I’m a coffee snob. But I’m frugal. I buy a pound of Starbucks dark roasted coffee at the grocery store to brew at home; and when I’ve brewed a full pot, I’ll pour what my wife and I don’t drink into a container, which goes in the refrigerator.
As a treat, I’ll go to Starbucks drive-through and buy a Venti ice coffee with half ice. (Yes, I use the word “Venti.”) When time and the funds permit, I’ll frequent a Starbucks café. (Read Chief Influence Officer Brian Ahearn‘s post on 5 Reasons Why Starbucks is so Persuasive.)
Starbucks has not only won my loyalty for its excellent coffee; it’s won me over for its customer service, as well.
Customer service is such a priority to me that I’ve abandoned a famous hamburger joint up the street from us because it takes forever to get served. I’ve also traveled miles out of my way to give my money to another branch of a large retail store because I’ve been treated rudely by some teenager whose main concern is texting his girlfriend.
Customer service weighs so heavily on my mind that my kids get sick of hearing me say, “That was great customer service,” or the opposite, which is more the case than the former these days. My kids also get embarrassed when I ask for the store’s manager so I can commend an associate who did his/her job the way it should be done.
As much as I hate poor customer service (maybe we’ve come to expect it), I feel much stronger about superior customer service. And thus, I feel Starbucks “is all that” when it comes to customer service. Why? Let me reenact a greeting from a Starbucks associate at the drive-through I frequent when driving home from my mother’s-in-law house.
“Good evening. Welcome to Leominster’s Starbucks. How may I help you?” the young man wearing the headsets says.
At this point my wife and I look at each other and mouth, “Great customer service.”
“I’d like a Venti ice coffee with half the ice,” I reply. Less ice, more coffee.
“Venti ice coffee light on the ice. Will that be all?”
“Yes, thank you,” I say driving forward. My kids in the back seats drone, “Great customer service.”
“Thank you, my friend,” I hear as I’m approaching the bend. Now I think, here is a guy who really loves his job.
And here’s the kicker—Starbucks’ coffee associates always get my order correct, whether it’s at a café or drive through.
I think about customer service wherever I shop, but there aren’t many retailers that prompt me to ask a manager what contributes to their associates’ excellent customer service. I’ve spoken to a few Starbuck’s managers about why their customer service is so great. Perhaps this is because great customer service isn’t all that prevalent; maybe not enough businesses are focusing on training their employees on this seemingly lost art.