More on Starbucks’ Customer Experience

As a follow-up to this post, I refer you to this article from MarketingProfs about another less than satisfying experience at Starbucks along with a good analysis of the interplay between expectations, performance and satisfaction. In the article, the author describes his experience as “stressful” and when I was reading it I was imagining him as having been uncomfortable.

Stressful and uncomfortable are certainly two emotions with which no company ever wants to be associated. What’s interesting is how much of this always seems to come down to the very last step in the marketing and customer experience process – the actual interaction with the customer. Millions and millions of dollars and countless hours of strategy and planning go into creating an experience and environment that is intended to evoke certain emotions. Then, one wrong word or one wrong look between staff and customer and it’s all for naught.

I don’t mean to pick on Starbucks exclusively as I notice this sort of thing all the time, whether face to face in a retail environment or over the phone with, say, an airline or some other service provider. The challenge for marketers is that this generally comes down to workers with the least to loose. So, how does one incent them to care as much as those developing the best laid plans?