TRUE STORY IN THREE PARTS:
PART 1: Last month I called Starbucks to complain about a service issue that was bothering me. You see, I understand that a certain level of hipster “gotta be cool” motif will always exist in Starbucks – but that shouldn’t (in my opinion) cross the line of common sense in customer service.
It seems that someone working the drive-thru at my local green logo’d coffee supplier has decided that she should give up on standard greetings to customers. No “good morning.” No “good afternoon.” No “greetings and salutations.” None of those, it seems, are “cool” enough. Here’s what I started to hear every morning a couple of months ago:
You’re not my friend, Miss Drive-Thru Lady. You’re a person in a customer service job that should be greeting me and taking my order in a pleasant manner… not trying to impress me with how cleverly anti-establishment you think you are.
(Sure, you can accuse me of being a bitter old man in my thirties, but I’d rather attribute my lack of acceptance for this sort of thing to having worked for Universal Studios and Disney for the better part of a decade.)
SO – I called the Starbucks customer service number on their website. They took my complaint. They apologized and said they would follow through. They even mailed me a couple of free drink vouchers. All was well in the universe.
PART 2: I love audio books. They help kill time on my commute in the morning. This morning I started a book called Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul. It’s a good read thus far and gives some great insight into the company I spend so much money with each year.
PART 3: This morning I went to my local Starbucks. When I pulled up to the drive-thru, I paused my audio book (mentioned in PART 2) to place my order. Then I heard those words for the first time in weeks…
Suddenly, everything that was being preached to me in the audio book seemed like complete and utter bullshit. Total buzzkill.
EPILOGUE: Seriously, Starbucks. Does your management/customer service actually communicate – or just throw out free drink vouchers without focus on the actual problem? If “what’s up” is the appropriate greeting and I am out of line for being annoyed, please let me know. Maybe I have a negative issue with prepositions in greetings that I’m not aware of.
Or maybe customer service just isn’t “cool” any more. *shrug*