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A reminder that the customer is King

Every so often, I like to be reminded how NOT to treat customers - if necessary by "suffering" the poor treatment myself. And today, I'm writing here to publicly thank the Azuza Coffee Bar in Hughenden Yard, Marlborough, Wiltshire for their classic example of how not to look after customers.

Update - December 2005 - see feedback from Azuza added at end of article

Lisa, Dad and I walked in at about 20 past four, found a table, read the menu. Lisa and I went up to the counter to order cream teas... "we're not serving food any more" says the curt young lady and we settle, reluctantly for cups of tea and a fruit smoothie. So why am I upset? Because for the next 15 to 20 minutes they were bringing out food for everyone else, it seemed. Including food for people who hadn't even been in the place when we arrived.

So what happened? Didn't they like the look of me? Perhaps they didn't - here's my picture and you can judge for yourself. But I have another theory. Lisa's accent is clearly not of local origin and Marlborough's a tourist town. I think the staff member just couldn't be bothered with a visitor ... not realising she was dealing with a (vocal, it turns out!) local.

If you catch me - EVER - treating people differently like the Azuza or you feel I've got something (anything) wrong, please TELL ME. My email address is plastered all over this site and I welcome the input. But I'll admit that I ask you to tell me .... when I didn't follow up in Marlborough. I was embarrassed enough as it was, didn't want to make a scene in front of Lisa and Dad and I let it ride; stiff British upper lip.

As we walked out, Lisa suggested that we might have done better had I been wearing an "I'm blogging it" T shirt. I doubt that would have made any difference - they don't seem to have an email address or website so I can't drop them a quick "oy ....". Or perhaps they have it right - enough customers and they really don't want us.

Next time I'm in Marlborough, I'll be back at Polly's tea room, where they were queuing right out the door today. Hindsight reminds me that something good is worth waiting for; our customers wait for a week that's available or the next running of a public course all the time ... and I should have done the same for tea!


Footnote - if you're reading this and associated with the coffee shop mentioned, please do let me know what happened and I'll be happy to add balancing comments onto this entry.

Feedback - a few months after I posted the above item in some frustration, I got a call from one of the co-owners of Azuza, who was very apologetic and assured me that they had had a few problems that he believed to be resolved. A follow up letter invited me to present myself (with the letter) at the cafe and enjoy a complimentary something. I'm not going to take up this offer in quite the way it was made - of COURSE I would get good service and feel mighty embarrassed too, but I have noted that next time I want afternoon tea in Marlborough, I'll look in on Azuza and see if they're doing any better. It may be a while as I'm mighty busy, but I'll report back here. Feeback added 12.2005
(written 2005-05-01, updated 2006-06-05)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G502 - Well House Consultants - Business Practice
  [15] 90 to 10 or 80 to 20 rule - (2004-08-15)
  [27] Sales technique - (2004-08-25)
  [68] Get the strategy worked out and the tactics just fall into place. - (2004-09-30)
  [77] Telephone systems - (2004-10-07)
  [88] Getting the right level of trainer - (2004-10-14)
  [95] Five red flags - (2004-10-21)
  [108] A typical morning - (2004-11-03)
  [121] Fair and Simple - (2004-11-17)
  [125] Staff theft - (2004-11-21)
  [129] Trawling our site to prevent student copying - (2004-11-24)
  [137] Certification schemes - (2004-12-02)
  [157] Automatic service upgrades - (2004-12-19)
  [180] Skunk works - (2005-01-17)
  [188] Pink elephant and appreciation - (2005-01-24)
  [200] Tips for the top - (2005-02-03)
  [211] Look after your staff and they'll look after you. AOL. - (2005-02-12)
  [217] Use of time - (2005-02-16)
  [226] Growing our systems - (2005-02-24)
  [321] Sales - the alternative close - (2005-05-23)
  [399] simplicity hides real size - (2005-07-31)
  [438] Fair system for travel and accommodation expenses - (2005-09-07)
  [457] Do the work and take the risk - a PHP contract to avoid - (2005-10-06)
  [467] Tell them three times - (2005-10-17)
  [487] On line course booking - credit card protection - (2005-11-06)
  [491] Being atypical is typical - (2005-11-10)
  [536] Cancellations and penalties - (2005-12-21)
  [626] Not just a pretty face to answer the phone. - (2006-02-26)
  [652] Morning Post - (2006-03-20)
  [664] Ruby course - oops - it's not happening - (2006-04-01)
  [766] Discounts and approved supplier lists - (2006-06-17)
  [808] Sales call - (2006-07-19)
  [849] Staff Meeting - (2006-08-30)
  [869] UNABLE TO ATTEND - (2006-09-16)
  [883] Age discrimination law - (2006-10-01)
  [906] A commitment we won't be making - (2006-10-27)
  [1057] Selling by phone and Skype - our policy - (2007-01-30)
  [1084] Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events - (2007-02-17)
  [1133] B-2-B Networking, 20th April. Useful for YOUR business? - (2007-04-03)
  [1157] Speed Networking - a great evening and how we arranged it - (2007-04-21)
  [1165] Extended Credit request - train in June and be paid in September - (2007-04-27)
  [1243] Heavy duty hole punch - (2007-06-24)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1263] 0800 043 8225 - a new phone number for Well House - (2007-07-10)
  [1319] Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business - (2007-08-25)
  [1342] Google, wwmdirectory, Freshwater, ATP - new scam? - (2007-09-09)
  [1373] New Month, New Quarter, New Laws - (2007-10-01)
  [1394] Business to Business Networking - North and West Wilts / Melksham - (2007-10-17)
  [1453] What makes our courses special? - (2007-12-02)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1626] Early May - a short chance to regroup and improve - (2008-05-01)
  [1713] Ways to accept credit cards - or not! - (2008-07-19)
  [1855] Volunteer v Employee - a skewed balance? (FSB) - (2008-10-25)
  [1913] Alastair Darling helps make paperwork and confusion - (2008-11-30)
  [2044] Please Trouble me - (2009-02-16)
  [2122] Commission Creep - (2009-04-08)
  [2126] Weeding out old phone numbers - (2009-04-11)
  [2161] Get it right ... if it goes wrong, it takes so much effort to sort out! - (2009-05-08)
  [2187] Are we IITT (Institute of IT Training) members? - (2009-05-17)
  [2190] How you are (re)presented at an exhibition - (2009-05-19)
  [2283] Everyone is in the customer relations business - (2009-07-12)
  [2331] Certification Revisted - Lua - (2009-08-09)
  [2465] Melksham Town - asleep or awake? - (2009-10-21)
  [2598] An excuse for making a sales call - (2010-01-26)
  [2788] Cost of Sales - (2010-06-01)
  [2821] Chancellor George Osborne inspires Perl Program - (2010-06-22)
  [2936] The service that customers should receive - (2010-08-27)
  [2966] Cheap Country Hotel in Melksham, Wiltshire? - (2010-09-21)
  [3073] Customer Service - the boundary - (2010-11-27)
  [3157] A new monopoly on the ferry to Northern Ireland - (2011-02-04)
  [3333] Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way - (2011-06-25)
  [3506] Cold call contacts - preference services and turning off spam sales approaches - (2011-11-03)
  [3613] Keeping Business Local. But is that realistic? - (2012-02-13)
  [3665] Will will smile? - (2012-03-22)
  [3750] Matching opening hours to when customers can come in and buy - (2012-06-04)
  [3755] Cruising on the Mersey Ferry? - (2012-06-07)
  [4107] Snog, Marry, Avoid - (2013-05-31)
  [4293] Certification - (2014-09-15)
  [4415] Buffet review - taking the price into account - (2015-02-05)
  [4520] No cold sales calls please - but delighted to hear from others! - (2015-09-29)


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What - no switch or case statement?
Sharing pictures of Wiltshire
A reminder that the customer is King
Using a Python dictionary as a holder of object attributes
Pricing strategy - simple and fair
Python generator functions, lambdas, and iterators
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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