Try. Know. Guarantee.

Photo Credit: Ian Burt via CC License

Photo Credit: Ian Burt via CC License

This post was originally published on the FCR blog on February 25, 2016. Click here to read the original.

This morning was one of those mornings where I was pretty sure I wouldn’t survive without something with sugar and caffeine in it before heading to work. Raise your hand if you had a similar morning.

I showed up at Starbucks armed with a free drink. Free drink is typically code for order something bigger and more expensive than you normally would. Deciding to venture out, the Citrus Green Tea Latte caught my attention. I stepped up to the register and here’s how my dialog went with Tiffany, the friendly barista at the register:

Me: Hi! Have you tried the Citrus Green Tea Latte? Is it any good?

Tiffany: I actually have and it’s very good. I prefer it cold. I really don’t like matcha hot, but it’s great in a frappucino.

Me: Awesome. Have you had it with soy milk?

Tiffany: Yes I have. It definitely alters the flavor a bit and makes the texture a bit more chalky, but it’s still good. And if you don’t like it, just bring it back and we’ll make you something else.

Me: Great! I’ll go ahead and have a Grande Hot Citrus Green Tea Latte with Soy. (After all, it’s 42 degrees outside— not exactly frappucino weather)

Tiffany: You might also consider coconut milk. It’s a lot closer to the texture and flavor of milk.

Me: Oh cool. Yeah let’s go with coconut milk.

Tiffany: Great! I hope you love it. If you don’t, bring it back and we’ll make you something else. That’s our motto here at Starbucks.

What a pleasant exchange that was. I’d like to extract three things from it that gave me confidence as the customer to go ahead and give something new a try.

Try the product: This latte was a brand new item on the menu and it was clear that Tiffany had tried it. Her ability to share her experience with the product gave me a great reference point to determine if it was worth taking the risk and trying it myself.

Know the product: Not only had Tiffany tried the product, she knew how the different types of milk altered it. Having experiential knowledge is important but knowing all of the ins and outs of it is what allowed her to tailor the latte to meet my individual needs and preferences.

Guarantee the product: At the end of the interaction, Tiffany pointed out the safety net and eliminated all of the risk. If her experience with and knowledge of the product still wasn’t enough to create a drink I was satisfied with, I could exchange it for something else with no questions asked.

Try. Know. Guarantee. Equipping those people who are selling and supporting your product with experience, knowledge and a safety net guarantee is the best way to give them the confidence to help customers bridge the gap between what they know and taking a risk on something new.

When it comes to confidence, customers can smell whether you have it or not. In this case, Tiffany had confidence – and I won’t be returning this Grande Hot Citrus Green Tea Latte with Coconut Milk today. It’s delicious!


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