This guy (Jon Taffer, Mr. Bar Reacue himself) spoke at the IPCPR conference's opening meeting this morning.
He talked (in that enthusiastic way people like him do and that makes people like me need more caffeine to keep up) about something near and dear to our hearts: customer service, specifically developing relationships and making people feel special vs. treating customers like transactions.*
I've long said that if you make people feel special, even something as simple as telling them you dig their groovy outfit or appreciate their sparkly watch, you've made a lasting impression and you're probably on your way to friendship.
Even as a professor, whereby I profess (silently) that their writing sucks, I still try to make each student feel like they matter. (Sometimes this is impossible, like when they never come to class or come but don't look up from their phones, but I TRY!)
One of our biggest gripes when Valentino and I visit a cigar shop is when we're ignored or treated like a burden. Yes, they're getting an emotional reaction--just not a good one.
Oh, also? We don't go back to that shop willingly or happily if our next visit results in the same reaction. (Once can be a fluke or bad day; twice is the beginning of a pattern.)
So while the breakfast meeting's eggs were cold (because I'm the world's slowest eater), the getting up early after a long night was worth it--especially in light of something so so so super cool that were working on.
I hope many of the folks in the audience take everything he said to heart, although I doubt they will. That's fine. All the better for us!
*This is very interesting because the FDA says after August 8, shop owners can't give a customer a free cigar just for being awesome, but they CAN if it's tied to a transaction (like buy 4, get one free).
PS: Still working on my phone, usually in a bar, where the letters are small and the eyes are blurry. So please forgive errors of both typographical and logic natures. Thanks!!