Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Ways of the Evil Empire

  1. I know many call Starbucks “The Evil Empire” but when it comes to customer service they have the market cornered – at least the ones I frequent do!

    A new one just opened in my neighborhood and the employees already know their customers. They know names, habits and beverage preferences. It gives a small town feeling to living as an anonymous soul in a sprawling city.

    The assorted fast food joints in the neighborhood seem to have new employees ever other week. Said employees don’t appear to like their jobs very much either – and it shows in their attitude toward the customers. The checkers at the local Kroger are to busy gossiping with the sackers about the manager to ever favor the shoppers with a second look. The gas stations are all self -serve – in fact with the automated pumps you don’t even have to talk to anyone to fill up the car.

    I don’t know how Starbucks manages to inspire their employees to go the extra mile, to appear to enjoy their jobs, their colleagues and their customers. But whatever it is they do, I wish they would package it, like their coffee or fairy dust so it could be scattered around at the other neighborhood establishments.


MsAbcMom said...

Starbucks customer service is top notch everywhere I have been. At the ones close to me, they always remember my order and they ask where my daughter is if she isn't with me.

alice, uptown said...

Hate to be a cynic, but for the cost of a latte at Starbucks, I would hope the baristas would remember your preferences. Here in Wonderland, not a chance. (In the pre-Starbucks era, the corner deli always remembered how you took your coffee, managed to sugar it properly and didn't expect a tip.)

I do, however, have a lovely relationship with my pharmacy and some of the restaurants I frequent, as well as the cigarette store and the optician -- basically anywhere I frequent in walking distance of my apartment.

Library Lady said...

Starbucks is big, but I think their roots are Seattle crunchy granola types, and they haven't lost that yet.My guess is that the upper echelons believe in customer service and pass it on to the folks on the front lines.

They also probably are paying them better and offering better (sorry) perks than most of the other stores. And let's face it, coffee shops by their nature are a lot more laid back than a Mickey Ds or a supermarket!

(This is all a guess though because I don't drink coffee and the only reason I have ever set food in Starbucks is to buy gifts for other people!)

mr. e said...

I was talking with a Starbucks employee this weekend who is recently divorced mom and she told me that Starbucks offers medical benifits to anyone that works more than 20 hours per week (yes, only 20). Imagine that, giving your employees some respect! That's crazy talk.

Liz B said...

Why I like Starbucks:
Even when I go into a Starbucks where I have never been before, the employees are friendly.
When I say small/medium/large for the size, they don't give me any problems.
The coffee is consistently good.
It hasn't replaced/ driven out any local coffee shops, mainly because those coffee shops are either also good coffee, or do more meals.
I like being in a strange place and knowing I can rely on the coffee; nothings worse than ordering something, taking a drink, and wanting to spit it out.
(that said, when I'm on vacation I also ask the local residents where to get good coffee!)

KarbonKountyMoos said...

I was a Starbuck's virgin until last week. I was pleased. In beautiful, Billings, Montana.

But I cut my caffeine teeth at
Le Figaro. . .

Anonymous said...

I am willing to pay a little more for good and friendly service.