Starbucks Loyalty Program
The Starbucks Loyalty Program has been under a lot of criticism (in my understanding) from customers for many reasons. Articles in several media outlets talk to the issues there. What I discovered just this week is something very nonsensical and strange in this day and age.
I have been living in Shanghai (again) for a while now. This week I ended up buying a large number of Starbucks coffees on multiple occasions due to some project work. So, I decided “Oh, let me use my loyalty card and gets some points in my account…”
I pulled up the Starbucks APP on my phone and proudly offered it to the counter employee….only to be told with a very nice smile – Oh, this is not a Chinese Starbucks card – we cannot use it here in China….The US cards are not used here – you need to have a Chinese loyalty card….
I found that very surprising so I looked on the bottom of my receipt and saw the statement “contact customercareCN@starbucks.cn with any questions..”
Well, I certainly had a question 🙂 So three emails later – I still do not understand why I have to have 2 different accounts in order to get loyalty points in the US and in China….
The very cheerful statements from Starbucks customer care was “…We also hope to create a culture of warmth and belonging…” – Yes, true – just do not cross borders….(My interpretation…)
Then this evening I listened to an interview with the CEO of the company – Kevin Johnson – who made the statements “…Starbucks innovates on digital mobile connections with our customers…” and given my email exchanges with the company’s customer care department I decided it is time to write about my experiences and the fact that eventhough
- Starbucks is focused on innovation in digital…
- and the customer care organization is focused on creating culture of warmth and belonging
I had to have two different IDs to collect a few loyalty points….
Then I decided “Eh…not worth it….” I will just drink some other coffee…! If a company that is focused on digital innovation and warmth is having difficulty with linking their OWN IT systems in two huge consumer markets — may be their coffee machines are also NOT that great….Technology is hard … for some….