A Virginia store convinced its clientele to be more respectful and considerate of others by rewarding good behavior with significant savings.
Cups Coffee and Tea became the talk of the nation after offering customer discounts of up to 65 percent simply for speaking more politely to employees.
The small business set up an a-frame sandwich board that listed different pricing for different ways of ordering the same cup of coffee in Roanoke, 166 miles west of Richmond.
Customers who only stated the quantity and size of the coffee have to pay $5. However, anybody who added the word “please” was immediately offered a 40 percent discount to just $3.
Likewise, people who greeted employees and used the word “please” would receive 65 percent off and only pay $1.75, according to a photo of the board shared on social media.
“The sign that went viral,” the business said on Instagram.
Barista Austin Simms came up with the innovative idea in 2016 because he was tired of some customers behaving rudely to his coworkers. Often they would rush into the coffee shop and say, “Coffee” or just, “Pour me a cup, mate.”
Simms revealed the worst customers were not only rude to staff but also to the business owners. They would exhibit no fear of the potential consequences and seemed to treat others with contempt for the pettiest motives, or even for no reason at all.
The young man enjoyed his job because it made many customers happy and confessed he was a firm believer in making customer satisfaction a high priority.
He decided positive reinforcement would be the best approach to educate rude customers without compromising on the ‘customer is always right’ motto.
The strategy paid off as the discount offer quickly became an internet sensation. News spread across the United States and even reached the United Kingdom within a few days.
“I decided because I need to solve all the injustices of the world to start charging more for people who did not take the time to say hello and connect, and realize we are all people behind the counter,” Simms said according to WDBJ7.
Although some might conclude consumers only spoke more politely to receive the lowest possible price, the strategy still served its purpose.
If customers become used to asking politely for coffee, there is also a chance this courteous behavior could translate to other purchases even after the discount offer has ended.
Being friendly, kind, and respectful towards others costs nothing. It helps people bond, love, and share happiness. Simms would agree these are traits our world desperately needs, especially during the pandemic.
Another cup of joe, anyone?