China, Starbucks, Customer Service

Starbucks Not Inspiring Loyalty Program – Huh…?

Starbucks Not Inspiring

It is very interesting how companies lose touch with reality…Starbucks not inspiring loyalty program is continues to be weird in how it deals with its loyal customers.  Yesterday, I published my views on how strange the way the company deals with global travelers is, and today I got another message from the Starbucks (lack of) customer care department.

If you have read my previous posting you have realized that if you travel overseas (to multiple countries) you cannot get points on your US card for buying products from Starbucks in those other countries unless you get a local account and card…!  Friendly ?  or is it?  

I vote NO

After notifying Starbucks of the (what appears to me and several of my friends) crazy recommendation of needing to have a local China card in addition to my US one… I sent another email highlighting how ineffective the recommendation is – this morning I received another “cheerful” email from Customer Care…Here is the new great feedback:

  • Starbucks calculates rewards in a different way in different countries
  • Cards from Germany, China, France, etc may be used only in the country issued

Here are the many things I find ridiculous with this amazing two days of emails:

  • All I asked is that my purchases in China be counted to my Starbucks points
  • I do not care how those points are computed
  • I am perfectly fine if the point calculation is different for each country…. I do not even know what the calculations are for the US…
  • In today’s technology empowered world not being able to link accounts and IT systems of the same company in two different countries is border line crazy and surprising
  • The customer care department at Starbucks is pretty ineffectual and actually the fact that every one of my emails was answered by a different person was a sign of the non-care aspect of it…

All in all, the financial aspect of my request is minimal to none.  But the optical effect of the hassle is pretty big…Oh, well, this has been a good beer (not coffee) conversation with friends in Shanghai….

Since I had some time on my hands I decided to check on-line whether there are more issues with the customer experience at the coffee shops — and was surprised to find quite a few.   I quick reference to a Slideshare posted project summary was very telling — customers at Starbucks are not very happy – long waits — yes they are even longer in Shanghai as the simple black coffee that you can get in 2 minutes from the drip machines in the US, is made based on expresso shot which is than diluted with hot water….bad and you have to wait long time…See others’ views here:

Starbucks, customer experience
Interesting observations….

Interesting to see that others have noticed the customer satisfaction gap — and the notion of Starbucks not inspiring the greatest loyalty

Good luck Starbucks  – hopefully the wonders of technology one day catch up with your operations for the happiness of your customers…

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