For many consumers, Starbucks is their go to place for coffee. The company has grown not only because of its great-tasting coffee, but also because of the experience when ordering. Customers have two options. They can order right then and there, or simply do a mobile order and pick up your drink.
The majority of consumers enjoy using the Starbucks app, especially when they’re running late and want to skip the line. Better yet, if you’re the type of person who loves to add multiple ingredients, you can do it all on your phone without feeling the judgement from the barista. We all know that feeling of guilt.
However, one thing is important to note: the customer experience would not be anything without the employee experience. The baristas are trained to make the experience of ordering coffee to be as easy and enjoyable as possible. Making customers happy is the goal, but consumers should also keep in mind that these employees work hard and long hours. On social media, users are starting to point out the lack of empathy towards employees. These employees try to make every experience enjoyable, but it often may be at their own expense.
I can hear it now, why have empathy for the employees if that’s the work they choose to do? Well, we are all human with limits. If the employees of a company don’t feel nurtured and supported by their company, then it’s more likely the consumers will have more negative feedback. Something that has started to conflict with the employee experience is a new TikTok trend.
TikTok’s creative drinks
On TikTok it has been a trend to go to your local Starbucks and get creative with your orders. Some include over 30 ingredients and demands. A post from a Starbucks barista went viral last week, showing a photo of a customer’s order. Other baristas joined the fun showcasing the craziest orders they have had to make.
This led to an influx of users – both starbucks employees and random people – pointing out the fact that this “trend” often leads to a massive strain on the employees. Baristas are begging for the TikTok trend to end. But when this is part of the magic of Starbucks, how can you find that balance.
As with most things, it is on the company to ensure that both employees and customers feel valued. It is never a sustainable strategy to sacrifice one for the other. It seems to me like they could perhaps highlight some of these “special” orders by choosing a popular modification as a weekly special. This would help consumers get to participate in the fun while giving employees the tools to tackle it efficiently.
Success comes from delivering on expectations
It’s clear that many Starbucks customers love this brand so much for the customization possibilities and their shot to try lots of cool and unique coffee drinks. This is a huge opportunity for Starbucks to take advantage of this affinity. Customers come to the table with lots of expectations – in this case, crazy complex orders – and if you can deliver on them, you win. If they fall short – perhaps because of disgruntled employees – customers are likely to not choose you the next time.
Want to know more about how expectations shape customers’ decisions? Check out our webinar to uncover how you can harness expectations to get more customers, and more importantly, more loyal customers.
Itzell Ramirez-Lopez is the social media assistant for Worthix. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Marketing, with an emphasis in Digital Marketing. She also completed a certification in Legal Studies.