7 Customer Service Experience Lessons to Steal from Starbucks


The pressure is high to be more customer-oriented if you want to thrive in a hyper-competitive, fast-paced, mobile, global economy. With this seeming newly-found focus to customers, brands who emphasize customer service experience delivery in their menu are looking at Starbucks for model.

Starbucks is undeniably one of the most successful coffee chain businesses not solely because of the coffee it brew or the frappuccino it blend every single day.Starbucks founder Howard Schultz one time said what his company’s is. And it’s not merely about serving coffee. His business or what Starbucks’ line is experience business.

Retail experts point to the Starbucks customer service as the secret mix that makes people willfully spend $4-$5 for a single cup of coffee. In-store customer service –the whole experience – has something to do with the success of the coffee brand.

Perhaps it’s about the music. Or maybe, it’s the art or the furniture and lighting. There’s also the barista, those friendly, approachable partners who writes your name on a cup, maybe. This whole experience encompass everything there is to get when you visit a store.

But definitely this points to one thing: it’s everything that customers get or experience that compel them to return and convince them why a cup of joe at Starbucks warrants the price.


What is Customer Service Experience?


The focus has shifted to satisfying customers. Especially in a customer-dominated midst that we’re in, customer service or customer care services trump your price offer, product and even promotion. But what is this really about?

Book author Micah Solomon has advised about four elements that brands must focus on when thinking of customer service experience. These are:


  • The perfect product
  • Timeliness
  • Caring product delivery
  • Adoption of effective problem-resolution procedure


Among the four, it is important to highlight timeliness because among new generation customers, it’s a big thing that they feel in control. Solomon cited an example: the tracker technology that lets customers check on the status of their order through delivery.

Hiring the right people and providing customer care training are also crucial steps to address.


Steal Away Starbucks Customer Service Lessons


Today, Starbucks enjoys a rank near other global brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and Google.All of these companies are successful brands in the United States and across the world, and for a coffee shop to land a respectable place is nothing short of amazing.

When you put up a coffee shop, your initial thought about this business may be about the selling. But what Starbucks has done successfully well lies in the customer service experience that they provide. So here are a couple customer service lessons to steal from Starbucks:


Help customers decide by asking questionsHelp customers decide by asking questions. Do you know what makes Starbucks different from other brands?They’re not just order-takers but solution-creators.

Starbucks baristas ask questions and it’s a perfectly efficient system that guide customers successfully complete a transaction. So you’ll often hear them ask a new customer, “Do you like coffee or tea?” Hot coffee or iced?”

By asking questions to help customers decide, you’ll let your customers back because they don’t know what they want.


Know the name of your customersKnow the name of your customers.A barista at Starbucks writes your name at your cappuccino cup and calls out your name at the bar. Whoa, you might ask, “Is that really my name the barista’s just called?” Knowing the name of your customers is just the start to knowing them more deeply and retaining them in the process.


Know your customers moreKnow your customers more. At Starbucks, their employees don’t just know what their customers’ names are, they also know about their lives or what their businesses are. They know if Roger is a writer or Sally is meeting her friends every Friday noon to discuss their soiree on Saturday evening.



Dissatisfied customers want you to feel responsibleDissatisfied customers want you to feel responsible. This may seem unfair but believe me, there’s wisdom in taking responsibility to the outcome of your transaction with customers. Starbucks barista always ensures they’re creating better experience by not blaming customers who are at fault sometimes.

Don’t prove the customer wrong or you’ll see them exit the doors with hordes of bad stories against you to spill to their friends. Resolve the conflict and not identifying who’s done right.


Make your customers smileMake your customers smile. At Starbucks, smiles seem like an infectious thing and this is one thing they’re doing perfectly well most of the time. Baristas make their customer smile with witty banters, dialogues or a compliment to a new haircut.

When you deal with your customers, make sure to brighten up their day. Cheer up your customers and you’ll see that you’ll retain them.


Allow as much customization and personalization as possibleAllow as much customization and personalization as possible. It’s certainly impossible to not see customization and personalization at Starbucks from your orders.

It’s like everything’s up to the customer’s picking whether he prefer his caramel macchiatto with less than one shot of espresso, iced or more caramel. So it has now becomes “Troy’s drink or “Amabel’s” drink rather than Starbucks’.

Customization real-time or based from a barista’s recommendation gives a seamless experience. Be flexible, from product or service offering, to everything you deliver your customers to get and they’ll love you for that.


Don’t neglect product qualityDon’t neglect product quality.There’s never a chance that quality is not a priority at Starbucks. It’s also a thing they ensure with consistency and ease, as if it’s instinctively ingrained in their DNA. Of course, Starbucks being a global brand with high regard to quality adheres to a very efficient and systematic process that ensure every drinks they give customers meet certain quality standards.

Do we consciously ensure that we care that customers receive our products in superior quality? Are our systems capable of meeting and delivering the same, consistent quality in our products or services every time?




Starbucks is an example of a successful company whose customer service practices is worth emulating. It doesn’t only say customer care or customer service for the sake of saying. https://staging.bigoutsource.com/blog/customer-service-experience-lessons-to-steal-from-starbucks/it is a goal among the partners or the employees who work for it.

As a proof that Starbucks understands customer service experience, the company carefully places efficient system and process comprised of multiple touch points: initial greeting, ambiance, product displays, baristas and check-out experience. They make sure that customers’ satisfaction is complete, from the very beginning to the end of the visit.