Why I love my Starbucks Japan

I haven’t been writing lately. Sorry about that folks! I have been busy traveling from Japan to my family’s farm in the wonderful rural area in the state of Oregon! The only problem with living that far out in the middle of no where is that it takes about 30 minutes to reach a true Starbucks, none of these grocery store Starbucks stands for me.

When I go home I spend a lot of my time shopping. I always have a big list of things that I want to get and bring back for myself as well as my family. That gives me a oppertunity to visit a variety of Starbucks. This time it really hit me, there is a lack of connection between the partners and customers in most of these stores. I guess you might say “they don’t know you”, there is nothing to start a conversation with and so on. And you might be correct if I was going to any other coffee company. But I expect more with my Starbucks.

While we were in Oregon, I used my Starbucks Japan original Sakura tumbler every time I went for my daily hit of coffee. Not once did any partner take a couple extra seconds to look at what they where pouring the wonderful Starbucks coffee into. That made me feel like a walking wallet. And more importantly longing to get back to my Starbucks in Japan. When I returned to Japan we went to a Starbucks in Kobe. I have never been to that store but used my new tumbler from America. The first comment I got was from the 20 something girl behind the register. Then she showed it to another partner, in the end all of the partners had gathered to look at the different tumbler from America. Extreme? Maybe. Passion about their work? Yes, definitely!  How could you not feel great about that experience? I will be going back to that store the next time I get coffee in Kobe!

What is my point? I have been reading Howard Schultzs’ new book “Onward”. He talks a lot about a company culture that has lost touch with the customers. I can see improvements from the last time I was in America, but from a customer standpoint, that first experience is so important. Starbucks Co. has a lot to learn from their little brother Starbucks Japan Ltd. and maybe even other Starbucks from around the world. Japan has perfected the meaning of “customer service”. When ever I go to from my daily fix of Starbucks, I end up feeling connected not only to my coffee but also to the people who make it so wonderful.

As always, please leave your comments! I would love to hear about your experiences in Starbucks from around the world as well as in your own country! Have a wonderful coffee day friends!

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