Howard Schultz Tell Starbucks’ Leaders They Lost their Soul

#1 Predictor of a Child’s Lifetime Income / Howard Schultz Tell Starbucks’ Leaders They Lost their Soul /  Wendy’s Walking Back Surge Pricing Strategy / No Dreams Left Behind

Retailers Ditching Self-Checkout Lanes

Industry giants such as Costco, Walmart, Target, Kroger, and Dollar General are reversing their strategy on the self-checkout lanes. For the past several years big retailers have moved away from cashiers and encouraged their customers to “do it yourself.” The intent was to save money on labor, however what also came with this experiment was an increase in customer frustration, intentional and unintentional theft, and a decrease in customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

“We listened closely to customer feedback and made the decision to convert back to hosting staffed checkout lanes at this store,” said John Votava, Kroger spokesman.

Lack of Human Interaction Decreases Customer Loyalty

Researchers from Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business conducted five studies that showed customers prefer human interaction versus technology and are more likely to remain loyal to the grocery store. These findings and the full study were recently published in the Journal of Business Research.

Don’t miss our next free Webinar March 21, 2024

Why The Employee Experience Revolution with John DiJulius & Dave Murray. It is often said that our jobs don’t define us, but what we do for a living, our careers, and who we decide to do it for, are huge parts of who we are. We spend a significant amount of time working. Every leader should realize that the work one does needs to be rewarding and fulfilling in addition to the financial compensation one receives. Leaders need to build the type of company that helps employees be proud of the work they do and allows them to have an opportunity to live their best lives.

Former Starbucks’ CEO Pens Letter to Company’s Leaders to Find its Soul

Howard Schultz, former CEO and President, challenged Starbucks senior leaders to go on a soul-searching journey. In his two-page letter to leadership, titled “The Soul of a Brand“, Schultz said Starbucks is at an “inflection point” and has an opportunity for a “reset.”
​He encouraged the company’s leadership to address Starbucks’ systemic issues.

“In a world seemingly on fire, steeped in disinformation and so much hate, in which people are so disconnected from each other, Starbucks and the soul of the brand and its place in society and culture plays a critical role in the lives of our people, our customers, and the communities we serve,” wrote Schultz.

“As a leadership team, and as a Board, I encourage you in the work you are doing to address not only the systemic challenges the company is facing, but also take the extra critical step to truly understand and honor the soul of the company and its brand. It’s what binds us all together,” Schultz said.

Fast Food Chain Backs off Surge Pricing Strategy after Public Backlash

Surge pricing has worked out well for Uber and restaurants on special occasions, it appeared consumers may have to deal with it at their favorite fast-food chain. However, now Wendy’s Restaurant appears to be walking back their plans on testing ‘fluctuating pricing’ based on demand, also known as surge pricing.

In mid-February, Kirk Tanner, the new CEO and president of Wendy’s, shared with analysts that they would be rolling out new plans to improve company profits, including digital menu boards that will be more easily able to change the prices of items, as well as testing dynamic pricing and daypart offers, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. “Beginning as early as 2025, we will begin testing more enhanced features like dynamic pricing along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling,” said Wendy’s CEO Kirk Tanner.

However, a company’s spokeperson said in a statement recently, “To clarify, Wendy’s will not implement surge pricing, which is the practice of raising prices when demand is highest. We didn’t use that phrase, nor do we plan to implement that practice.”

Prior to Wendy’s new statement, there was a great deal of backlash on social media. Even Burger Kind, a competitor, jumped on the opportunity to take a shot and market share from Wendy’s by offering customers free Whoppers through Friday, March 1.

BK Wendy Price Surge, The DiJulius Group

Register for our Next CX Academy April 16-18, 2024

The Customer Xperience Executive Academy (CXEA) is similar to a master’s degree in Customer Experience. The Customer Experience Executive Academy course is a 12-month part-time rigorous program. Training will occur in the classroom, in businesses, and virtually through scheduled calls and webinars. The CXE student is required to attend quarterly intensive training sessions (3 days/quarter for 1 year) and participate in virtual meetings. Contact claudia@thedijuliusgroup.com to learn more.

Customer Service Revolution Podcast Episode 146: No Dreams Left Behind

Chief Revolution Officer John DiJulius of The DiJulius Group talks to Katie Eichenauer, Executive Director of Believe in Dreams. Believe in Dreams is a nonprofit whose mission is to fulfill dreams of youth who are economically disadvantaged and have survived non-medical adversity by providing access to enriching opportunities, connection to community and hope for the future. Listen to Episode 146: No Dreams Left Behind

Video of the week

Do you know the #1 predictor of a child’s lifetime income? It is a numeric number. Some of you might have guessed it is their HS or College GPA. Some of you might have guessed it is where they rank in their graduating class or their SAT/ACT scores. Believe it or not, none of those are the highest predictor of a child’s future success.

Register Now for Upcoming *Free* Webinars:

March 21, 2024:  Why The Employee Experience Revolution

April 4, 2024:  The Power of Purpose 

Thursday April 18:  Presenting to get Ahead in the Corporate World

Thursday May 2:  Interviewing for Customer Service Rockstars

Thursday May 16:  Creating a Recruitment Experience

Thursday May 30:  Creating an Onboarding Experience

Thursday June 13:  Creating an Employee Experience that Retains Employees

Thursday June 27:  Tearing Down Silos by Building Collaboration Across Departments

Thursday July 11:  Building & Developing Great Leaders

Thursday July 25:  Leaving a Leadership Legacy

About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.