falling.

Actually, retail sales have been hit hard lately but in the online era, many shops are just me-too. I think one reason consumers prefer to shop online is that the experience is relatively consistent.

Retail CX usually depends on the front-line staff which unfortunately, gets the lowest pay and longest hour. Any wonder why the experience is poor? If you’ve been to an artisanal cafe lately, you might have noticed the baristas weighing the coffee, grinding, timing and weighing the coffee extraction itself (the liquid coming out). Some cafes even regularly schedule calibration days where they are closed for a few hours. That’s business loss you say but what you get in return, is something different – consistency.

The taste of a cappuccino today was exactly like you tasted it yesterday and so next week, you will still get the same flavors. Consistent experience is what consumers come back for. Look at Starbucks and how they’ve removed the more manual machines and replaced them will fully programmable automatons. That way, any untrained staff as I shan’t call them baristas, can replicate the taste and consistency day in, day out.

Key lesson here is either you automate if you can, or ensure you have measurements in place with regular calibration to ensure your CX is the same today as it will be next month.