Why Customer Service Is A Two Way Street

Recently on my commute from work, I decided to stop at a coffee chain in Arlington, MA.

I had consumed a lot of water, so in reality, I needed to use the facilities, and I was craving a pick-me-up beverage and treat for the ride home.

As I walked into the shop, I noticed the barista behind the counter, and man in front of me had wrapped up his order.

I walked up and said “Hi.” 

She nods but didn’t acknowledge me with a “Welcome, how are you?”

I look on the board to figure out what I’d like to order.

Again I say: “Hi, how are you?”

No response from the barista. No acknowledgment. Her face is now looking annoyed reading: “Ok, What is it?!”

“Alright…(Thinking to myself maybe she had a bad day) I’ll have the hot caramel apple spice cider.”

She looks at me and says: “Huh?”

Ok, so I don’t go to the “Grande” coffee place all the time AND English is my second language. But I’ve been speaking it for over 20 years. I say the order again, she places the order and I cash out.

As she is preparing my order, a woman walks in; she’s in her 70’s. She sees and greets the barista with a hello. The barista’s response is opposite to what I experienced less than a minute earlier.

Barista: “Hi there! Welcome to “Name of Grande Coffee Place” how are you? how can I help you?”

Old Lady: I’m great how are you give me a second to figure things out.

Barista: Ok! Sure thing.

For real? A moment ago, I did the same thing, and it was if I was an alien making first contact with you, and now your attitude has changed completely? Get out of here.

No matter what you do in customer service, you have to be able to treat everyone with the same respect, courtesy and attitude.

On the flip side, the same goes for the customer as well.

Granted, I wasn’t upset, but it made me think, “well maybe I won’t stop at that particular location again” or not shop there entirely. It made me think of how I interact with colleagues, callers that call into our office looking for help and people overall.

Follow the golden rule: “Treat others how you want to be treated.”