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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Forget it. I'll just have a coffee.

Standing in line at Starbuck’s this morning, I realized this morning that I wasn’t finished with the importance of recognizing the customer role in providing a successful service experience, as well as the impact that customers have on each other’s experiences.

Because I’m a regular, I forget that some people have anxiety about the whole ordering process. There’s the “Grande = medium” size translation, followed by the formatted ordering of what type of drink you want: how much caffeine, fat content, whether you want to add a flavor and what kind, whether you want whipped cream, and finally (I think), whether you are hanging around or taking your drink “to go”.

For some, the complex ordering process adds to the experience, as memorizing the order pattern identifies them as a regular.

For others, the ordering process is a complete turn-off – whether it’s the silliness of the pseudo language Starbuck’s has cultivated or the memorization requirement implied by the “regular” customers in line.

Again, consider what you want your customers to feel as they engage your service. Anxious? Confident? Like they’re participating in a game? Like they’re regulars? Like they’ll be ostracized if they don’t get it right? Like you’re expecting them to perform, regardless of whether they want to?

1 comment:

Sara said...

This is so very me! I have ordering anxiety in general, and it's even worse in environments such as Chipotle and Subway when you have to know what you want from the huge menu of selections or you'll hold up the entire line! I will give Starbucks some points over the other guys, though, because they always seem to be friendly and happy. It's just the others waiting in line behind me who I worry about. I wonder how that fits into customer experience planning - if it exists at the business.