Schultz, the founder of Starbucks believes that “partner satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction.” (Moon & Quelch, 2006, p.4) The company is always on the lookout why “partner” related problems occur and try to diagnose the matter appropriately. More often than not they have found that inexperience sometimes poses a challenge in completing a job efficiently. Therefore Starbucks looks to promote people from within the organization to increase stability and decrease employee turnover rate. (Moon & Quelch, 2006, p.4) “About 70% of the company’s store managers were ex-baristas, and about 60% of its district managers were ex-store managers. In fact, upon being hired, all senior executives had to train and succeed as baristas before being allowed to assume their positions in corporate headquarters.” (Moon & Quelch, 2006, p.4)
The most important aspect of keeping a “partner” in the company for a long time, especially a “barista” (hourly wage, behind the counter employees) has to do with providing the best customer service. Taking care of employee needs creates employee satisfaction; once an employee is satisfied he or she delivers better customer service. This concept is embedded in Starbucks organizational behavior because they know humans are not machines and that they have to be motivated in order to perform well. Motivating employees and listening to them satisfies employees. One of Starbucks brand components is “customer intimacy.” The company wants a barista to stay in the company and in one specific area so he or she can recognize customers. “Our most loyal customers visit us as often as 18 times a month, so it could be something as simple as recognizing you and knowing your drink or customizing your drink just the way you like it.” (Moon & Quelch, 2006, p.3) This is extremely important in keeping the Starbucks tradition alive and my personal experience can serve as an example:
Before the “Java chip frap” Starbucks had the “Chocolate brownie.” There were three Starbucks in a one mile radius from where I lived: one across the street, one in Barnes and Nobles, and one in the grocery store. Since I made a lot of visits to the grocery store it became the stop for getting my daily dose of Starbucks. I like the kind of frappuccino that has big chunks of anything inside that get suctioned up through the straw. Basically, I like to chew and sip. The standard procedure of concocting a chocolate brownie frappuccino venti is taking a standard amount of chocolate brownie and blending it with the rest of the ingredients for a standard amount of time. But who likes standards? So, I told the barista to add a little more chocolate brownie and keep ‘em a little chunky, in other words, easy on the blending. After two visits he perfected my non standard request and each time I would come in after that he would remember what I want and how I want it. Each time I went out with my friends and visited a different Starbucks I wasn’t satisfied with the blending and chose to stick to cheesecake. Moral of the story, I never knew that satisfying the customer in the best way possible was actually a brand element of Starbucks until I started researching on it.
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