Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Starbucks: Getting Customers Engaged

Posted by Becky Carroll on January 21, 2008

custom-latte.jpg Here at Customers Rock!, I talk a lot about getting your customers more engaged in your organization.  One way that some consumer organizations do it is by having customers submit their own photos or ideas for corporate use.  For example, at Jones Soda, their bottle labels are actually photos submitted by their customers.

How can an organization do this more locally in order to connect with regular customers?  I saw this sign up at my local Starbucks in front of the espresso machine.  It usually has info about an upcoming event at the store or a new drink flavor.  On this day, the “drink of the day” was actually the Customer Latte of the Week: Mary’s Latte.  There was no contest for this recipe; it came from the information this Starbucks has about its customers.

This signs does two things.  One, it acknowledges Mary and her repeat business, making her feel great!  Two, it tells other customers that the baristas here know their customers well, so well that they can recommend the best drink combos they see on a daily basis.

When you have information about your customers that your competitors don’t have, that is a potential competitive advantage.  When you use that information to do something for your customers, now you are creating a stronger customer relationship.  This is the foundation for loyalty.

Kudos to my local Starbucks for reaching out to customers and making them feel special.  You rock!


7 Responses to “Starbucks: Getting Customers Engaged”

  1. “When you have information about your customers that your competitors don’t have, that is a potential competitive advantage. When you use that information to do something for your customers, now you are creating a stronger customer relationship. This is the foundation for loyalty.”

    Great story Becky. More than anything, I think this shows that your local Starbucks cares about its customers. That’s pretty rare in retail these days.

  2. The simplest things always have the most power.

  3. Very cool story indeed. There are plenty of brands that would shy away from this move, for fear of “hurting the feelings” of their other customers. But those are also the same brands which make a habit of appealing to the masses. Which often hurts you (and your customers) more than it actually helps…

  4. JD said

    While Starbucks appears to be socially active and retains a client base with a personal touch. I am really concerned with their apparent indifference to providing dietary choices that may provide a less sugary approach to their menu. Where are the ‘Splenda’ based baked goods. With diabetes on the rise, a new level of dietary needs should be provided. As a newly diagnosed diabetic, I was shocked to find that my favorite “whole wheat raspberry scone” contains 21 grams(metric) or 7 packets of sugar in my scone. Kinda scary. Is this due to cost or an over site? I would be willing to pay the extra to keep a healthy heart. Just some food for thought…

  5. Brandon said

    How about your local sushi restaurant and the specialty rolls named after loyal customers? How much better could you feel than to have your name on the menu with a roll that you designed? Oh yeah! Now, I have to see how I can do the same with my business….

    Thanks for getting the thoughts going, Becky!

  6. SoCal Barista said

    JD-they now have around 6 or so sugar free syrups-they just added sf mocha and have had at least 3 sf syrups for the last few years. I know it isnt much compared to the rest of the menu, but it’s a start…Also you can get a Lite Frappucino which is made with splenda/no sugar.

  7. scott said

    It takes time to get to know your customers. And it takes a “want to” to get it done. I am always amazed at how easy it is for retailers to develop a reltationship with me. When I had them my credit card, my name is right on the front. But it’s been almost a year since someone who “got it” used my name and made me feel like a friend instead of a customer. These things are easy to do. You’ve just got to have the “want to”.

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