A #CX Suggestion For My Local Starbucks

closedI met a colleague at the local Starbucks earlier today to talk about a few things.  Upon walking into the store, I noticed the barren shelves and the missing furniture.  The baristas indicated that the store would be closing in fifteen minutes for remodeling– at 2pm.  That my friends is a recipe for disaster.  I’m only partly kidding.

We sat outside, enjoyed our beverages, and over the course of about twenty minutes watched thirty people walk up to the door, try to open it, read the sign, and then walk away.  Many of them had their own cup and either a book or laptop in hand.  They clearly had planned this trip and were turned away.  It’s like a good friend all of a sudden not having any time for you.

As I sat there and observed this, I thought of the perfect solution to the problem.  I’m guessing that a vast majority of folks use their Starbucks app to purchase their drinks.  Undoubtedly Starbucks has the ability to see which customers frequent that particular store on a regular basis.  Why not push a notification to the app to tell them that the store will be closed for renovation?  A suggestion of other nearby locations would be icing on the cake.

The moral of this story is that in most lines of work, you have regulars.  Never forget to let these loyal customers know when their regular routine will be interrupted.  And when you have something as powerful as a loyalty app, use it to your advantage.

Am I pushing it if I suggest that Starbucks give all their frequent shoppers a free drink while they’re at it?


Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.


  • Good point and helpful suggestion J. Assuming they actually were renovating, shouldn’t they have planned it for after hours? Or possibly taken a staffer and put them outside to personally tell people of the great news of the redecoration and offer a coupon for a return visit and “cup on the house.”

    • Exactly Doug. In my time in retail ops, re-laying a store for fresh merchandising would either be done out of hours, or in phases to allow the store to remain open. And our stores were way bigger than the tiny Starbucks footprint.
      Sorry but I don’t see that a text message is the learning here – fix the cause not the consequence!

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