I have always been a huge fan of Starbucks. I love their marketing, their service and their delicious coffee. As of late, I’ve been more and more tempted to start becoming a regular at my local coffee shop, Beans and Brews. The scary thing is that Starbucks doesn’t seem to care.
My wonderful wife, Cassie, gave me the coolest mug ever for Valentine’s day (she understands and accepts my coffee habit). It was a double-walled, faux-wood sporting, 16 oz mug of delight. The faux-wood paneling took me back to the days when I rode around in my grandpa’s car. Good times.
It was the coolest coffee mug I’ve ever owned and I could not wait to use it. Happy Valentine’s to me! Wait. Not so fast.
The mug’s lid leaked and I had to return it. It was kind of a let down.
But here’s where things really turned bad. When I returned the mug, the woman working behind the counter just didn’t care. Yeah, she returned the mug, but there was nothing in her voice or efforts that showed she cared about me as a customer. This might sound nit picky, but there are things I have come to expect when I walk into a Starbucks – friendly, caring service is one of those things.
Every business faces this dilemma from time to time. The problems come when your competitor consistently delivers on a great experience and you don’t. When this happens, customers can leave.
The other lesson to be learned is that when a business sets certain standards for itself, it must consistently deliver on them. Starbucks has done a wonderful job of building expectations. The companies challenge is that it must deliver on them.