It was a typical windy, rainy and miserable Scottish Monday morning and that day I had to get off the bus one stop early due to road works in Glasgow city centre … fantastic!
Pretty disappointed with the inconvenience, I decided to reward myself with a quick espresso, before starting another week of meetings, emails, monthly reports, team catch ups and much more; so I entered a small coffee shop near one the busiest train stations in Glasgow and as you would expect there were 6-7 people in front of me waiting to be served. “Here we go” I thought to myself, “that’s me stuck in this queue for the next 10 minutes, what a great way to start the week!”
I sighed in despair as I joined the queue and I begun losing myself in my own little world including trying to figure out what was the brand of the bag carried by a woman in from of me, whilst my solitary waiting experience was being accompanied by the languish notes of a Nora Jones’ song. All of a sudden I was brought back to reality by a nice sounding voice coming from behind the till, asking me what I wanted to order.
“Hold on a second”, I thought, “there are 6 people before me in the queue, isn’t that too early to ask?” I was perplexed by the approach to say the least; however I asked for my single espresso coffee anyway and waited to be served. I noticed the same approach was being adopted for any new customers entering the queue behind me, which was very odd indeed…I just couldn’t understand the need to engage customers so early in the process.
I finally got my coffee after spending 10 minutes in the queue, observing the unusual ways of working of the girl serving behind the counter. The coffee was not bad, almost as good as one you would get in my home country, Italy, and definitely better than the one I usually get at work from the coffee machines. So I eventually left that place, a bit puzzled and with some mixed feelings about the service I had received.
Tuesday came, and for some unexplained reason I found myself wanting to leave the bus one stop earlier to get another early morning espresso. Unfortunately there was another long queue in front of me, “here we go again” I thought; however as I was just about to start my silent early morning huffing routine the same girl as the day before looked at me and asked if I wanted an espresso coffee again. I was hooked! That’s what you call a very good memory I initially thought, but very surprisingly I soon realised that it wasn’t a one off. She seemed to remember what the majority of other customers in the queue wanted too!
Strangely that morning I didn’t get lost in my solitary thoughts or checking the last social media updates on my phone whilst waiting for my coffee. I actually felt somehow engaged whilst observing how the customers were being served and the sales assistants knowing what they were going to order, just as if they had spent the last 10 years going to that same coffee shop every single morning.
8 months on from that first random experience I am still going to the same coffee shop, even though their espresso is £1 more expensive than the one at work and even if I have to walk an extra 0.7 miles to my office when leaving the bus that one stop earlier!
And all of this is not just for a good coffee. It’s for the personalised experience that I receive and for the attention that is given to me as a customer even when there are 6-7 people in front of me still to be served.
So there you go, that’s how you build customer loyalty. Its’ also exactly the type of experience we strive to create here at Kura in every single interaction we have with our customers.