Why is coffee shop customer service important in 2022 and beyond?
In our step-by-step guide for how to start a coffee shop, we emphasize both your business plan—how you’ll delight customers—and your team of employees—who will delight your customers. That’s because customer service can make or break a coffee shop.
We’re living in a post-pandemic world where customers crave both connection and convenience. It’s a paradox between wanting to serve people meaningfully while also meeting their needs quickly. Focusing on coffee shop customer service can help you excel at both of these things.
Learn how automated technology, culture, and 5 practical steps can delight customers and bring success to your cafe.
Does Coffee Shop Customer Service Clash with Modern Technology?
Tech-forward equipment that leverages automation is on the rise in the specialty coffee industry. The automations alleviates slow, redundant, wasteful, and often inconsistent brewing and serving processes. We understand automation can feel like it’s upending our purpose as baristas. But saving time on redundant processes frees up opportunities for baristas to offer even better customer service. Our team at Texas Coffee School is excited for the future it offers!
Automation in the Coffee World
Even Starbucks is turning to tech to overhaul their cold drink processes. With iced drink orders making up 70% of their sales, it’s important for the company (and every coffee shop) to ensure cold drinks are going out as quickly and efficiently as hot drinks.
An exciting example for how automation is making the cold drink preparation process faster and more efficient is the Marco Beverage System “Pour’d” dispense system.
This technology eliminates the need for a barista to bend over, open the refrigerator, retrieve a pitcher of cold beverage (i.e. cold brew coffee, lemonade, etc.), pour a measured amount of product into a cup, mix it, rinse the utensil, then put everything away. For as simple as this process seems, it’s shockingly inefficient when it is multiplied by hundreds of drinks.
The Pour’d system allows the barista to dispense the correct amount of product into up to 3 cup sizes at the touch of one button. No other steps. No over/under pouring, no mixing, no clean up. Automated technology like the Pour’d saves precious resources and time which ultimately makes for a more pleasant and streamlined experience for the customer, and a more profitable coffee shop.
Even as drink-making becomes more automated, nothing can replace excellent customer service and hospitality.
By leveraging automation to assist in the process of making drinks, baristas are now able to focus more of their attention on the customer in front of them. Using this new-found time for interaction should be seen as a chance to educate customers about the coffee they are drinking and to have a more thoughtful interaction. These across counter chats are a surefire way to make customers feel special, which fosters loyalty and more frequent visits to the coffee shop.
For more reading, check out 5 things only the best baristas know how to do.
Create a Positive Culture for Employees and Customers
Speaking of baristas, how you hire is the first step in how you create culture. While skills and experience are helpful to have, passion and a positive personality are must-haves. It’s best to hire people who work well with others and are motivated to serve customers. This way, customers look forward to seeing their favorite barista team. And even if an occasional mistake is made, customers will still return.
Successful coffee shop managers help baristas offer great customer service. Investing in the team’s development through barista training classes will keep everyone up to speed on best practices. Creating an employee operations manual helps processes run smoothly behind the scenes. Communicating expectations and giving honest feedback build trust. And measuring and rewarding success keeps employees bought in.
At the end of the day, keep in mind that the coffee shop owner’s “why” will drive the culture. Why does the shop exist? Who are you trying to serve with what kind of experience? What does an ideal culture look like to you? Try to stay focused on that vision and not fall victim to complacency in the everyday “grind.”
5 Easy Ways to Provide Great Customer Service
Without customers, there are no sales and no money to be made. So let’s make a plan for how you’re going to make the customer feel welcomed each time they walk into your business. Here are a few simple tips to get started—but we offer so many more in our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class!
- Ask for the customer’s name when they order. Announce their finished order by name, not by the type of drink or order number.
- Learn the names and drink orders of your regular customers.
- Teach baristas how to hold the right amount of conversation—friendly and genuine, but not holding up the line.
- Host events like coffee tastings, classes, community concerts, fundraisers, and so on.
- Keep the store clean. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Get the Scoop on Coffee Shop Customer Service at Texas Coffee School
We offer classes to help coffee shop owners, managers, and baristas become the best in their trade. And while you’ll learn all about the business side of a coffee shop, you’ll also learn how the best coffee shops make money and keep customers happy. As one recent Coffeepreneur®, Mireya, wrote,
“Texas Coffee School is the perfect tool for those who are eager to learn from people that find value in the details, are concerned with real-life data, and are dedicated to simply being the best…It was the perfect mix of coffee and business.”
So what are you waiting for? View our list of upcoming classes and book your spot today!