This may not seem related to the content of my blog, but it is….
I love my lattes – Tall or bigger, skinny, hazelnut. I frequent Starbucks and many other coffee shops. Although I, in general, am a fan of Starbucks, I have one burr in my side that has me making alternative choices more and more.
Here is what annoys me: When I order my latte at Starbucks, I inevitably do not use the exact words they do. For example, they say nonfat instead of skinny and use terms like venti, which I do not. I can understand that they want to keep the communication from the cashier to the barista clear so that my latte is made correctly, but do they have to say the order back in a way that makes me feel as though I am being corrected and scolded? Sometimes it is the barista who parrots my order back to me, changing the terms I did not say “right.”
I have been ordering the same latte for years and I am going to call it what I call it. Starbucks – is there no way for you to ensure product quality without correcting me?
Let me offer a contrasting experience. I also frequent Uptown Espresso, particularly the Belltown location (Uptown Espresso is famous for their velvet foam, there really is a difference). I am sure that when I order my latte at Uptown, I do not use the same terms they would, but they smile, acknowledge me and flawlessly make my latte, complete with the velvet foam. They do not need to correct me to get the order right.
How this relates to management: Why it is that the managers at Starbucks have not noticed this and addressed it? Why would you EVER want to have a practice that might have the effect of annoying a customer? Surely, I am not the only one put off by this?
My coffee tastebuds are not so sophisticated that I can tell one latte from another (other than the velvet foam) so my choice is made more on location and how I feel about the experience.
And wi-fi access, but that is another topic for another day…