When we started in business we did not take customers’ drink orders by name – it was by drink. If your name is Suzy and you came into our store and ordered a “12 ounce mocha with whip to go” when your order was ready we called out “12 ounce mocha with whip to go“. And you walked over to the bar and picked up your drink and left. Bad us. What a missed opportunity. What bad manners on our part.
A few years ago we realized the error of our ways and changed our process. And now I am here to encourage you not to make the mistake we did…for years. We changed our training and started requiring all order-takers to put a name on the order so when the bar ticket prints the name is on the order. Now if you come into JP’s and order a “12 ounce mocha with whip to go”, when your drink is ready we call out “Order for Suzy“. Then when you come and pick up your drink we say, “Hi Suzy. A 12 ounce mocha with whip to go? Thank you! Have a great day!”
Here are 6 reasons to call off orders by name rather than by drink:
1. We love being addressed by our name. It’s said, “The sweetest sound to anyone’s ear is the sound of one’s own name“. Take advantage of that sweetness. People need more sweetness in their life. You be the one to add it!
2. Get to know your customers. If you train yourself and your staff to ask for customer names they will get to know the customer’s names. After that it won’t be long before the customer walks into the store to order a drink and is greeted at the register with, “Hi Suzy, how are you today? Would you like to order your usual 12 ounce mocha with whip to go?” You are well on the way to building deeper relationships with your customers – a great thing in business (and life).
3. Facilitates customer service. If you have more than one of the same drink ordered, or even similar drinks, the customers will get them in the correct order.
4. Saves on “oops” at the bar. How many times hasn’t someone walked off with a 12 ounce mocha with whip to go when they ordered a 16 ounce mocha with whip to go? Now you have to remake the drink for one customer and you will have to track down the customer who took the wrong drink or make it up to them next time. Either way it is a hassle or possibly a frustration for the customer.
5. Good manners. Let’s face it, it’s just good manners to address customers by name rather than by drink name. Over the years we actually would refer to customers by their drink because we didn’t know their names. “You know, 12 ounce mocha with whip to go at 7:30AM girl“. Responded to with “Oh her!”
6. Changes the store vibe. Using customer names will over time change the vibe of your store. Rather than being product focused you will be perceived as customer focused. And in business, especially the coffee business, that is a critical piece of the success puzzle.
Getting people a cup of coffee can be done by most anyone. Making customers feel valued and a part of a coffeeshop family is not as common. Businesses that understand relationships and live to thrill the customer have an edge over competitors – even those that are more convenient, better priced or have better quality. Of course we want to be “best” in all categories, but excellent customer service is tops, and embracing it will take your business a long way!