Over the course of July, guest bloggers from around the world share their good, bad, or ugly customer service experiences. It’s a place to complain, rant, and highlight opportunities for companies to improve. But, this series is also a place to celebrate when companies do well, processes work effectively, service representatives are our advocates, and we leave a situation as stronger believers in the product or service than we started.
Today’s blog comes from Nebraska via Hawaii. Stacy is a good friend from high-school, has the most infectious laugh, and is one of the most positive people I know. I think it also helps that her older sister is my life-long BFF.
So I am sitting here in my local Maui Starbucks working on my pile of “to-do’s” from work. As I glance over at my cup, I noticed the barista spelt my name right, which most people don’t since it’s not the most common way of spelling, “Stacy”. There’s something about your name being spelt right that just makes you smile. It then reminded me of my awesome customer service experiences I have had with this company. A company which many believe is too corporate or commercialized.
The first goes back to January. It was my birthday, and my birthday drink didn’t pop up in my Starbucks app yet. I was looking forward to my drink, along with all the well wishes a birthday usually entails. Well, the app hadn’t come through and neither did the well wishes. It was probably the worst birthday I’ve had. Though I’m not the type to like to be in the spotlight, for some reason, it bothered me that no one remembered. To top it off, work was stressful and I just wanted to go home and have my free birthday drink. But it still never popped up. I went home and my husband told me to call customer service and ask them about my birthday drink. I was so fed up with the day by that point that I almost didn’t call. Eventually I called and spoke to a customer service representative (I wish I knew his name). After explaining the reason for my call he said, “Well first of all, Happy Birthday!” He was the first person, besides my husband, to tell me happy birthday. He had just made my day! And to top it off he said he would also load three more drink rewards and $15 as a birthday gift! I was floored by his kindness and generosity, and quickly exclaimed, “You just made my birthday! Thank you!” I’m sure he didn’t fully understand what that meant to me, but it was the kindness of this stranger that turned my whole birthday around.
My other experiences have to do with the joy you feel when someone remembers your name or simply spells your name correctly as I shared earlier. I am a Maui girl transplanted to the land of corn in Nebraska. I had gone into my local Starbucks in Grand Island and I had another discrepancy in my Starbucks Rewards account. The date on my drink reward was the previous day, but it still said “available.” I went in to ask, not expecting much since the date was actually expired, but it doesn’t hurt to ask right? So they tried using the code, which of course showed up as expired and unavailable, but before I said anything the barista said he would just put the drink order through. Having originally ordered a hot drink, he asked if I had ever tried the frappuccino version since it was so hot out. I pondered the offer, but initially declined since he had already written on my cup. He insisted that if I wanted the frappuccino he could easily change it and that it was no big deal. So I said okay. It was almost 95 degrees out, so why not? After I got my drink I thanked the baristas for being so awesome and friendly. As I walked out I noticed that they had written my name on my cup, as they usually do, but then realized that he hadn’t even asked for my name! And to top it off, he spelt it correctly! It made my day that I was recognized by my local Starbucks baristas (I’m sure your name pops up when they scan your card, but it still makes me feel special), bringing a personal touch to what feels like such a commercial world.
And now that brings me to today. I’m home on a short vacation, but that can’t take away from my typical routine of finding a Starbucks to sit down and get some work done. Yes, it is a simple thing to get the spelling of your name correct, but that’s probably the most personal and defining thing about yourself…besides maybe your birthday! So, I suppose Starbucks has gotten two things right. They’ve touched me on a personal level through their customer service and I appreciate all they have helped me get through: from countless all nighters for exams and projects, to my past birthday, one white chocolate mocha at a time.
Have you experienced such positive and uplifting experiences from a company like Stacy has? What was your experience and how has it reinforced your support of the brand or product?
There’s no exchange of moolah behind these blog pages, pro-deals, or freebies with this series. What you see is what you get; real stories from real people who are sharing their experiences to challenge the status quo, inspire companies to take action, and ultimately build a life long customer. Be sure to check back this week!