[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=starbucks+coffee&iid=6110000″ src=”9/d/e/2/Starbucks_To_Raise_f2ab.jpg?adImageId=7988679&imageId=6110000″ width=”234″ height=”154″ /]I know what you’re thinking – “Linda, you are so behind the game! This is old news!” Well, as I’ve said before, I get excited about something that is new-to-me and I think this is terrific. It’s added value up the wazoo!
Sometimes regular good customer service gets taken for granted:
- You walk into a retail shop and the clerk acknowledges you with a smile or “hello” – this is good customer service.
- While looking over some merchandise the sales person offers to show you another color or something similar that might interest you – this is good customer service
- When you pay for your purchase the clerk thanks you and asks if there is anything else he/she can do [offer to carry out to your car a large item, or double-bag a heavy item] – this is great customer service
Added value in customer service comes when:
- while shopping you stop into the restroom and not only is it clean and supplied properly, it is decorated attractively
- there are live plants, well tended, decorating the establishment and the background music is pleasing
- an attendant or clerk goes before you to open the door as you leave [often Applebee’s does this] wishing you a good day
- a wireless hotspot that costs you nothing to use and actually works
These are all examples of added value…something added to your experience that didn’t cost you a penny.
I’m not a frequenter of the Starbucks solo locations as I often get a latte at the in-store Starbucks booth at my local Safeway grocery store [which is, itself, an added value service on the part of both Safeway and Starbucks]. However, last Friday morning, I asked my husband to stop at the location adjacent to the freeway as we were heading out of town. While standing in line I noticed a stack of business cards with the title “Pick of the Week” and was curious.
- for me, the customer, I’m introduced to a musician whom I don’t know yet or I’m being treated to a free download of a tune of an artist I’m familiar with; in any case this card represents a free download from iTunes
- for me, the customer, if I’m not acquainted with iTunes, this is a great introduction – a free down-loadable tune
- for iTunes this is a chance to intrigue a potential new customer and give added value to a current customer
- for the music artist is is an opportunity for exposure to many new fans
- for Starbucks this is a great way to fulfill one of the things I think every customer wants: a reason to return
Yes this is all “advertising” and “publicity” and “promotion.” These companies and the music artist wouldn’t engage in this collaboration unless there was a reasonable expectation of return [customers/clients/profit]. However, it is an imaginative and creative way to give customer service added value.