Something I have noted in my relatively regular visits to Starbucks for my morning dose of goodness-in-a-cup is the nearly overwhelming mispronunciation of the 20oz drink option. As you may or may not be aware, this size designation is a venti, which actually means “20”. We can also see that the pronunciation, as expected, rhymes with tee or bee, but the baristas who serve me inevitably repeat my drink order as a vente instead. I was bothered by this for a while – up until the cleverly disguised sarcasm began to sink in. Wittingly or not, each of these baristas has just confirmed that I indeed had paid for a “wait” with cream, allowing them to take as much time as needed to prepare – since that is what I asked for after all. Kudos to you, Starbucks, for coming up with a naming convention that, however pronounced, will make me happily vente for my venti.
In this day in age, with all the technological advancements from entertainment to dining, many companies seem to lose track of the simple fact that customer service is still important. I know first hand how many companies have (or are) letting the simple principle of “the customer is always right” be slowly outshone by the new principle of “the customer is privileged to do business here.” I worked retail for many years in different venues from shoes to computers, and I saw this slip first-hand when I compared the divergence between what was taught during training and to what standard management expected on the sales floor. Thankfully I now work for a company that still values the customer above all, and though I’m no longer in sales, I have had opportunity to sit with customer service for an entire day and watch first-hand how things are handled – and it makes me proud to work here.
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So, I was greeted by a very exciting thing this morning: news that Starbucks is giving away free coffee today! Yes, by bringing in a reusable mug to your local Starbucks coffee shop, you can obtain a full dose of caffeinated goodness. Interestingly enough, I had just taken my son by our closest shop and rewarded him for a job well done with a steamy cup of hot chocolate this week, so I thought it fitting to post the picture along with this little reminder. So, get out there and get your coffee, and feel free to wonder just how much free coffee Starbucks might go through in the Seattle area alone.