Jan 262013

What is the lifetime value of a customer is a mantra often repeated by businesses who do get it. Treat the customer right and you have a customer for life. Now obviously we are not talking about certain businesses where the purchase will always be a one off but even then treat the customer well is a given. Isn’t it?

Well maybe not in Spain and just to prove this I am going to mark the anniversary of the first event with this little blog post and then tell you why it continues to this day and then even give you an example of someone who does it right.

Waiters in Valencia can be a surly bunch at the best of times but they are usually not downright rude and unhelpful (ok maybe they are sometimes) at times though they just take my breath away.

Exhibit One

I know it is the anniversary of this particular event because I had this experience during Campus Party last year and the latest Campus Party in Valencia was last week.

I was meeting up with a bunch of friends with my wife in Valencia. We arrived late because of “gettingkidsinbeditis” and when we got there nine people had Mojitos on the table. The waiter was already there and asked what we wanted. Obviously the social proof was strong so we asked for two Mojitos. The answer?

“Jo, ¡haberlo dicho antes!” (meaning “F*ckin h*ll you could have told me earlier!”) Argument ensued whereby he insisted that if anyone else wanted another we should ask for it now.

Let’s do the maths here. Five Euros per Mojito multiplied by a lot of people quite happy to sit around and repeat for a couple of hours makes a very happy bar owner. We left after we finished our first Mojitos and went on to another place.

Exhibit Two

A couple of weeks ago I was due to meet up with some friends for a going away drink, someone going back to the UK. I arrived late because of the same affliction as I mentioned earlier (;-)) Already there were seven people there and the table showed a good smattering of empty San Miguel bottles. I would estimate around 28. There was an offer on at the place for take away pizzas, two for the price of one.

We asked if the offer applied to “eat outside on their tables” pizzas.


We said if they gave us 6 for the price of 4 we would promise to stay for the rest of the night drinking, they already had the proof we were serious about having a few drinks.


Apparently the owners wouldn’t let them. Not that the owners were there and would have ever found out and not that the pizzas would have been any different. They refused to call the owners and ask!

We offered to get take away pizza and take it away to another table (I know cheeky)


We left. This place in the picture.

Balzac Lounge Valencia

Balzac Lounge Valencia

We went to a Chinese restaurant just 200 yards away and spent about 120 euros, which is an achievement in a Chinese in Valencia, you cannot imagine how much you have to eat to spend 120 Euros, however it was bumped up somewhat by the drinks.

Now I know that the waiters in these cases did not own the bar. However there is something that the bosses should have battered into their heads when “training” them.

If you can bring money into the business do it.”

Equally you should also tell them that if you are going to spend money over a certain amount, ask but that is by the by!

Now how do you do it right?

Yesterday I was with some clients in Valencia and we went to a Cuban bar/restaurant in calle Cerrajeros, Babalú. The waiter who served us was Albanian, had lived in the UK, spoke English, Spanish and various others to clients, engaged with everyone and brought extra olives because he saw we had liked the first lot etc… He chatted and created rapport of course. Will we be going back? You bet. In fact I already have done so. Now depending on how many years I am in Valencia from now taking clients there for a drink and food, what value has he earned for the boss?

Think about it in your business and life and how you can apply it.

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