The Secret Behind the Success of Starbucks

Starbucks undoubtedly has the most renowned customer experience reputation in the retail business, maybe of all businesses. I have just finished reading a book called, “The Starbucks Experience” written by Joseph Michelli. There are lessons we can take from this book and apply to the credit union industry. Today I want to tell you about just a small part of the book. In particular, how they motivate their employees called partners to provide the best possible customer experience.

Starbucks call it the “Five ways of Being” which include:

  • Be Welcoming
  • Be Genuine
  • Be Considerate
  • Be Knowledgeable
  • Be Involved

All partners carry a pamphlet referred to the Green Apron Book. According to Michelli’s book, “This book offers concrete ideas on how to personalize relationships with customers by giving to, connecting with, and elevating customer interactions.”

Be Welcoming

This refers to helping customers have a positive start to their visit. This can range from using a customer’s name as they walk in. Everyone likes to be recognized and feel important. The same can be said of our members. Welcoming members into our branches by using their name in the greeting with a smile will make them feel important and encourage them to visit again.

Be Genuine

Being genuine requires listening to customers and responding appropriately. For instance, if a member is making a withdrawal and mentions that their child just got accepted to a college, do you keep doing the transaction? Or do you look at the member, smile, and genuinely tell them you are so happy to hear of their child’s success?

Be Considerate

How considerate are you? How far does your consideration extend? Friends? Family? What about strangers? At Starbucks, they strive to be considerate to those beyond this list including “customers, potential customers, critics, coworkers, managers, farmers, those who pick the coffee beans, vendors, and even the environment.” How far do your employees extend their consideration?

Be Knowledgeable

“Love what you do and share it with others” is how this is expressed at Starbucks. Do you love what you do? Is it not easier to share your passions with your members if you enjoy what you do and where you do it? This is the difference between adding value in every interaction with members and just processing what is asked.

Be Involved

Do your employees actively participate in credit union promotions? Do they get fired up when successes are shared? Starbucks being involved means “active participation in the store, in the company, and in the community.” This can be paramount when trying to build relationships with your members. Having employees buy in to your credit union’s promotions, community events, and other activities? The greater the buy in, the happier and enthusiastic they are, and this will be passed on in their interactions with members.

This is just a small piece of how credit unions can learn from a great customer centric company like Starbucks to provide their members with a better experience.