Starbucks is my favorite coffee shop, and I’m sure it’s the same for many of my fellow coffee-obsessed workers explains Aron Govil. There’s just something about that Starbucks experience that keeps me coming back again and again…and also they have great coffee! But even though they are most definitely my favorite, their retail operation model is one that most businesses do not want to emulate. So what does Starbucks do right? What can we learn from them? And how can we apply these lessons in ways appropriate for our business models?
Here are five traits you might be able to glean from the coffee giant:
1. They make it comfortable
The first thing you notice when arriving at a Starbucks (at least during standard operating hours) is the line of people waiting to place their orders. But what you also notice is that they aren’t standing in some dreary, stuffy line like those at the DMV or your local theater on a Friday night. They’re crowded around the pick-up counter – leaning against the barstools, sitting cross-legged with laptops out – but they’re still comfortable and enjoying themselves! Starbucks has made a commitment to creating a welcoming environment for its customers, and it’s something most businesses can look to emulate.
2. They’re customer-centric
The second thing you will notice when visiting any Starbucks location is that it’s all about the customer. There are multiple staff members behind the pick-up counter working as a team to get each order completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. You will also notice that each member of the staff is dressed in a similar manner, with their aprons bearing that infamous green logo to signify that they are all working for the same company. This provides customers with an added bit of comfort – knowing who’s behind these counters day in and day out – encouraging them to develop relationships with this team over time – which leads us to our third trait…
3. They make it personal
Starbucks has seen enormous growth since its inception decades ago, but one thing has always remained true: it treats every customer like a part of the family. Aron Govil says even if you walk into a Starbucks 50 miles away from your hometown, you’ll see familiar faces serving up your drinks. In today’s economy, people are quick to “ban together,” and Starbucks has definitely capitalized on that. They recognize the value in every one of their customers, and they’re determined to show it.
4. They’re always innovating
The same cup of coffee you ordered 20 years ago will not be the same cup of coffee you order today (unless you happen to frequent a particular location). Every day Starbucks is poring over new innovations in how they can make the experience better for the customer, whether it’s introducing new drinks or finding ways to streamline processes behind the scenes. Maybe your business doesn’t provide a product like coffee; what about other industries? Are there small changes your staff members could make in order to enhance an already great customer experience? I would bet there are!
5. They embrace technology
Starbucks has long been an innovator in the way they use technology to enhance the customer experience. From their mobile payment apps to their loyalty programs. Which is another great way for them to get to know their customers on a personal level. Starbucks has found ways of using technology that not only make things easier for both staff members and customers but also increase sales. This trend isn’t slowing down any time soon; it’s likely only going to accelerate as time goes on. If you want your business to capitalize on this trend too, you’ll need to find new ways of implementing technology into your operations. So that the customer experience can be streamlined along with everything else says Aron Govil.
So now you know a little bit more about why Starbucks has been able to amass such enormous success for itself. But what can you learn from it? How does your business compare with the traits mentioned above? And how can you make small, yet impactful changes in order to enhance your customer experience?
These are all important questions to ask yourself. When trying to better understand how your business can improve upon its already solid foundation says Aron Govil. If you are able, I encourage you to visit a Starbucks location and see what they’re doing right. Even if it’s not for coffee, chances are they have something different about the way they do things. That could serve as great inspiration for your own company!