Let me start by saying that if you know me personally or if you follow this blog then you know I’m a fan of the Starbucks brand. But I’ve got to be honest. I just had a bad experience (from a marketing and branding stand point) at my local Starbucks.
After I left the gym this morning I pulled over and ordered via the Starbucks app oatmeal with 2 agave syrups, 1 blueberry pack, and 1 fruit & nut seed medley.
The bad vibes started the moment I walked through the door, and didn’t get the usual ‘Welcome to Starbucks from across the counter’. But that wasn’t the problem. The young lady serving up items at the pickup counter it was visible (at least it seemed) like she just didn’t want to be there. I mean I walked through the front door (along with another gentleman) and straight to the pickup counter and just stood there and she didn’t acknowledge either of us. We’re just standing there, and the pickup counter is right in front of the entry door…she saw come in. So we had to ask for our stuff.
When I get my order it’s wrong. But what’s frustrating me is that this not the first time this store has gotten my orders wrong. So I go up to the pickup counter to show her on my iPhone screen what I ordered and to ask does it come through to you this way. Her response “I don’t know, I didn’t pack your order”. I’m thinking “What!!!”. So I ask again, and she gives me the same response.
While standing there I realize I can’t read her name tag because it looks like someone took a wet cloth and smeared the white letters so that only what looked like a G, a Y, and an N were visible in her name. I’m thinking to myself what’s the point in wearing an illegible name tag?
Finally she asked me what was actually in the bag, I told her and she gave me the items that were left out. But what she didn’t give at any point was an “I’m sorry we got it wrong”. Sadly, this experience is a long way off form the Starbucks Barista Promise I wrote about a while back.
The main points I want to make here about branding are.
- If you’re an employee and you’re having a bad day, as we all do sometimes either suck it up and smile or just go home. Our attitudes affect how the companies we work for are perceived.
- Small things like a name tag that can’t be read actually matter a lot to some people … like me.
- If you or someone else on your team get’s something wrong start with “I sorry”, not “I don’t know I didn’t do it”.