Friday, April 8, 2011

Learning About Guest Services Over a White Chocolate Mocha

My quest for learning the Guest Services secrets of Starbucks began with a hot White Chocolate Mocha on a cold January day several years ago. I settled into a comfortable seat, observing the friendly, welcoming interactions between the baristas behind the counter and their customers as they walked in. I didn't know I was in for Guest Services 101.

The single episode that sticks in my mind to this day, though, was the following: While I was observing the barista's interactions with customers, a young mother and her 3 year-old daughter walked into the store. As they were walking in the door, the barista came out from behind the counter, said hello to the mom, then knelt down in front of the daughter, calling her by name and engaging in a conversation for several minutes - all while other customers continued to come into the store. The store was well-staffed, so no one was held up by the barista's actions. A seemingly small gesture? Maybe so, but it spoke volumes to me.

Later I asked the barista what prompted her actions. She replied, "It's in the basic training all partners take when they start working at Starbucks. It's called the 'Starbucks Experience,' and it's all in this." With that, she handed me The Green Apron Book.

Containing no less than the core philosophies and values of Starbucks, the Green Apron book is a small package with a large impact. Its simple but powerful structure contains guiding principles of the environments Starbucks baristas hope to create and legendary service they strive to provide. You can read it in about five minutes - and that's if you pause to sip your coffee a few times while reading it. But it's really leadership at its best: simple instruction provided in an appealing way, with a spirit that encourages baristas to make each Starbucks Experience uniquely their own.

The central theme is called "The Five Ways of Being":
  • Be welcoming
  • Be genuine
  • Be considerate
  • Be knowledgeable
  • Be involved
Along with the core purpose, values, and mission statement, the book provides partners with concrete ideas on how to personalize relationships with customers by giving to, connecting with, and elevating customer interactions.

It closes with three simple sentences:

Creating the experience that keeps people coming back relies on the magical combination of three things: our products, our places, and our people.

They come for coffee, stay for the inviting warmth, and return for the very human connection.

Now go ahead, welcome your next new regular!


You don't need to copy the Green Apron Book for your Guest Services team, but you do need to understand the principles behind it, develop concepts that will encourage your team to be fully engaged with the people they are welcoming to your campus, and apply them to your context.


How are you serving the guests at your church?

Learn more about Guest Experience from Starbucks here.http://27gen.blogspot.com/2011/03/turning-ordinary-into-extraordinary.html

2 comments:

Smart Other Blogs said...

Another Smart post from you Admin :)

Ancient Egypt said...

Smart and good another post admin :)
Ancient Greece