Starbucks Searches For Its Soul

In today’s New York Times, there’s an article called Starbucks Takes a 3-Hour Coffee Break which talks about Starbucks’ efforts to reinvigorate its customer experience.

In its campaign to revive the intimate, friendly feel of a neighborhood coffee shop, Starbucks orchestrated the closing of 7,100 of its American stores at precisely 5:30 p.m. for a three-hour retraining session for employees. 

This is part of Howard Schultz’s effort to “regain the soul of the past” and improve the experience of Starbucks customers. (FYI, Howard Schultz was recently reappointed as CEO).

My take: Interestingly, I used the following quote from Howard Schultz in my post called “Firms Need Some Soul Searching

Customers must recognize that you stand for something

It’s clear that Starbucks, one of the poster-children of the experience economy, no longer clearly stands for something. How did it happen? Unfortunately, the firm went down a path that I’ve discussed in the past — letting its thirst for profits replace its clear purpose. It’s a very tempting path that many companies go down, especially in an economic downturn. So be forewarned.

The bottom line: If it can happen to Starbucks, then it can happen to you.

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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