Warning: Possible TMI Alert (Too Much Information)
A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a coffee with my buddy, Dan MacDonald*. He recommended a great little coffee shop on The Danforth, Niche. (Which for you almost-English-speaking Americans is pronounced Neesh, not Nitch.) It was late in the afternoon, and I had probably had my fill of coffee – but the smell of their dark roast was too much to resist. And their pastries broke down my feeble defenses.
Now, I’m not supposed to have wheat at the best of times. Food allergies are part of my reality. And the effect of the coffee and pastry gave me need of Niche’s facilities – ahh…their bathroom/washroom/toilet – depending upon where you are from (or where you are to, if you are Newfoundlander.). I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had two bathrooms (in a coffee shop about the size of your average Starbuck’s) which were unisex. And the bathrooms were attractive and clean. A pleasant experience which I commented on to the owner as we were leaving. I told her how much I liked her Coffee Shop, complimented her on the coffee and food – and then added how much I appreciated their “facilities.” She responded immediately to the bathroom comment. “You don’t know how much I appreciate your compliment. We worked hard to make our bathrooms both functional and attractive. We are concerned about our clients’ comfort.”
Jackie Huba, at Church of the Customer, is blogging about The Great Bathroom Blogfest which prompted my post.
It’s all part of Bathroom Blogfest. Stephanie Weaver, a consultant and author of the upcoming Visitor Experience Handbook, and Susan Abbott, a consumer researcher in Toronto, came up with the idea so that companies will pay more attention to a common — but often neglected — component of the customer experience.
Tom Peters is constantly reminding his readers about the Boomer market – its size and wealth. Those of us in that market find that we have more need of bathroom facilities than we might have when we were younger. That need often determines where we go shopping. Smart retailers make a point of having clean, attractive and available facilities.
I will take friends to Niche because the food is good, the coffee fantastic and the environment both attractive and comfortable. But I’ll also return because the owners are concerned about all aspects of client comfort.
Make a point of reading Susan Abbott’s multiple posts on this topic in light of Customer Experience.
*Dan MacDonald is the pastor of Grace Toronto Church. He’s a wonderful guy and a passionate and effective church leader. If you find yourself looking for a faith community – and especially if you have lots of questions – Grace would be a good place to check out.