Improved Customer Service At Starbucks Or Just ‘Scriptease’?

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In an attempt to improve customer service and ‘personalise’ the customer experience, Starbucks have introduced a system whereby their ‘barristas’ will call you by your name. Rather than shout out ‘Caramel Machiatte!’ and see 4 people stand up to get their coffee, they are now taking your name when you order and calling that out.

Seems simple enough, but there seems to be a bit of a backlash from some of the UK’s more ‘traditional’ customers – they don’t like it! (There’s even an editorial in The Sunday Times about it!)

Apparently some customers are having a bit of a laugh at Starbucks’ expense by giving names like ‘Carol Singers’, ‘Ben Dover’ and ‘Hugh Janus’ (All very Bart Simpson and very amusing when shouted out I’m sure!)

I’m all for ‘personalising’ the customer experience – in fact that’s an ingredient of the Characteristic #3 of 3D BusinessesCreate ‘Devoted’ Customers – but it has to be ‘genuine’ and has to come across as genuine! Perhaps on occasions, this doesn’t appear to do that. It’s what I call ‘Scriptease’ – it’s easier to ‘follow the script’ than to actually interact and engage with your customers!

Does ‘scriptease’ exist in your business? More importantly – what can you do to eliminate it?

Obviously, this could all be good publicity for Starbucks – customers coming in to take the mickey – the best I’ve heard about so far is ‘Name please?’ and a voice further down the queue shouts ‘Don’t tell him Pike!’

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