August 7, 2014 Community

‘Business lessons learned from my Starbucks barista’

Sunscreen? Check. Blanket? Got it. Starbucks? On the way. Business lessons? We’re picking those up too.  

A North Carolina family’s weekend trip to the beach started with a stop at their local Starbucks and led to business insights on customer service.

Cheyenne Schultz (no relation to Starbucks ceo Howard Schultz) stayed in the car with the kids while her husband Geoff ran in to pick up their usual coffee drinks. A week later, Cheyenne visited her local Starbucks store again.

“The barista, David, asked how our trip to the beach was,” she recalled. “It struck me how thoughtful he was to remember we were gone on a trip. It was a small gesture on his part, and was significant to me.”

The experience led Cheyenne to write an Instagram post on “business lessons on the client experience” learned from Starbucks partners (employees).

At the top of her list: Show Them You Care.

Cheyenne said that’s what the Starbucks barista did when he remembered her family trip, and asked about it when she returned.

“It was a small gesture that warmed my heart,” she said.

A second lesson Keep Your Promises came to her when Cheyenne purchased a Venti two pump skinny vanilla latte. She always orders the beverage with no foam. By mistake, her drink had a layer of foam on top.

Not thinking it was a big deal, Cheyenne asked a female barista to simply skim off the foam and she’d be on her way.

“She insisted on making a new drink saying, ‘I want you to have a delicious beverage and it won’t be as delicious if it’s not made exactly the way you want.’ Now that’s keeping the Starbucks promise,” said Cheyenne.

Those separate encounters inspired Cheyenne and Geoff to refine their approach to customer service for their wedding photography business.

They’ve embraced that personal touches - delivering a basket of fresh fruit when a wedding is booked, or sending a hand-written thank you note after photographing an event - are ways to show their clients they care.

“I have been inspired by Starbucks and what the company stands for,” she said. “Our business is built on relationships and we do simple things to maintain the trust of our customers.”

What have Starbucks partners done for you that made you feel special? Contact us at newstips@Starbucks.com

Photos courtesy lovetheschultzes.com

For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom