Specialty Departments: Café
“Scorching” Up Our Café Business
Erika Chandler, barista
At the Aurora, CO, store, they call Barista Erika Chandler “Scorch” because she always burns herself on the steam wand. But it’s the three-year café server’s extraordinary customer service that is heating up sales. Erika shares her secrets:
What do you think is the most important skill/trait for a barista to have?
Erika: Speed and a smile! Speed is key. Getting the customer served quickly to help them start their day off right (or a pick-me-up mid-day). And the smile delivers it like “sunshine in a cup.”
What do you do to ensure you deliver Barnes & Noble's four core service principles (i.e., put the book in the customer's hand, offer to order, offer the Member program and fast cashiering)?
Erika: I greet every customer with a big smile. I get their order out as quickly as possible, and do everything I can to make sure they are getting exactly what they want and exactly how they want it.
I also always ask if they are a Barnes & Noble Member since a lot of our customers don't realize we can take their Member card. If they don't have one, I talk up the program. We have lots of regulars, so we must be doing something right!
What motivates you to provide excellent customer service?
Erika: I want to represent the company well, but most important is the self-satisfaction I receive when I do a good job.
What is your favorite customer moment?
Erika: When customers take a sip of their drink and they say, “That tastes great!”
What’s your favorite Café drink?
Erika: The Marble Mocha Macchiato. It's me in a cup!
What advice do you have for others who want to work in the Café?
Erika: Being able to multi-task enables you to succeed at giving great customer service.