Customer Service

Posted by Casey Delmont Johnson on Mar 19th 2016

What Customer Service Should Be and Why it's Important to Roux

In driving to work this morning there seemed to be just one central concern twirling around inside my head - customer service. We've had a lot of this lately. And in making something out of Roux Brands I've often had to promise the limits of our abilities. And this has put my team in interesting situations. But I know I shouldn't be skittish. I simply need to make sure that every opportunity to speak with one of our valued customers turns their frown upside down and their issue into an opportunity. These are principles of excellent customer service.

My drive normally consists of a Starbucks coffee run. It is a bit of a vice, but an almost necessary one. Over the years, my location has seen a fair amount of turnover, but one thing has remained constant. Her name is Jenn. She is the most overwhelmingly exuberant person I have ever met in any of the Starbucks I have ever been to. I've ordered Americanos in New York, Lattes in L.A. and poured ample amounts of thick soy cream in Hong Kong. But when I really think about the experience as a whole I'm humbled. Is it possible that Jenn is the best Starbucks employee I have ever met?

I think admitting that she is the best Starbucks employee I have ever met is the easy part, but it is the why that really baffles me today. If I can understand the why, then maybe I can get to a new level of customer service.  

1. Jenn moves quickly, with a "sense of urgency," and this makes me feel like she values my time. 

2. Jenn does not have bad days... Of course she has bad days, but when it comes to customers she simply doesn't. I'll let you figure this one out. 

3. Jenn seems genuinely interested in what you have to say. I doubt she ever is. 

4. Jenn takes the craft of coffee making to a whole new level. She isn't content with anything. 

5. Jenn makes people want to help her with things. She is a natural leader in a situation. She's not afraid to be wrong. 

6. Jenn remembers you and your drink. Maybe she has the memory of an elephant, but I doubt it. I'm certain it has a lot more to do with the fact that she takes her job seriously at every level. She is completely engaged all of the time. Remembering my name, order and voice just come natural. I don't think she could do this if she was worried about the text that she just received. 

7. Jenn doesn't run anyone into the ground. She just corrects whatever goes wrong and moves on. There isn't any hostility present. She isn't trying to save coffee over the customer that uses and abuses her. She is trying to impress the one behind him that isn't. 

8. I could go on and on. 

I really don't feel like writing a manual on customer service today. I just wanted to touch base on it. I need to meet with my team about it and get a solid understanding of what it is. Sometimes we all need to be reminded of the importance of something. And this may take inspiring others to understand. 

Take a few moments and have a chat with your sales associates. Make sure they understand too. There is simply too much competition to boast a crummy attitude. People really do have choices. Put policies in place for those customers who really work your nerves and try to remember that although it may cost you now, it would be better to give people the benefit of the doubt. When possible, make sure and communicate without getting upset or startled. People respect honestly and truth. 

Best wishes for great customer service, 

CDJ