Starbucks’ Customer Experience Management

It should be noted that customer experience is one of the most important components of any business process in the service sector. This is due to the fact that both positive and negative experience firmly settles in the minds of clients and influences their further appeal to the company services. Customer experience management or CEM implies an analysis, optimization, and transfer of value to clients. In other words, every measure is furnished to ensure that customers receive the necessary positive experience with respect to a certain product or service (Goodman, 2014). Starbucks is a large-scale company which values its clients and does everything to meet and exceed their expectations since the industry in which it operates is highly competitive. The purpose of this paper is to review Starbucks from the point of view of customer experience and to analyze my personal experience received after mystery shopping.

Customer Experience

According to the preliminary analysis, Starbucks’ customer experience management is concentrated on three core aspects, which are people, place, and product. The baristas are indeed respective and attentive towards customers. They do their best to serve customer needs, answer all the questions patiently, and are well-informed of all food or drinks’ ingredients. The physical environment is objectively good. The aroma inside stores is delicious though not imposing; the place is clean and neat. The locations are, as a rule, indeed convenient. The beverages and food are always fresh and delicious. Moreover, if a customer is dissatisfied with the quality or taste of a product, the barista is likely to replace it with something different according to the client’s preference. Therefore, the enterprise strives for facilitating generally positive customer experience.

Analysis of Mystery Shopper Survey and Suggestions for the Improvement of Customer Experience

Customer experience is an indispensable component of the operation of organizations which want to make their product popular and encourage people to return over and over (Watkinson, 2013). It may be demanding, but if properly organized, it may become stress-free and not much painstaking. The biggest failure of customer experience is when a company does not meet the clients’ expectations (Watkinson, 2013). On my mystery shopper survey, I was able to see that Starbucks makes everything possible to meet the customer’s expectations and make them satisfied with their visit.

First of all, I was promptly greeted by a neatly dressed store clerk who asked me in a friendly manner what I wanted. When he saw that I was hesitating about the choice, he asked me several questions to find out about my preferences and then suggested a few drinks which corresponded to my likes. Further, the clerk gladly proposed me the pastries and patiently waited for me to pick one. My order was ready very quickly, and I was positively impressed by the clerk’s attitude. The checkout experience was also positive. The clerk thanked me for the purchase, invited me to come again, and told about the special discounts they would be having in a couple of days. My overall experience of the staff and the store was very positive. The employees were amiable and properly dressed, the store was clean, and the atmosphere was really friendly and relaxing.

Based on my mystery shopping visit, there is nothing I would suggest for the company to improve customer experience. Starbucks’ efforts in customer satisfaction acquisition are thoroughly developed and perfectly introduced. The only thing to wish is for them to keep doing a great job.

Customer Services Provided by Another Retailer

Starbucks’ main product is coffee, which is sold by many other retailers, both focused purely on coffee and the ones having it as one of the various options. For instance, food courts at big department stores also sell coffee, and they have some other customer services. The most typical of such options is selling food and not only pastries and drinks. However, this is the only service different from Starbucks, and it may not be called a much more beneficial option. Since food court outlets offer both coffee and food, and since they are fast-food chains, they cannot boast such dedication to their customers as Starbucks can. Moreover, they cannot afford to take care of providing a pleasant atmosphere with a nice smell and music. The people working at food courts may be overloaded with clients, and thus, they produce a smaller customer satisfaction level concerning communication and serving.

Therefore, there are not so many services provided by other retailers who sell coffee. Starbucks does not suggest a lot of food choices, but what concerns everything else, no one can compete with this company on the level of service and orientation on customers.

Customer-Focused Approach of Starbucks

Starbucks clearly is a customer-focused company. Not only does it care about business but also about its clients. Moreover, it seems that it cares about the customers in the first place. Numerous surveys testify that the level of customer satisfaction at Starbucks is one of the highest in the world.

Starbucks’ customer experience approach consists of six core elements which allow to cover every possible angle of people’s needs. These six features are personalization, time and effort, integrity, expectations, resolution, and empathy (“Road to excellence,” 2015). To begin with, Starbucks, as well as many organizations in the US, has been operating in accordance with the trend of invigorating the service culture. The increased reduction rates and the appearance of the practices of managing customer experience have given the US the so-called “have-a-nice-day” ethos (“Road to excellence,” 2015, para. 1). Such innovations were especially crucial for Starbucks in connection with such elements as empathy and personalization. The company realized the importance of preparing and serving drinks in a way which would correspond to the clients’ personal expectations. The company has departments in several countries, and the survey has shown that realizing the goal of reaching a sufficient personalization and empathy level is easier to achieve in the US than in the UK. For one thing, people in the US generally have a more positive disposition. For another thing, the emotional level in the UK is higher (“Road to excellence,” 2015). However, as soon as the company recognized its drawbacks, it was able to start managing them.

Other significant constituents of Starbucks’ ethos are philanthropy and integrity (“Community: Creating pathways,” 2017). The company considers its stores as indispensable elements of the community and not merely as cafes. A diversity of community services provided bu Starbucks includes support for veterans and military, farming communities, Starbucks college achieving plan, community stores, opportunities for youth, and many other beneficial programs (“Community: Creating pathways,” 2017). The employees devote a lot of time and effort to establish a positive atmosphere in the neighborhoods where the outlets are located (“Road to excellence,” 2015). Such attitude is a pleasant thing to hear in the current environment of greed and desire to merely make money on the customers.

As the company’s website states, the visitors of Starbucks may “expect more than coffee” (“Company information,” 2017, para. 6). And they indeed receive more than just coffee. A person entering any Starbucks shop has an opportunity to spend time in a pleasant atmosphere, listening to carefully selected music pieces, and tasting delicious food and drinks. The company is not opposed to people meeting or even working in their outlets. Starbucks emphasizes that “the lens of humanity” is its most crucial index of quality.

Another aspect of the company’s customer-focused approach is its involvement with the latest technological tools. The shops are equipped with wireless phone chargers and smart refrigerators. Additionally, they employ Clover coffee machines (“Road to excellence,” 2015). These machines allow to follow the clients’ preferences and to control the performance. The company knows that its customers expect the highest quality, and it is ready to provide them with what they want.

Conclusion

Customer experience is one if the core factors delineating the success of any business enterprise. Starbucks’ customer experience is one of the most efficiently organized in the world. The company is customer-focused and may boast organizing a high level of community engagement and paying a lot of effort to sustaining personalized, integrated, and empathetic atmosphere within its numerous outlets. There are many companies suggesting similar services, but Starbucks is the most recognizable coffee shop brand not just in the country of its origin but all over the world. Successful organization of customer experience is the key factor of such tremendous success.

References

Community: Creating pathways to opportunity. (2017). Web.

Company information. (2017). Web.

Goodman, J. (2014). Customer experience 3.0: High-profit strategies in the age of techno service. New York, NY: AMACOM.

Road to excellence: Why is Starbucks’ US customer experience strategy so strong? (2015). Web.

Watkinson, M. (2013). The ten principles behind great customer experiences. New York, NY: Pearson.

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