the narrative of a transaction

I was talking with a friend about coffee and coffee shops and we noticed that we moved from discussing the what and how of drinks and preparation to the what and how of selling a point of view, of customer service, and of opening and closing arguments in courtroom dramas (and i guess courtrooms)

Thinking later I wondered if the coffee shops I love best were often not the most progressive in terms of what and how they brew, but often the most progressive or considered or active in how they pitch their product and communicate with their customers

A transaction within a cafe could be considered in terms of the three act structure, a screenwriting methodology that focuses on a sequence of ‘chapters’ that inexorably lead to a message (or in the case of 007, another car chase) – the set-up, the confrontation and the resolution

the set up

a customer enters a shop, previously he has heard something or nothing about the shop, visual (and other) clues – signage, other customers, the position of the staff, and their dress inform the customer of where he should stand to gain acknowledgement, other clues impart a message about what the shop may sell, what it costs, how it contrasts or conforms to an expectation

the confrontation

the customer and staff interact – a possibly short or long interaction – this leads to a choice and an expectaton of what each is going to do – this may be a tacit or expressed transaction, more likely a combination

the resolution

the customer receives/consumes and responds – the customer may feel satisfied, or dissatisfied, he may have noticed nothing, or learnt something new

if we think about this framework, when should the customer pay?

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