How Starbucks WOWs in Routine Customer Service Interactions

(My Starbucks on 81st Street in Tulsa)

When I pulled up to the Starbucks drive-thru on 81st street in Tulsa last Thursday, I was greeted with the warm friendly persona that I’ve come to love. I ordered a Grande White Mocha Latte and a breakfast artisan sandwich. The lady taking my order wrapped things up by saying, “Thank you. Your total is $8.14, unless there’s something else.” I loved that! I loved it because it’s such a sharp contrast from fast food drive-thru ordering.

So often when I order a from a fast food drive-thru, I hear, “Your total is $5.49” before I’ve even had a chance to finish stating what I wish to order. Abruptly giving the total can make customers feel cut-off and employees can be perceived as rude.

Starbucks has mastered warm and friendly customer service. The warm experience is made up of dozens of small things in routine customer interactions. When it comes to closing a drive-thru conversation, warm and friendly at Starbucks is to keep it friendly and to avoid cutting the customer off.

When you’re wrapping up a customer interaction, be that in person or over the phone, be sure to keep it warm and friendly. Be careful not to make the customer feel cut off. When you keep it warm and friendly, you’ll surprise and delight customers and they’ll leave (or hang up) with a smile.

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Myra is a favorite training partner to Fortune 500 companies with her customized, engaging, behavior-changing (and fun) customer service workshops, working with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Michelin, Vera Bradley and other brands.

3 thoughts on “How Starbucks WOWs in Routine Customer Service Interactions

  1. Myra, I really enjoyed your post. Too many companies don’t fully understand that frontline associates are the ones responsible for repeat business. As you point out Starbucks focuses their associates on making their customers feel important, appreciated and valued. And as you said, making sure the customer has completely finished their order and actual conversation will not only relay a feeling of warmth and friendliness, it will almost guarantee repeat business. Richard Shapiro, The Center For Client Retention

  2. Myra, Enjoy your blog. Starbucks partners really connect with their customers particularly their regulars. This part of their service is difficult to quantify, but certainly has a huge impact on their bottom line.

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