Given the low rate of e-business technology adoption by Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), a customer’s experience of a business is still largely based on face-to-face transactions. The conduct of these transactions will be critical to the continued well-being of an SME. This paper describes a methodological pilot study that utilises a novel multimethod approach consisting of systemic functional linguistics, qualitative analysis, and Q methodology for the detailed structural, functional and evaluative analysis of service encounters. The purpose of this paper is to describe and exemplify these techniques and to show how complementary they are in practice. We use loan and return transactions from a library to illustrate the fine-grained nature of this approach for analysing workpractices in the form of face-to-face service transactions.