Imagine the sales that are generated everyday in 7,100 Starbucks nationwide between 5:30PM and 8:30PM. Now imagine that Starbucks closes all of these stores at the same time for a mass re-training like they have never done.
When I read the Seattle Times article about how it is focused on creating the perfect shot of espresso and steaming milk properly, I was surprised.
The drink is not the issue, from my standpoint – it is consistent – like it or not – it is Starbucks.
The ISSUE, in my mind (and many others I’ve talked to) is the flippant customer service or often the feeling that I’m interrupting as a customer into the “behind the counter” world of getting things done…. particularly if you happen to show up around a shift change.
Dear Starbucks employees – here are my .02 cents about the “customer experience” that Howard Shultz wants to re-create:
– Please make eye contact with me
– Give me a genuine hello or hi – not the canned “2000th customer” salutation
– Listen to me speak – if I say, “that’s all”, please don’t ask me if I want anything else
– Don’t let me know that for just 50 cents more, I could get a Venti size. I KNOW this already
– Allow me to feel valuable as a customer, not just another set of actions you must go through.
Starbucks management, please let your baristas know that there are many ways to relate to customers – not just one way, such as the typical, caffeine-influenced, “What are YOU up to today?” – I have withdrawn from many conversations with well-meaning baristas because of this too-personal interrogation and too-wired tone.
Want to re-invent yourself, as I remember the very first wonderful Starbucks stores? Ask for customer feedback. I’m here – anytime.