This past weekend I had the chance to visit with my mother and now deceased aunt in Rhode Island. Amy, the kids, and myself found ourselves having breakfast at the Classic Café and talk about a name being perfect for a restaurant.
What makes a café classic?
We walked in and were greeted by vintage signs and pictures hung on the walls. The tables had that classic dinner look to them down to the chrome siding. We were immediately greeted by a smiling hostess. Classic. She had a friendly, warm greeting and personality and our reaction was we made the right decision not eating in the hotel. We were seated with menus and waters were brought to the table along with her requesting what else we would like to drink. Classic. The waitress shortly reappeared again smiling, answering questions we had regarding the menu, and provided her opinion as to what was good and what to avoid and why. Classic. We had a classic breakfast consisting of bacon, eggs, pancakes, and French toast which were brought to the table within ten minutes of ordering our meals. Classic. Refills on all drinks and a request for anything else was made on a regular basis again by a smiling waitress, and when the meal was over the dishes were gathered and the bill brought. The receipt was brought back in short order again by a smiling waitress and a “have a good rest of the day and hope you enjoyed yourselves.” Classic.
As I sat there enjoying the classic breakfast at the Classic Café I couldn’t help think how this applies to my practice. What today we view as classic should actually be the things we demand as acceptable and mainstream not vintage. Customer service with a smile, treating others as you want to be treated, and problem solving in an efficient and timely manner should be the norm not the exception. Although from a purely selfish point of view, I am thrilled that more attorneys don’t treat their clients that way; it’s one of the many reasons why I am successful. I can’t think of a single client who doesn’t want their problems resolved in an efficient way with expert advice provided to them with a smile in a way which is understandable to them and provided effectively in essence resolving their problems. Seems that the ever increasing use and reliance on technology and the “new ways” to do things aren’t working and what is getting lost in the shuffle are the basics: “the classics.” I continually and secretly root for more attorneys to embrace these “new ideas” because, as Dan Kennedy is so quick to point out, look around, see what everyone is doing, and do the opposite. It is the key to success. I will continue to remain classic, vintage, and until I hear a customer complain that I shouldn’t have returned their call so quickly, or should sound less happy on the phone, I will simply stay with treating people as I want to be treated and making every occasion a great occasion as my core customer service philosophy. I believe it to be the true secret of what people are looking for. Classic.