Starbucks doesn’t win a lot of taste tests. People don’t necessarily love their coffee more than anywhere else. But they would pay $5 for something you can get for $3.50 or less elsewhere and that’s arguably just as good, right?
So what makes the Starbucks experience so compelling that millions of people would go against every logic?
Through the leadership of Howard Schultz, he has revolutionized not only the coffee industry but the entire retail industry, making price irrelevant.
Today, Starbucks has become the gold standard in what they deliver to their team members and their customers.
Here are some key takeaways from Schultz that your company can emulate:
Creating Human Connections and A Sense of Belonging
“We’re in the business of human connection and humanity, creating communities and a third place between home and work.” – Howard Schultz
Most people have work and home life and so we need a third place that we can get away from for five minutes or an hour and five minutes that isn’t just those two things. Having that third place where you can just go and talk to someone, be part of a community, and feel a sense of belonging is really cool. It’s about creating human connections. And this third place has become even much more relevant today because we really don’t have the three places with the COVID-19 situation.
When you visualize a quick-service restaurant, you would usually see hard benches and tables which aren’t inviting for you to hang out for a while. So Schultz went against the grain of what was happening in the industry 30 years ago when the pendulum had swung so far over to transactions and people wanted that sense of belonging. It’s about creating human connections.
Providing a Compelling Experience That Goes Against Every Logic
“It’s about establishing a very powerful and unusual emotional relationship with the customer.” – Howard Schultz
Starbucks spends very little on advertising. Schultz emphasized that it’s not about fancy marketing, but about establishing a very powerful and unusual emotional relationship with the customer.
Think about how you are making your customers feel at every point of their customer journey. You have to intentionally create the feeling that they are a part of a community. And that’s a human connection!
For more information and resources on how to create a compelling customer experience, check out The Customer Service Revolution podcast. If you’d like to listen, head over to 012: Key Takeaways from Today’s Featured Leader: Howard Schultz – Part 1.