Above and Beyond

We’ve had an eventful few days around here. Last Thursday at 10 am the hard-working espresso machine at The Daily Grind finally gave out. We bought it at least seven years ago and maybe more; it owed us nothing. But we now faced a dilemma – how to replace it on short notice. After all, a cappuccino bar without the ability to make cappuccino does not attract many customers.

You can’t buy a commercial espresso machine at the corner store. When we bought our last one, it took over two weeks to find the one we wanted and have it shipped to Maple Creek. At that time, we knew we needed a new machine soon and had the time to get it. This time we needed it yesterday.

Fratello Analog Café at the Calgary Farmers Market

Fratello Analog Café at the Calgary Farmers Market

I started phoning around. The funny thing about summer is that everyone is on holidays. Still, the people on the front desks of the businesses I phoned were good about giving out cell numbers, and I eventually got to talk to Joel at Fratello Coffee Roasters in Calgary. Whenever we are in Calgary we make a point of stopping at the Calgary Farmers Market for a great Fratello cappuccino, so I knew I was talking to someone who knows coffee and coffee makers.

What a delight it was to do business with this company and with Joel specifically! By 5:30 Friday afternoon we had a new Nuova Simonelli double-group machine on our counter, and by Saturday morning we were once again making great espresso. We did have to drive to Calgary Friday to pick it up but Fratello had one for us and we were impressed with some of the best customer service we have experienced recently.

I always look for the lesson in experiences. This one is pretty simple. Going above and beyond in business makes all the difference to customers. We are now return customers for life, and will spread the word about their service as well.

So how can I apply this to my businesses? I’ll start by telling my team the details of my Fratello experience and then ask them how we can go the extra mile ourselves. We know it’s all about the experience, so how can we make that experience more meaningful and meet our customers’ needs better?

It’s a conversation I am looking forward to.