Everyone uses their phones for everything—and there’s an app for every service under the sun. Klatch Coffee decided to get in on the app game, launching their own ordering app. In the process, they discovered they were able to improve customer interactions and speed up service.
BY QUINTAN VALLES
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
Photos courtesy of Klatch Coffee
Just take a look inside any coffee shop and you will see everyone from millennials to baby boomers glued to their phones, using them for as many facets of daily life as possible. We love our phones because of the way that apps and other features make our lives easier and more efficient—and those are also two reasons why we love coffee! With many bigger coffee shops utilizing this relationship between tech and coffee to allow easier ways to order and pay, Klatch Coffee Roasting in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., decided it was time to get in on the action and create their own app.
Barista champ and Klatch team member Heather Perry explains the huge role that tech plays in the lives of today’s coffee drinkers, and how Klatch made a big push to produce this app. “It’s not just a convenience thing. It’s also, for specialty coffee in particular, a big part of the demographic that we are serving,” she says. “In specialty coffee you meet people from all over the spectrum, but we clearly have a younger demographic of coffee consumers with millennials than previous generations. … When you look at what your customers are wanting, then you have to be willing to meet them where they are, so that was a big reason for us to stick to the app.”
Now go ahead and get your phone out, download the app, and check this thing out. The style is clean, simple, and visually appealing. There are stunning photos of Klatch products to backdrop your display screen and whet your appetite for some tasty coffee. The main screen features your debit/credit card balance, loyalty points, and transaction history, as well as an order-ahead tile so you can skip the dreaded line. The app also helps you find the nearest Klatch location and keep you updated on the latest Klatch news via the Klatch Instagram feed.
This app has improved business for Klatch and has also improved the customer experience—not by making people leave the store faster, but rather, by saving them time and allowing for a more meaningful interaction. As Heather explains, “We had a speed-of-service issue lately; it’s not due to a lack of hustle, but we like to engage with our customers.” She continues, “When you’re at the register, we’re having a conversation with you, whether it’s talking about how your life is going or what’s new on the menu. … That’s really important to us, but it has resulted in a line that does not move quickly.”
So rather than changing the way that they interact with customers, Klatch found that providing customers with a way to order ahead and skip the line actually enhanced their experience and created new opportunities for genuine interactions. “The mobile ordering has been really successful for us. We have customers who will do the mobile ordering and then they come in, grab their drink, and end up talking with the barista for a few minutes because they didn’t have to spend their time in line,” Heather says. “So it hasn’t taken away anything that customers love about Klatch; it’s just given them a different way to interact with Klatch.”
Now, apps are not all fun and games—they can be moody at times, and the source of a great amount of frustration. “People have very high expectations of how apps should work,” says Heather. “For any business thinking about getting into it, it’s an investment in money and time, and when people see apps, they expect quality.” So if you want to reap the many benefits of having an app for your store and engage with customers via their cellphones, be sure to take your time and create something that will bring you results, not grief.
When executed successfully as Klatch has done, an app allows more customers to engage with a company in a new way. “One of the things that I like about the app,” explains Heather, “is that it has our Instagram and all of our social on it. So I think it’s great for customers who are not engaging with us on every end so they get to see things that they wouldn’t normally get to see. It’s nice to get the latest Klatch news on a totally different format.”
So whether you’re a tech guru who couldn’t wait for specialty coffee to get up to date, or you’re an app novice who has yet to paddle the waters of store apps, give this one a quick download. You just might find that your next visit to Klatch is for the coffee and the conversation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Quintan Valles is a freelance writer based in Southern California. He is also a relationship builder for Wild Goose Coffee Roasters and a coffee blogger. Quintan enjoys playing the guitar and maintaining an active lifestyle. His favorite part about working in the coffee industry is hearing the stories of the people who make up coffee culture—and, of course, the occasional gibraltar.