3 Ways Starbucks Wowed Me

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Jason Coffee

Starbucks Baristas Rocked My World

I am still blown away at the amazing customer service I received at Starbucks yesterday. During my visit to Starbucks (Ward Parkway in Kansas City) I posted this tweet, “Great customer service experience today at this @Starbucks via SS Michael.” He truly did surprise and wow me in a way that few baristas ever have.

San Pellegrino with Starbucks

1. Surprise!

The Ward Parkway Center has one coffee shop, Starbucks. (I was there with my sister for lunch, Five Guys, and a movie, The Avengers.) I haven’t been to a Starbucks for coffee in quite some time but today I am glad I did! I walked up and ordered coffee. I asked the barista (and shift supervisor), Michael, if they had anything brewed beside Pike Place. He said, “no, why?” I mentioned Pike wasn’t my favorite and said, “It’s ok, go ahead an ad a shot of espresso to that for me.” (My sister ordered, a Strawberry Lemonade.) As I was ringing up the total seemed too low. Michael Said, “The coffee is on us today since Pike isn’t your favorite coffee.” I was shocked, not because this have never happened to me before but because of his overall ability to empathize and make me feel like a valued customer.

2. Fun Factor

Something positive about Starbucks is this: If you are at the right store the baristas know how to make your experience fun! This store knew how to do just that. They talked to me about how much they liked their jobs and we joked around about Starbucks related things. They (Michael and Floyd) talked to me about their drink recipe creations and coffee seminars they’ve hosted. It was a fun light-hearted experience that made me want to come back.

Starbucks Strawberry bugs

3. Creative License

During my conversation with Michael, I learned about the creative freedom they have. Michael introduced me to Starbucks barista Floyd who is the creator of Ward Parkway Blend. As we talked he prepared me a bag and said, “I would love it if you tried it, it’s on the house today.” As you may know, I worked for Starbucks for 5 years and depending on the district or regional manager we had different levels of creative freedom at our store(s). So naturally I was curious if their DM was ok with them creating their own coffee blends and drink recipes. They responded with an emphatic, “Yes and he,DM Doug, encourages it!”

The combination of these three things rocked my world. As a result, I will now be returning to Starbucks weekly  and sharing my experience with you. We will also be brewing and tasting  Ward Parkway Blend in a future post. If you are a Starbucks barista I would highly urge you to glean whatever you can from this experience to enhance the level of customer service you offer. I would also like to hear instances, in the comments, about how you offer exceptional customer service at your Starbucks store.

Have you had a great experience at Starbucks lately?

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  1. ddavidn

    I have never seen a Starbucks with its own blend. Perhaps this is because I visit mostly Seattle-area Starbucks. That is a cool experience you had, I have had them do pourovers of other blends/roasts as well, as long as it’s a busy enough Starbucks.

  2. Laura Clark

    I find it highly ironic that you went to Starbucks and posted about it. Just because I too just went to Starbucks. I decided to go in, because I didn’t want to turn Starbucks off just because it’s not ‘local.’ So I went when my friend was working and had a double shot and their verdona dark roast. I loved talking to the baristas about coffee and just talking about what I was tasting in their coffee.