Happiness is…

Well it’s a lot of things but right now it’s the cappuccino that I just made from the espresso that arrived on my doorstep today from Espresso Vivace.

Sure I paid more for shipping than I did for the coffee. Yes there are places here in this city where I could buy espresso beans and not have to wait 2 weeks for delivery.

But these guys know product development. Nothing I have ever tasted in coffee compares to this and trust me I have had my share. When I first emailed them to ask if they delivered to Canada, they said they did but they were very concerned about the quality of the product if it wasn’t delivered within a couple of days. That impressed me so much. They were not just happy to accept my money and laugh their way to the bank – they cared about my service experience enough to risk losing the sale.

I remember reading one of David Schomer’s books (he owns the place) when I was a barista for a coffee shop many moons ago. His goal was to make espresso taste as good as it smelled. This really hit home to me. Probably because I remember as a child taking a heaping tablespoon of coffee grinds and shoving it in my mouth because the smell was so good. I was grossly mistaken. He also demonstrated that presentation was still always important no matter how good something tasted.

A customer’s experience is something that in unique and special to them and the more you care about all the elements that affect that experience (quality, presentation, service, value, etc…) – the more likely they will have a positive one. That’s where customer loyalty is built in my opinion. The more you consistently deliver that experience your customer is looking for – the deeper the relationship will grow. Seems pretty basic doesn’t it? Then why do so many companies fail here?

I learned a lot from that book about making coffee. (Thanks to my former boss for lending it to me) I also quickly learned how to make an otherwise repetitive job exciting by caring about the quality of each individual drink and never sacrificing presentation or service. Plus it also paid for the business degree that hangs on my wall today so all was not that bad.

I also learned that these guys know coffee and for years I made it a point to hassle anyone I knew heading to the Seattle area to bring me back some. Now thanks to the power of the Internet, I have the perfect cappuccino sitting here in front of me and I feel goooooooooooooood!!!

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