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3 customer service lessons we should all learn from Starbucks

2 min read
Conga Team
Starbucks employee taking orders
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When you think of customer service which company pops into your mind? For many of us, that company might be Starbucks. Starbucks has implemented three values that we should all take some notes on. Starbucks…

  1. Knows their customer's name and who they are
  2. Knows their customer's previous orders
  3. Always is creating fresh and new ideas based on customer feedback

Starbucks must be doing something right. They add, on average, two stores a day and have been doing so since 1987. Starbucks does a great job by making their customer feel that they are important. This is crucial to fostering success. Starbucks does this by knowing their names and their orders, to which customers react well. In fact, the average Starbucks customer visits the store 6 times per month. In addition, the loyal customer will go to a store 16 times per month, which accounts for 20 percent of their customers. (Lepore, 2011) These “loyal customers” are the people that a barista took time out of their day to remember their name and even a previous order. All other companies should be taking notes on this customer relationship success.

In fact, organizationally it will benefit to create teams with customer service and success in mind. With many teams fostering the idea of customer service, there is little room for customer disappointment. Some teams include the basics like the Professional Services, which is responsible with help with implementation, and the Customer Success team, who ensures that the customer is fully utilizing the product. Then, some above-and-beyond possibilities include a Product University, who provides a deeper level of training to accelerate customer adoption, an Advisory Board where customers can make suggestions and provide feedback, and finally, a Customer Community where customer-organized groups that meet online and in-person to network, share ideas, tips, and best practices, not just in using your product, but in their own respective organizations.

Starbucks also remembers customers' previous orders, by harnessing the available data in order history and the Starbucks app. This process is applicable far beyond Caramel Macchiatos. Every company produces hordes of applicable information every hour, i.e. big data, and those that effectively can provide a more enjoyable customer experience.

Starbucks does not stop there, and neither should you. Starbucks is continuously implementing customer feedback to create new products. By listening to customer wants and ideas, they are able to both satisfy demand and capitalize on previously unrealized opportunities. One great example is the customer-inspired Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is available in certain seasons and has generated a coffee craze. Their customers do their marketing for them, promoting the sensation person-to-person and via social networks.

The common phrase is true that people buy from people. But people buy from satisfied, experienced people even more.

Never stop thinking about your customer. They should be influencing your next steps and new ideas. The more they are cared for, the better you are doing your job. At one time or another we have all heard the idea that the customer is always right. Isn’t about time we start listening and encouraging this idea?

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