Why Setting Standards Are Important – Coffee Shop Frustrations

 

I was sitting in a café that has an incredible view, great vibe and delicious BLEAT, frustratingly waiting to be served. (A BLEAT is a bacon, lettuce, egg, avocado, and tomato sandwich if you’re not familiar.) I have been to this café multiple times, and although their team members are lovely and the food and coffee is great the service can be average at the best of times.

My frustration boils over every single time, as I watch to see how long it takes to be served (no matter how busy, or quiet). This morning, as my waiting time (on a quiet morning) clicked into its 7th minute I got up from my laptop (which I had been working at) to order from the counter. The server’s response to my question of whether it would be possible to make an order for some breakfast… “would you like that to take away…?”

 

How do my coffee shop frustrations relate to standards and what are standards anyway?

 

Last weekend, I was in a sales training room and as any quality trainer will do, they defined the standards, (or minimum expectations) from us while we were in the training. This was a repeat session and the bar was set significantly higher than the previous training I attended because of the standards discussion. As a result, I was challenged. I learnt more and I grew more because they encouraged me to get more out of the training. The standards set a quality benchmark of what was expected of me and the room and it not only served me and my development, but it served every single person in attendance. If you raise your standards, you raise the quality of your life.

 

So how does this relate to the cafe and, more importantly your business?

 

If the standard of customer service for the café was to engage and greet the customer as soon as they arrived, then I wouldn’t have this article, for starters. The unwritten rule that underpins this organisation’s service is ‘The customer matters…. but only when you remember they exist.’ If however the rules were defined, and they stated: the customer matters and they are to be served water and offered a drink within 1 minute of sitting down, followed by taking their food order and when they have finished their meal they are to be offered more drinks, imaging how different my experience would be? Not only that, imagine how much more money they would be making, as they turn over tables quicker, upsell, and don’t have customers walking out, frustrated because they can’t get served.

The benefit of having standards (more importantly, high standards), is that it not only sets you and your business apart from the crowd, but it also raises the quality of the people that you attract into your business and even better, your life.

Tony Robbins says ‘If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviours and attitudes or quality of life that is far below what you deserve.’

So, knowing all this, what do you now do with it? How do you raise your standards in the context of your business?

The first question to ask is:

·        What is the baseline standard for how you want your organisation to perform in each area?

Then consider a definitive problem and ask yourself these questions:

·        What do you want your organisation to achieve?

·        What’s the purpose of that?

·        Where could we do better to achieve it?

·        What are the behaviours / attitudes / beliefs that you and your team need to have to achieve that?

·        What are the behaviours / attitudes / beliefs that you will no longer accept?

·        What are the expectations of myself to achieve this, and what are the expectations of others?

 

Consider how you will implement new standards into your business:

·        How will you communicate it for best effectiveness?

·        Who will be responsible for calling team members to account if the standard drops?

·        What are the rewards for adhering to this new standard?

·        What are the repercussions for not adhering to the standard?

 

Finally, iterate:

·        Did the standard achieve what we were seeking to achieve?

·        What happened? What was positive / what could be improved?

·        How are we going to improve it?

 

Then start again from the beginning, in a cycle of consistent improvement.

So where does this leave me with my little café and their tasty BLEAT? It’s likely I’m going to have a quiet chat with the owner and share with them this article.

 

I will keep you posted! 😃

 

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