I was sat in Costa Coffee on Oxford Road in Manchester this morning and it created an extremely thought-provoking experience. Having been in a meeting nearby, myself and colleague Heather, decided to go and have a brew to catch up on a few things that needed to be sorted for next week……..
Within the space of 5 minutes a queue of 30 people deep developed, an orderly line leading out on the street. With only two people serving – who I must admit were doing a fantastic job – an amazing buzz was maintained in the cafe, no one moaning or grumbling. Many of these customers had been waiting for over 15 minutes for a take away coffee without complaint. Under normal circumstances most people would have walked out but they just waited with amazing patience.
Popular brands can withstand challenges because they act as a magnet to others and create a customer experience that breeds loyal followers. There was a spirit about the place that combined – great location, sound employees, quality product and a physical environment that pulled people through the door. At the end of the day those waiting could have gone 100 yards up the road and purchased their breakfast without the painful wait – but the power of the brand and the experience acted as a form of gravitational pull to Costa fans. I got the feeling that there was no other place to go when the reality was other options did exist.
A great customer experience is enhanced by a fantastic brand, a lesson for all growth wish entrepreneurs who want themselves and their business to stand out from the ground.