barista placing lid on coffee

Having just moved homes, I’ve had to seek out a new neighbourhood cafe. Luckily for me, there’s one that serves really great coffee not far away — Our Daily Brett. It’s really more of an upscale market than cafe, but the coffee definitely is good. 

I’ve been in about a half a dozen times in the last month. The staff, all of whom are masked, are likely about the friendliest and most helpful I’ve come across in a long time. 

I’m at high risk for COVID-19. During my first visit, the barista placed my latte on the counter and I asked him if he could place a lid on my to-go cup. He grabbed one and put it on with bare hands. That wasn’t going to work for me. 

I asked him to remove it and place the lid on using a napkin. Why couldn’t I just put my own lid on? I rarely seem to get them on right and end up spilling coffee all over myself. I know. How hard can it be? 

Repeats his behaviour every time

There I was being a ‘high maintenance’ customer. How did he respond? He was absolutely gracious about it. And….every time I’ve been back, he remembers I want him to use a napkin and place the lid on the cup for me. I don’t have to ask, he just does it.

It gets better. A friend and I met at Our Daily Brett for coffee last weekend. The store was busy as it usually is on a Saturday. Couples checking out the gourmet food section, young mothers and fathers pushing a stroller, girlfriends meeting for a catchup. We ordered ours from the always friendly young woman at the register and stood for a few minutes near the barista counter. We then decided to wait outside as it was getting more crowded than was comfortable for us. 

I asked one of the managers if she could bring our coffee out to us, which she was happy to do. When she arrived bearing our paper cups, she said to me, “He said to let you know he put the lid on using a napkin.”

Creating brand loyalty

That is how it is done. It’s not complicated. Customer loyalty is built by small acts of showing you actually care, time after time. People will remain loyal, they will forgive mistakes and they will be true to your brand if they know you care about them. 

It isn’t what you say — like the ubiquitous and inauthentic We Miss You messages being delivered as businesses being to reopen. Creating the kind of trust and allegiance to your brand that fuels business growth and success comes from what you do, not what you say.

What are you going to do today to be memorable to those you serve?