Starbucks Customer Service Magic
Posted August 6, 2010on:
Just because it is your day off doesn’t mean you’re free from business lessons, as my trips this week to Starbucks showed me. When a company does something it right, it does more than win me as a new customer. It inspires me in my own work.
Up until now, I avoided Starbucks. I love the company. I think they are an awesome, eco-conscious, and community friendly corporation. It’s just that, as a general rule, I hate chain stores. I shop in them, and I’m a passionate fan of some of them (Borders!), but I would plunk down my money at a local shop before a chain store any day of the week.
Then my friends gave me a Starbucks gift-card for my birthday. Give me free spendy-money, and I’ll use it, so the next day I could go to a cafe to write, I went to the closest Starbucks. I was expecting what I usually got at a Starbucks, smiley people and a calorie laden beverage.
Check to the first, but I balked at the second. If you haven’t caught on, I’m female and hooked on this diet nonsense. Dylan, the shift manager, helped me choose off of a list of drink choices that satisfied my “watching the girlish figure” requirements. And while he was making the drink, he chatted with a gentleman who obviously came in regularly. That was the first sign I was somewhere special.
I sat down to work on my most recent fiction writing (a short story I will post here when it is ready). Around me, people where conducting business meetings, chatting with friends, stopping by for a drink after dropping the girls off for dance lessons at the nearby dance school. You name it. It was a local place. Smaller and cozier than the cafe I usually go to, where I often have to share a table with someone to be by a wall outlet.
These things all speak to more than just a good location and interior decorating. They speak to “local.” The service I got is something you get when the people behind the counter see themselves not as employees of a big chain but as members of the community. And that’s important. It’s what keeps the dancer moms, friends, and business people coming in. This is what can happen when people do their job right.
Customer service is a tough gig. You have to listen to bitchy people bitch. But it can make an international chain a local hangout. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is. And if they can make logo magic, then I think I can, too. This Starbucks has inspired me to reach new heights in my dedication to my customers, clients, and coworkers.
This blog post has two points: 1) to show how businesses can inspire us, and 2) hopefully someone at Starbucks will see this and give Dylan and his people (Thunderbird and Tatum store in Phoenix, AZ, now) some props. I filled out the form online, but it seemed more geared for complaints. I would have liked to fill out an applausogram (what we Cast Members received at Disney when a Guest wanted to compliment their customer service). However, I think that’s a post for another time.