I just went Starbucks for a mid-afternoon latte and had a great experience. This is a real experience, I am no corporate shill. I don’t want to overhype this because it’s not outrageous, it’s just an example of why I like Starbucks.
I’d been driving and saw a Dunkin Donuts ad for iced coffee. It had whipped cream and caramel drizzled all over it. It looked so cold, sweet and delicious. Unfortunately for Dunkin Donuts, I’ve had too many mediocre experiences there and they are too inconsistent. So I pulled up to Starbucks instead. I walked up to the counter and ordered a grande caramel latte. I don’t remember if I specified “iced.” I chatted with the baristas for a few minutes while they made my drink. We talked about bananas. Apparently there are a bunch of people out there who are not so fond of bananas.
Anyway my drink came up, a delicious looking, hot, caramel latte. I frowned, and mentally questioning whether I’d specified iced or not. I told the girl who’d made my drink that I wanted an iced one and wasn’t sure if I’d said so or not. I told her I’d be glad to keep the hot one and it was no problem.
This is where it gets good.
She immediately smiled and said “no problem, let me make you and iced one and you can keep both.” It was beautiful. I could’ve left there with a delicious hot caramel latte that I would’ve enjoyed but wouldn’t have satisfied my craving for a cold, sweet iced caramel latte. Without hesitation they not only ensured that my original craving would be satisfied but also let me take the extra coffee, which I gave to a colleague. It was seamless. There was no questioning whether I’d said iced or not, no discussion between the cashier and the barista, no manager intervention. All that took place is that I got what I wanted. I began to think about the number of times I’ve had customer experiences like that. How many times have I argued with someone in customer service who was more concerned with being right than making me happy?
Starbucks has always been near-and-dear to my heart as I’ve always been a fan of their sustainability efforts and their involvement with different causes. I like their coffee and the staff is generally pleasant, courteous and helpful. The other thing that I like, which I noted earlier is the consistency. One reason that I go back to an eatery or coffee shop or bar is that they make something that I like, and no matter how many times I go back there, I get that same product. I develop a taste for it. It’s reliable. It’s dependable. I don’t need to wonder whether I will get what I want. I’ve had Dunkin Donuts issues. Try it yourself, go ask for “light and sweet” at 2 different Dunkin Donuts and note the difference. With this most recent experience at Starbucks I’m left with the feeling that their service is consistent and entirely focused on my satisfaction.