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a blog by Chris Barrow

Barry the Barista

Customer service is such a simple concept when it's done properly and yet can drag down the most impressive business when it doesn't happen.

Three experiences yesterday:

  1. I love a good hotel breakfast but when I walked in to the restaurant at the Canal Court in Newry, it was patently obvious from the absence of staff and the desolate guests sat around waiting (no buffet - table orders only) that I would be in for a Fawlty Towers experience. Lacking the time, I turned around in mid-stride and decided to take my chances elsewhere;

  2. On my morning run I had noticed "Grounded", a corner coffee shop a few doors down from the hotel. In I walked to see Barry the Barista holding court. A line of customers were all being entertained by his banter whilst his quieter assistant served food and collected payments. Barry spotted me at the back of the line and shouted over to ask if I wanted just coffee. I explained that a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant would be lovely. "No problem", says he. "take a seat and we'll bring them over - don't bother waiting in the line - you can pay me on the way out." Simple - attention to detail, the ability to bend the rules to make the experience better, a genuine interest, a sense of humour, a cheery aspect - and good coffee!

  3. Last night Rachel Barrow and I met up at The Europa Hotel in Belfast. The first time we have been together for over 2 weeks and the start of our 7-week workshop tour. We decided to keep it simple and eat in the hotel. Big mistake - a very expensive and disappointing meal, even though our waitress did make an effort - but clearly the hotel have got it wrong on their choice of supplier - in fairness, the chef had made the best of a bad cut of meat but at their prices I felt cheated.

How many times do we hear that it's not rocket science to deliver well.

To quote the principles of Ikigai:

  • Love what you do;

  • Do something that makes a positive difference in the world;

  • Be really good at it;

and then you will be rewarded handsomely.

Today I'm beginning three months of lecturing all over the map on financial mastery in dental practice for both owners and managers.

Many days of travel in numerous locations.

Let's see what levels of customer service we enjoy.

Barry the Barista at "Grounded" in Newry - you were great.

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