Nowadays with the world quickly moving towards digital platforms why are services still so pertinent? Why do we still shop in stores? And why do we go out of our way to engage with them despite additional costs?
It’s simple, we all love being looked after. It ties together what can be a mundane activity into an exceptional well-rounded product. By adding service to a product, it makes you feel that little bit more special – and when done well, that feeling can be priceless.
Just think about it. You can make a coffee at home with Nescafe… a product in the simplest form. But what pushes a coffee that one step further (to justify spending that $4) is the service that is behind it. Like my boss said to me “a coffee always tastes better when someone else makes it”. That’s what services can do.
That contact with someone can make your day that little bit better, and let’s not forget not having to clean up is always a bonus! But while it is normally value-adding, the quality of the service can either make or break a consumer’s connection to a brand.
As social media has expanded so has consumer’s ability to engage in public discourse about the quality of a brands service. This means the implications of BAD service is growing at an exponential rate.
Consistency for any brand regardless of being a product or service is key. Period. As services are intangible and are often variable, building positive brand equity is imperative to lessen the impact of these factors.
But how is this done? Who does it well?
This week, we take our daily coffee fix experience and look at what makes Biginelli’s at CBE our go-to service.
When analysing such an integral part of our lifestyles, we notice these points of parity (and the implication of substitution for brands when they fall short). Service is not just what is said and done by employees. We must look beyond this to discover how Biginelli’s ensures their service is the number one coffee choice on campus.
The location, customer service, and atmosphere are three key characteristics that influence our judgments and feelings towards the service. Keeping those things that we hold dearest constant is fundamental in guaranteeing that the customer always leaves having had a positive experience with the brand (ensuring that they keep coming back for more).
Let’s take these factors and look at the points of parity this coffee shop has, in light of others around campus.
Okay, this is the easiest element for a brand to keep consistent. Pick a place that your target market circulates and 8/10 times (give or take) the convenience already makes the service seem worthwhile (all you need to do it is provide good employees).
Located right in the heart of the CBE building where most of our classes are held, its surroundings provide an ample variety of desk space and couches (when there’s no one napping) for study. The location is perfect for us and Biginelli’s establishes place utility value perfectly.
Coffee Grounds and Gods cafe are located next to ANU Sport and Union Court (i.e. VERY accessible) however, they can often get quite busy with hoards of people walking to and fro. The CBE building lies on the outskirt of campus, providing a sense of calmness to customers.
What makes the best kind of brand experience, is personalisation. Nothing makes you feel more special than having your barista know your name and order (especially when coupled with a friendly smile). It is that little bit extra that makes spending that $4 worth it.
The laid back attitude at Biginielli’s provides value to customers through form utility, where we feel a sense of ownership in the service – this is our space to use and enjoy. While some may see the absence of table service as a negative, for us it means that we are able to find a table, sit down and order at our leisure with no pressure to order or to drink and leave.
The high ceiling and windowed wall create an open space to the cafe, creating a bright and positive atmosphere (what more could busy uni students want). This sense of relaxation is enhanced through the soft music (perfect for maintaining concentration). However, the use of light and music would be nothing without the feeling of community that the circular lounges offer. That experience makes our day at uni that little bit less lonely.
To say the least, space and place is where Biginelli’s excels (as opposed to the dark, grungy and at times claustrophobic space of God’s and Coffee Grounds).
It is clear that service goes beyond what is said and done.
Even though we love Biginelli’s, there is always room for improvement – the barista’s personable nature while ideal 99% of the time, during rush hour can be the route of problems. Coffee orders have been mixed up due to the ordering system’s relaxed structure (and too many niceties).
When it comes down to maintaining their great service, acting on customer feedback, training staff well (something they clearly do well) and keeping that smile on our faces – well, there is a reason that they keep us coming back.