When small motions create stellar customer service

I’m back from the Coffee Champs Qualifiers in Knoxville and I’m excited to share some new writing and interesting links with you.

✍️ Thoughts 📸

During my last visit to Chicago, I went with two other people to Au Cheval for a burger. It was the usual two-hour wait and we made sure to fill up a little while waiting. Hangry Jenn is no fun. The part that stood out to me the most was the moment I ordered my food.

I ordered a double cheeseburger (which is actually three patties for an overall six inches of burger height), chopped chicken liver with toast, and a crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy. That’s one appetizer and two main dishes.

The server took my order down without batting an eye, turned to my boyfriend, and asked him, “And what would you like today?”

This 10-second exchange won me over.

There was no assumption here that I was sharing with anyone (truthfully, these were going to be shared plates), no condescending suggestion that perhaps I should order less, and no questioning eyebrow raise at what was undoubtedly a large portion size.

I remember this exchange vividly and have been ruminating on it for a while. Why is it that it stood out so much in my mind?

The gap between decent customer service and stellar customer service is small. We expect poor service, setting the bar low after one-too-many frustrating calls to the cable company.

So when decent service comes along, like the barista smiling at you and asking how your day went, you’re pleased about it. But when the barista remembers your order and has it started before you even utter the words, you’re ecstatic.

I don’t think it takes much to elevate that customer service experience.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Kick-Ass Customer Service,” the authors identified seven types of customer service representatives. The two they focused on the most were the Controller (outspoken, opinionated, assertive in directing the customer service experience) and the Empathizer (seeks to understand behavior, listens sympathetically).

You would think that the Empathizer would have the most successful interactions, but instead, the Controller won out of all seven types. They ended up taking charge and guiding the customers to a suitable solution. Turns out, customers want direct communication with tangible results. It doesn’t mean you throw empathy out the window.

All the server did was write down and confirm my order. He was pleasant and efficient. He said much more by not saying anything at all.

💁 Social Media👨‍💻

Complete Guide to Social Media for Restaurants & Bars

Written by me – a huge guide for how to use social media as a restaurant or bar (or cafe!).

Bringing Business Insights and Ads to Stories

The momentum for stories from businesses is clear, so today we’re unveiling tools that inform ephemeral interaction between people and businesses—stories insights in Business Tools, and full screen ads in stories.

How to Handle Social Media in a Crisis #semrushchat

Crisis = brand has negative responses due to a post or story that is spinning out of your control. This piece highlights examples of crises & how to plan for them.

💻 Digital Strategy 📤

A Content Strategy Starter Kit for Marketers

I recommend starting with three tools as your content strategy “starter kit,” in this order:

1. Message architecture2. Content inventory and audit3. Content brief

8 Techniques That Helped Me Improve My Writing During Ten Years of Blogging

A long-form piece that thoroughly details ways to help you write better - especially useful for those of you writing your own blog posts!

How to Create Authentic Hyperlocal Content At Scale

Creating local content is hard enough, but when you’re a nationally based business, it seems impossible. The key? Discovering and utilizing local content creators.

Kick-Ass Customer Service

Consumers want results—not sympathy. “Consciously or not, Controllers deliver what information-saturated customers want (according to the research): clear guidance instead of excessive choice.”

Successful people use these techniques to speak up for themselves—and stay likable

“On average, women make less ambitious offers and get worse outcomes than men at the bargaining table. But Hannah Riley Bowles and Emily Amanatullah have discovered there’s one situation where women get the same outcomes as men and are just as ambitious: That’s when they advocate for others. When they advocate for others, they discover their own range and expand it in their own mind. They become more assertive. This is sometimes called “the mama bear effect.” Like a mama bear defending her cubs, when we advocate for others, we can discover our own voice.”

On barista competitions, from an employer’s perspective.

“Which brings me back to competitions. I guess it raises a question for me: Employers, which part do barista competitions most fit into for you: coffee, business, or people?”

🌱Plant Update 🍃

This heart leaf philodendron crawls down my bookshelf and also around this light fixture. I love its vining capabilities and its seemingly casual resistance to getting killed.
This heart leaf philodendron crawls down my bookshelf and also around this light fixture. I love its vining capabilities and its seemingly casual resistance to getting killed.