3 things to learn from Starbucks about customer experience

May 10, 2018

Starbucks Coffee

The Starbucks Experience

In 1971, Starbucks opened a tiny coffee shop in Seattle, Washington.  The shop would eventually reinvent the coffee industry. Today Starbucks is more than a coffee shop.  It has become an experience for coffee drinkers. Starbucks offers its customers free Wi-Fi and comfortable couches that encourage them to relax, stay longer, and drink more coffee.

Starbuck’s mission statement is “One cup. One partner. One experience at a time.” The statement guides everything the company does. “Success is not sustainable if it is defined by how big you become. The only number that matters is “one, ” said former President and CEO Howard Schultz.

The Starbucks model has a lot to teach all business about customer experience.

These 3 tips are a great start:

Pay attention to your facilities.

Each of Starbucks’ 21,000 locations has a similar look and feel that match the company brand. The stores reflect the same color schemes, overall look, and the company’s focus on its environment.

What does your office say about you? When customers look at your website or the outside of your building do they see professionalism? Is your lobby comfortable and inviting? Does your office look like it hasn’t been updated since the Reagan Administration?

 Your office or business will have a big impact on your customer’s perceptions. Now may be the time to update your facility.

Offer customers a seamless payment experience.

Starbucks accepts several payment methods including Apple Pay, Pay Pal, credit cards, gift cards and cash. Customers can even order and pay for their coffee using an app before they even walk in the door.

In the equipment/software finance world, offering financing options for larger ticket items can make paying easier. It lets customers preserve other lines of credit and manage their cash flow while hedging against inflation. Customers are often able to finance 100% of the cost of their equipment/software including training, warranties, delivery, installation, and maintenance agreements.

“Business owners today are looking for creative financing options that will help them manage cash flow and lines of credit. Because of this, we provide our customers with a variety of custom financing options that are tailored to their specific needs,” says Rob Peterson, Director of Sales for Banleaco.

Get to know your customers.

 Taking the time to learn small details can have a big impact on a customer’s perception of your business.

Starbucks employees are encouraged to learn the names of their regular customers and what they order daily. Customers feel valued when they are recognized and remembered.

How can you use these 3 simple steps to improve your customer experience?  Should you make updates to your facility or offer your customers financing options? Even small steps like learning the names of your customers can have a big impact on how they feel about you and your business.

What other things do you do to improve your customer experience? We would love to hear and share your ideas. If we use your idea in a future post, we will send you a little thank-you gift.

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