Café quill: getting to know you, getting to know us

Café quill: getting to know you, getting to know us

I love cafés. They are your getaway—a place to chat, read or socialize in an informal space. What Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, calls the “third place”. It helps that I love coffee too—my order is a doppio espresso con panna, shots on top, or, in plain English, 2 shots of espresso with whipped cream.

This café is a place for us to dialogue with you, the customer, about things that matter to you.

I’ll start the conversation with a story about businesses, their customers, and how sometimes your best customers don’t really know all you can do for them.

Earlier this spring, in a ritual too common to all of us, I gathered my tax papers, receipts and donation stubs and headed to my accountant’s office. Let’s call him Bob (actually, that is his name). I walked in around 9 p.m. (not unusual for an accountant in peak season), and made my way through the office. I was delighted to see 8 cases of our finest copy paper in a corner, but as I passed the break room, I was dismayed to see a mega canister of coffee from a club store and trash liners from a supercenter a few miles down the road.

As I handed over my stash of papers to Bob, I asked him why he was going out to buy coffee and liners in the middle of his busiest season when could deliver these items to his office for free the next day. Bob said he didn’t know we sold these items; he only thought of us for the typical office supplies (paper, toner and Post-its).

When I came back to pick up my tax returns, I brought him a facilities and break room catalog to help him order ALL the supplies his business needed. I glanced at my tax return, sized what I owed, and realized that accountants should also consider adding these to their offices.

Chances are good that your customers are not taking advantage of all you can do for them, just like Bob. Visit them, talk to them and find where the gaps are. Here at, we are working hard to make sure our customers know we can do more for them.

I encourage you to read more in Café Quill and let us know your thoughts in the comments. Or you can tell a friend or colleague about Café Quill on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or via email.