Are you earning too much money?

If you're an investment banker then I suspect you probably are. But for the rest of us I'm sure the answer is a resounding NO.

So we agree that you're earning just enough money (if there is such a thing). And when you finally get your hands on this hard-earned cash, what do you do with it? Generally it's used to pay the essential bills and get the basic things we need to keep us going until we are left with a little bit (hopefully) at the end that we can call our own. This is the bit I want to think about for a minute.

When you spend that money on say, a coffee or a sandwich or perhaps a beauty product in the sales, how do you expect to be treated by the person serving you? To be miserable, grumpy and rude? I don't think so. We want to be smiled at and spoken with. We want them to make us feel special. We want to feel that our custom counts for something. We want to be appreciated (not to be confused with just thanked). In an ideal world we want it to be a rich and warm experience.

Is this how we treat our customers who come in to spend their hard-earned money in our business. Do we make the effort to genuinely smile (even on the phone, it shows), or say a few words of chitchat beyond a mere 'can I help', or go that little extra and offer to bring it to the table or carry it to the door? These are the so-called 'little things' that count really big in turning that mundane transaction into a rewarding customer experience that might encourage a return visit. And paradoxically the experience can be as rewarding for us too.

One final point: Just think how much would it cost to buy an uplifting experience like that. Although great service is expected as part of our customer's purchase, how we deliver that service, for better or worse, remains something we give away for free. In the case of an exuberant, outgoing and talented Barista, it might just be the price of a coffee.