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Quality At San Diego Breweries

Quality in Brewing

Last October in West Coaster, Stone Brewing Company’s brewmaster Mitch Steele wrote about quality in the San Diego craft beer industry. In that article, Steele’s discussion about quality focused on beer, and how the new breweries need to strive for quality when brewing.

Why does brewing quality beer matter? Because as Steele says in the article, “The craft beer industry is now a major factor in overall beer consumption. Big brewers are starting to really focus on craft beer, and they have the marketing power to exploit poor quality beer and generalize that across the entire craft beer scene.”

Quality in Customer Service

Steele is right about quality when brewing craft beers, especially here in San Diego. However, there is another kind of quality that craft brewers need to strive for: quality customer service.

Just as quality beer is the lifeblood of a brewery’s business, so is quality customer service. Breweries can brew quality beer all they want, but unless they provide good customer service and keep beer lovers coming back, their brewery business won’t be profitable for very long.

Quality customer service at a brewery is like any business; it’s all about bringing customers back. It’s also about sending them off happy enough to spread positive comments about the brewery to others, who may also become repeat customers. Quality customer service is forming relationships with customers and making sure those customers feel like continuing that relationship.

Recently, I learned of a craft brewery in San Diego County that is not concerned with basic customer service, let alone quality service. An interesting thread about this issue developed at Beer Advocate which you can review here. A quick review of many, many comments about poor customer service posted on Yelp also indicates it is a growing trend for this particular brewery, despite their having quality beer. Remember “The Soup Nazi” episode on Seinfeld? Making great beer does not make up for poor customer service!

So, here is a little secret about quality customer service from Business 101 craft brewery owners in San Diego County (and elsewhere) need to understand and remember: You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.

If you want to have quality customer service, all you have to do is make sure your brewery and its employees does these things all the time:

  • Answer the phone with a smile
  • Greet customers with a welcoming smile
  • Listen to your customers, even if you don’t like what you hear
  • Deal with complaints
  • Be helpful to customers
  • Go the extra step in making customers happy
  • Add something extra for your customers
  • The quality of your service will never surpass the quality of those who provide it.

Here is what Starbucks trains all of its employees to do in order to provide quality customer service:

  • Be welcoming
  • Be genuine
  • Be considerate
  • Be knowledgeable
  • Be involved

Besides brewing quality coffee, Starbucks provides quality customer service. To stay in business and be successful, craft beer breweries in San Diego need to do the same.


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