A shout-out to Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Silver Spring, MD

good customer service at Peet's CoffeeWorking in retail or a restaurant can be a tough job. You are on your feet most of the day. You normally have to deal with rude or impolite customers. The hours can be long. And let’s face it, the pay isn’t all that great either.

So I was pleased by how well treated I was at Peet’s Coffee & Tea on East-West Highway in Silver Spring, MD yesterday afternoon. When I stopped by to purchase a cup of coffee, I requested a “regular cup.” The person behind the counter said “We don’t sell regular coffee, but we do sell amazing coffee.”

Playing along, I said “Well, in that case, I want an amazing cup of small coffee.”

We both smiled and laughed.

Customer service. Sometimes it’s the small things that matter the most.

At smile here. A joke there. It goes along way to help your improve your brand, encourage more customers, and ultimately, increase your sales.

If you are ever in Silver Spring, MD, I would encourage you to stop by Peet’s Coffee & Tea. The place will cheer up your day.

photo credit: DSC07149 via photopin (license)

Customer Service is not Inside Sales

Ian Heller in the video below makes a very good argument that Customer Services Reps are not Inside Sales people. He argues that for a company to grow you need to create two separate teams – one for customer service and one for inside sales.

While Customer Service Reps are great at answering questions and solving problems, they tend to shy away from making sales calls or up selling. Inside Sales people, on the other hand, love making sales calls because they earning commissions and bonuses, and have a greater incentive to be more assertive than Customer Service reps.

I once worked for a company that tried to encourage their customer service team to do sales. The results were dismal. The company eventually created a separate sales team.

Now with that said, that doesn’t mean you should discourage Customer Service Reps from not selling. On the contrary, by all means encourage it because some Customer Service Reps may develop a knack for selling, and decide to switch teams. I’ve actually seen Customer Service Reps transfer to an Inside Sales Team because they discover they had the talent and skills to sell. They also loved the potential of earning more money.

On the flip side, don’t discourage your Inside Sales people from doing customer service work either. Nothing makes a customer more angry than being told that “it’s not my job, let me switch you over to customer service.” Bad move. If a sales person can solve a customer service problem, let him do it. If the issue is too complex, the sales person should admit it, and then transfer the call to customer service.

My point is this – while I agree with Mr. Heller that there should be two separate teams, each team needs to work together.

Here is his video below –