Small business customer service to write home about

Nothing is better than small business customer service that makes you feel like one million bucks. Especially when you’re not feeling so great.

I have never been a fan of the “just add water” society. By this I mean people who chase and adore watching reality TV as a means for making a success or who believe because they have not been given the life they want they have something to cry about.

For this reason, I cannot stand shows like ‘Today Tonight’ or ‘A Current Affair’ as their cheque book style journalism promotes the right to complain about frivolous things, see danger at every turn and the permeation of the fear, anger and the gimme, gimmes.

But the worst side effect I think which creeps in through the “just add water” society is people are getting blind to the opportunities around them. If you focus on the bad spot in the middle, how else are you going to see anything else around them?

Here’s how a little small business customer service magic turned around my entire week completely by accident

The other week. I was skint (which is the case with most freelancers, at least in the first couple of months) and I shattered my inherited Bodum Coffee Press. You have to understand, being someone who works up to 12 hours a day in order to keep both commercial and creative production going, as well as someone whose trying to save money yet loathes instant coffee, that coffee press breaking was pretty gutting.

But beyond the initial annoyance at myself, I picked up my boot laces and went down to the local coffee shop with my partner. He surprised me with a fist full of twenty cent pieces to buy a coffee and shake the day off.

I was stressed about money, annoyed about the coffee pot and was wondering if the hundredth time if I had made the right choice to go out on my own. But a bit of sunshine with a coffee and a laugh was a great remedy. What happened next was a bloody awesome bonus.

“Do you know Angus and Julia Stone?” asked my barista.

“Not personally, no,” I had mentioned I sometimes work with musicians before and figured that must be why he would be asking me this question. Or that it was some weird mistaken identity thing.

“But do you like them?” he persisted.

“Well, yeah I guess. I like a lot of music and they are pretty good,” I am still pretty vague on where this is going and in truth, don’t own a single Angus and Julia Stone CD.

“I got given two free tickets to tonight at the Enmore but can’t go.  I have tried to give them away a couple of times but nobody wants them. Would you go?”

How is that for small business customer service? Talk about rewarding loyalty!

He didn’t need to ask twice. As avid music fans, we took the tickets, had an awesome time and are now fans of Angus and Julia Stone as well as random acts of coffee related kindness. But not just because we scored to tickets to a sold out show that were worth $60 a pop, though it is nice to have that as a side effect.

I am learning through sweating bullets about whether I will be paid in time to make the rent, or when days when I don’t have direct tasks I need to apply myself and create work for myself to take the sting out of the stress associated with thinking too much.

There is a lot of life that requires ordered thinking, planning and work, but not all things go to plan all the time and sometimes what sprouts out from the cracks can be very rewarding.

What makes it better is how you respond. I am lucky because I work with some very awesome clients and people and has a partner who doesn’t mind buying the dog food or chicken dinners when times are lean. But I have certainly learnt in the last six months of doing this full time that the best things happen accidentally.

Oh, and if you ever want a seriously good coffee from an awesome barista, check out The First Drop Cafe on Baptist st, Redfern.

Want to talk about how to make your small business customer service shine? Get in touch! 


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