Helping Starbucks Improve the Customer Experience – The First Step

Early this month, Becky Carroll of Customers Rock! enjoined us to be part of the “re-experiencing starbucks challenge.” Becky was inspired by John Moore’s Manifesto: What Must Starbucks Do? So both Becky and John and the rest of us will be helping Starbucks improve their customer experience.

The plan is to track the Starbucks experience throughout this upcoming year and share the lessons learned from each experience. I knew I’d written about my experience with them one time or another. True enough, I dug up an old post that talked about how Starbucks took care of their internal customers, i.e. employees. In that Starbucks I visited then, I saw this sign:

“Our coffee makes us known, but our people make us famous.”

Isn’t it that happy employees bring in happy customers, too? For me that is the first rule in business.

On that note, let me share with you my officemate’s experience with Starbucks. Last year, Starbucks Philippines issued coupons to its customers. When the customers have used up the coupons, they will get a Starbucks diary. Here’s Paolo‘s experience:

“The starbucks planner this year was quite nice. I liked the new soft leather binding and the casual design. It was well worth the effort. I also liked the fact that with every coffee i drank, I was helping Unicef. It is nice to know that while you are indulging in something as good as a frap, you were also helping children. I look forward to seeing my name in the donors list. It was funny when some of the baristas I know were always updating me, telling me “anim na lang [six more]” and sometimes will let slip that they had two for one deals on the stickers at certain times. Insider information is great! Unfortunately though, one other bonus I was expecting wasn’t with the planner, the coupons. The coupons were one of the extra driving forces in striving for the planner. I know this was done some years ago, and its sad that they don’t want to do it again. Oh well, I’m hoping for next year, at least they gave us some holiday cards.”

starbucks diary

starbucks diary

starbucks diary

Lessons learned from these two scenarios:

  1. From the slogan: take care of your employees first and happy employees will do the rest for you. If Starbucks can live and sustain this motto, then I see no reason why their customer experience won’t be memorable.
  2. From Paolo’s experience: build a good relationship with your customers, treating him like a good friend.

Check out, too, Unlawyer’s Photoblog on Starbucks Philippines.