The Surprising Latte Factor

by Cate on July 7, 2008

I am a big fan of mom-and-pop type establishments.  Whether it be a family-run restaurant, bookstore or other retail place, I seek them out regularly and patronize them as much as I can.  That being said, I’m totally loving the people at Starbucks lately, both in front of and behind the counter.

On two recent visits to Starbucks, the Barista, each time a different one, said, “I know you like the honey drizzled on top of the cream, right?”  This says two things.  One, that I apparently go there way too often and need to get out of my Honey Frappuccino rut and two, that they are actually paying attention to the customers they’re serving.  True, I’m sure this is part of their customer service training, but these days when good customer service is harder and harder to find, the fact that the training actually sticks and is implemented is a nice thing.  I like that they remember me and my order.  You know, kind of like Cheers, where everybody knows your name.

Tonight, I’m feeling warm fuzzies for Starbucks‘ folks for an entirely different reason.  I ran in to get my usual, and didn’t bring my wallet, only grabbing a handful of cash, and, of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, I was 50 cents short.  I slid my dollars across the counter and told the cashier I’d run to my car and be right back.  As I turned around and started walking towards the door, she and the Barista making my drink shouted after me, saying “Don’t worry, it’s ok.”   Truly a heartwarming gesture, especially in this day and age of everyone blazing through life at warp-speed, barely acknowledging each other, it was compounded by another kind gesture.  The customer behind me paid the 50 cents I was short and was nearly gone before I could thank him.

So if you happen to be in a Starbucks soon, and a random customer pays for your drink, it just might be me as I’m paying it forward.

Do you have a warm fuzzies story to share?  I’d love to hear it.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly July 7, 2008 at 10:05 pm

As I was driving out of a Starbuck’s parking lot one day, my latte tipped out of my poorly designed cupholder and spilled all over my suit pants and floor mat. When I pulled up to the window to pay for my re-order, the barista looked at me curiously. I explained the reason for my very quick return, to which she replied “accidents happen,” and refused to take payment for the replacement latte. Customer service will woo me back anytime. Now if I could only get that warm milk smell out of my floormat!

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Sarah July 7, 2008 at 10:14 pm

It’s nice to know that there are still decent people out there . . . and it’s awesome that they are paying attention like that.

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Dan Waldron July 7, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Well said. Great information, keep up the great work!

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Mrs Ergül July 9, 2008 at 9:43 pm

I have watched the movie Pay it Forward before and am really touched by it :)

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Mellisa July 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Our Starbucks has a camera in the drive through and I was in the car with DH and the barista greeted me with “Venti Mocha Frappichinno extra, extra, extra blended with Mocha Whip anything else?”. My hubby looks at me with surprise and says ” you come here way to often!” If he only knew ;).

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Laura July 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm

The do that to me and I love it! I am very big on doing local business but the starbucks people are so much nicer here.I feel bad though they are one of the 600 stores that are going to get cut.

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