I have to admit that I am a Starbucks fan, and have been for a long time. There are mornings when I wake up and think, if I hurry up I can make it to Starbucks in time before work.
And I always order the same drink: decaf short vanilla latte 140 degrees. (And the Live Events team quoted it before they even read it. :-)) The drink may sound funny, but there’s a method to my madness. Decaf because I stress too much and I don’t need the caffeine.
Short, also known as the children’s hot chocolate size, because I don’t want a ton of milk with my espresso. (Side note, there’s no x in espresso.) Vanilla is self explanatory, and 140 degrees because to me, I can taste a difference between 140 and 160, which is what they normally steam to. It’s not because it’s too hot, it’s because it tastes differently…to me. Which is what matters right?
For the last few months, I’m starting to get really heated…literally. What is causing my frustration with Starbucks? The fact that more than half of the time they can’t get my temperature right. It doesn’t seem to matter where I go, somebody’s is going to mess it up more than not. How do they do that? Many ways.
They ignore it all together, like the cup that is sitting on my desk right now. Which, by the way, has no vanilla in it. Or they do weird unnecessary stuff like, leaving it on the counter to cool off in the milk steamer.
I’ve watched many a barista put a thermometer in already steamed milk and wait for it to read 140. Then they pour it in my cup. When I ask them about it, they say something to the effect, it’s cooled down to the right temp.
I watched a guy the other day steam it to 160, pour it in the cup, then open the milk jug and add milk to it. When I made a comment, he said that it was at the kids temp for coffee. Grrrr. But my favorite has to be the guy in Houston who turned around and grabbed a scoop full of ice to put in it. ICE!!! I said, excuse me and he quickly looked at me and said, I did that wrong huh? Ummmm, yeah.
So now, as a customer, I am constantly waiting for the next person to mess up my drink. And it’s just coffee!! But the problem isn’t weighted less since it’s just coffee is it? The point is Starbucks inconsistent in handling their product. So much so that I feel bad every time I go, because I feel like I have to stand to the side and watch them just to get my order right.
In I’m Sorry, Do I Know You? I talk about a very important statistic – of people leaving your business, 68% leave due to perceived indifference! Almost 70% think you stopped caring about them, so they leave. They believe that their business is just a number to you. Guess where I am with Starbucks right now.
Do they care? Probably not. I’m one of a bazillion customers they have. They can afford to not be concerned with me. It’s a terrible way to run a business, but that’s just my opinion. As for you? How many customers do you have? Can you afford to be inconsistent? Personally I think it doesn’t matter what size company you are, but that’s just me.
Question: What are you doing to insure that nobody leaves you due to perceived indifference?
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