Why is @Starbucks’ Customer Service Not Equal?

I go to Starbucks, A LOT. I spend a lot of time in Starbucks locations and I’ve found that the locations are not alike. I’m not talking about the ones that are inside Target, Safeway or other in-store locations. I’m talking about the actual stores. The ones where you’re supposed to walk into a location, order a coffee the same way, and get the same coffee. I mean, that’s why we go to chain stores, right?

Bad Customer Service: Lake Oswego, Centerpoint Drive.

I was in this location earlier this week. I had a couple of minutes before I had to give a presentation so I popped in for a drink. They were a little busy, I get that. But they only stopped talking amongst themselves, long enough to get my order. I handed them my Gold Starbucks card (Which is supposed to indicate regular customer, right?) The clerk tried to throw it away, even though I had somewhere near ten dollars left on it and was disgruntled that I bothered to stop her? After retrieving my piping hot coffee, (I asked for tepid). I scurried out of there in a hurry.

Good Customer Service: FuBonn Shopping Plaza – 82nd Avenue

This Starbucks on 82nd avenue in SE Portland has the greatest staff. I’ve been here a couple of times while I’ve been going to school – they stop and talk to you as if you’re a regular. My friend, who doesn’t regularly drink coffee had no idea what she wanted, so the clerk, (Jason) stopped and asked her some questions about what she liked in general. It really impressed me that he/they would take their time to figure out the best offering for someone who didn’t know what they want. Good Job Jason! Fubonn Starbucks is awesome in my book.

As for Lake Oswego? I guess I’ll look for a different coffee shop to go to when I’m out there.

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8 responses to “Why is @Starbucks’ Customer Service Not Equal?

  1. It’s because they are people. Their systems and culture are as only strong as the management in place. You have to understand, the managers make very little money for the caliber of leadership that is expected of them. They usually can’t live up to the expectation because Starbucks cannot attract the talent they need, not in every store anyway. And the manager makes or breaks the efficiency and tone of the store.

    And sometimes you just have bad hires. Some people are excellent at interviewing and terrible at working. Sometimes you just show up when they are working.

  2. Agreed. I used to work near a starbucks so bad at one point I walked a quarter mile in the middle of a blizzard that eventually closed all the stores, rather than get coffee at -that- starbucks. They put mint whipped cream on a cinnamon dulche and gave it to me on three seperate occassions. Yuck.

    On the other other hand, the starbucks at my current work place is amazing. I like it so much I drive there on my days off, even though it’s twenty minutes away. The people there know and like me, and I’m struck by the fact that 90% of their clients are regulars. I always order a “surprise”, no black coffee, no tea. ^^ I love how they step up to the plate.

  3. I’ve had similar experiences at the Centerpointe location. I usually try to go to the location on SW Sequoia & Carmen Drive instead, when possible. Other options closer to the Centerpointe/Kruse Way location would be 5800 SW Meadows & 3 Monroe Pkwy, but parking at times can be difficult at either of these locations, Meadows more so than Monroe Pkwy.

  4. I agree. The local Lake Grove one the other day served me a cup with mostly grounds on the bottom – gave me a coupon for a free one. I counted there are 8 within almost walking distance of my house.

  5. and this is why I love Dutch Brothers 🙂 None of the Bend Starbucks make me want to come back – Dutch Brothers on the other hand always make me feel like they are happy I am there and have great coffee and great attitudes.

  6. agree with Thesa. there is much better coffee, and it comes with much less big box “service” at other establishments!

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