I don’t go to Starbucks for the coffee.
Let’s face it, I can pick up a coffee from the local donut shop down the street. Why is it that I’m willing to possibly go out of my way, wait in a line and pay more money for a cup of coffee? It’s all the details surrounding the actual purchase of said coffee.When I grab a cup of joe anywhere else I get just that, a cup of coffee in a styrofoam cup. The end. At Starbucks I get a coffee experience!
How Starbucks Builds Trust
Starbucks knows me. They know you. They know us so well, in fact, they’ve created an experience we didn’t even know we wanted. They took the simple act of selling coffee and turned it into an art form. That’s what building trust is all about. Getting creative. Going above and beyond to consistently surprise and delight those that you love. In business it’s turning the act of selling into the art of serving. Starbucks has done this successfully by paying attention to the details surrounding the coffee.
Consistency – coffee how you want it every time in any store all over the world
Availability – locations everywhere, including the grocery and the airport
Atmosphere – relaxed, warm and inviting
Sound – familiar tunes and new artists provide background entertainment
Trained Associates – not just coffee servers, but baristas who know coffee
Extras – healthy snacks, hearty sandwiches and decadent confections that pair perfectly
App – find a location and pay with ease
Community – local flavor breeds familiarity
Rewards – spend money, get free stuff
Communication – consistently sharing what’s happening
Notice, I listed nothing about coffee—their claim to fame.
Experience a Connection
People buy from people. People buy an experience. Every company, whether B2B or B2C, is similar to Starbucks. The unique opportunity exists to create a more powerful connection at every customer touchpoint. Fascinate, surprise and delight, just like Starbucks. Doesn’t that sound like alot more fun than “selling”!
Creating this kind of experience takes more than just special cups and a fancy title for your sales people. It takes real planning. And not the kind that happens at the annual company budget meeting. It takes clear positioning, strategy, creativity and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. In his prolific book, The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin explains why true innovators focus on trust, remarkability, leadership and stories that spread. Starbucks has successfully created a trust by focusing on the customer experience. By being remarkable. By making their customers part of their brand story.
It’s time to re-examine every customer touch point and design a more remarkable customer experience, like Starbucks. It’s time to stop pleasing and start serving. Let’s surprise and delight, starting now. Whose with me?
(Excuse me, I’ve got to finish my venti iced coffee with cream now—aaaaahhhh!)
Make your presence felt.