Last week Howard Schultz hosted a second coffee and conversation night at a Starbucks in Lakewood, WA. The store was packed; about 100 customers joined him to share their views of Starbucks. Many more customers were represented, because each customer brought messages from families and friends too.
Howard met with these customers and asked the question, “What does it mean to be a Starbucks customer and what can we do to help enhance your experience?”
Knowing the baristas names seems to go hand in hand with friendly service was the first idea shared. The attendees suggested that baristas wear nametags. This is a popular idea on MSI, but equally popular with our partners is to not wear name tags. Finding a solution that meets the needs of our customers to know baristas by name without wearing name tags is the challenge. Got any ideas?
Howard along with Cliff Burrows, president U.S. shared some items on the horizon that are being worked on right now, including a new register system to boost technology capabilities in stores, new store design, and the reusable cold cup.
Howard asked how many customers knew that Starbucks is the largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee. Awareness was high. Customers also know about Starbucks partnership with (RED)™, but want us to tell our story of all that we do in our local communities too. Customers referenced money that Starbucks gives partners in times of need through the C.U.P. (caring unites partners) Fund, giving to local food banks and collaborating with local high schools. Some spoke about our health care benefits and recognized and valued that we were the first company to offer these benefits to part time employees.
Many customers said that they love “their” Starbucks store and consider it part of their daily routine, but also shared that the stores should not have a cookie cutter atmosphere, but be an extension of the community.
The customers’ passion for their community resonated. These conversations with customers along with ideas shared on MSI help keep us focused. We look forward to more coffee and conversation with you. Keep the ideas coming…