Customer Service – finding that Holy Grail?

My experience of customer service pretty much goes like this, at best being treated like a mild inconvenience to be tolerated or pure and utter disdain akin to something scraped off one’s shoe.
So not expecting anything more than the usual poor customer service experience, I popped into the newly revamped Prestat coffee shop recently off Sloane Sq, for a chat with my friend Dawn. Being used to being ignored or barked at I did get quite a fright when the staff in Prestat smiled at me, greeted me, and actually made a bit of a fuss of me – were we actually experiencing that rare thing – decent customer service?.
So we all got talking (me, Dawn and the staff that is, the manager in particular) about the newly revamped coffee shop, chocolate (salted caramel truffles in fact), himself – Antonio from Italy, customer service (It had to be said), customers (good bad and the ugly).
Antonio praised the company, the product, he clearly loved his job and it was genuine, you cannot fake that level of enthusiasm.
Antonio and his team could not do enough for us and it showed, it showed in the atmosphere, in the conversations people in the shop were having, it was relaxing, convivial and made me want to go back, which I will and often. The Prestat team made us feel special, now that is one heck of a customer service experience.
Doing what I do, where a lot of time, effort and money is spent on a) recruiting staff b) then dealing with bad behaviour c) trying to motivate employees to do their job and provide good customer service regardless of the profession d) train them to do a good job.
I tried to figure out that pesky Holy Grail question that Prestat seems to have managed, is it pure good luck, is it recruitment, training, good product, good company, autonomy or a combination of all of the above, Prestat appears to have a good sense of itself, has been going for over a 100 years (started as a coffee shop in Oxford St before moving into chocolate) and has a royal warrant so if its good enough for her Majesty and all that.
I’m going back this week to find out more ………………………………….
186 Pavilion Road, SW3 (across from Peter Jones)