Why Starbucks Makes Me Smile

I know, I know, Starbucks has not looked like the untouchable juggernaut it once did; with the l-o-n-g recession mindset hanging over us, paying $4+ for a cup of coffee doesn’t seem as cool as it once did. But Starbucks has survived, despite closing 600 stores during this economic downturn.

And anyone who looks beyond the hype knows why, and it ain’t the coffee.customer service
It’s the experience.

When you walk into nearly every Starbucks you know you will be greeted by a cheerful staff and find free wi-fi, two things I found priceless during my years as a frequent business traveler. I have logged more hours in my ‘other office’ at Starbucks than I can count, and despite sitting in the same seat for hours on end I have never been made to feel unwelcome. As a matter of fact, most frequent Starbucks visitors will tell you that the barristas are now their friends.

This didn’t happen by accident. There’s an entire book written on The Starbucks Experimence if you want to delve deeper, but suffice it to say that it is part of company policy that customers are to be treated with kindness, always.

This may sound simple, but we all know how rare it actually is. There’s a local convenience store near me that I swear to GOD has the exact opposite policy. But they’re the only game in town so they get away with it, for now. Once another convenience store moves in hoards of customers will flock to the new place with glee as punishment for years of being taken for granted, or worse.

So what experience do your customers have? If they don’t smile at the thought of interacting with your company you’ve got some work to do. And it ALWAYS starts at the top.