Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Essay

858 words - 3 pages

Problem statement:Recent market research has revealed that Starbucks is not meeting customer expectations in the area of customer satisfaction. Starbucks must come up with a plan to target specific areas of improvement identified in the research to improve sales while keeping the potential impact on bottom line to the minimal.Situation analysis:Key results that stood out from the recent market research conducted showed that Starbucks:* Was perceived as a corporate giant primarily concerned with growth.* Attracted a new breed of younger, less well-educated, lower income, less frequently visiting customers.* Was not meeting customer expectations in terms of customer satisfaction.Senior Management at Starbucks have the task of analyzing the results of the market research to understand the real reasons behind this fall in customer satisfaction levels and developing a plan to positively impact these statistics and ultimately increase sales and profitability.Customers:The demographics of a typical customer at Starbucks have changed drastically from its early days. Newer customers are younger, less well-educated, earned less, visited the coffeehouse less often and had very different perceptions of the Starbucks brand than those that were regulars who had been customers for a longer time. The historical customer profile of an affluent, white-collar female aged between 25 and 44 had expanded and reflected the market realities of a multicultural population. A typical customer visited Starbucks five times a month. While many factors influenced customer satisfaction, overall service and speed of service were identified as the most influential.Competition:Starbucks was clearly ahead of its competitors in terms of size of operations and profitability. In the US, Starbucks competed against:* Regional small-scale specialty coffee chains like Caribou Coffee* Numerous independent specialty coffee shops* Donut and bagel chains like Dunkin DonutsCompany:Starbucks pursued its overall objective to establish itself as the most recognizable and respected brand in the world by focusing on retail expansion and product innovation. Starbucks believed in creating an experience around the consumption of coffee and to achieve this they developed and operated on an experiential branding strategy. Customer service was an important component of this strategy and tied into customer satisfaction. Part of the DNA of Starbucks was that employee satisfaction led to customer satisfaction. Employees (called partners or baristas) were highly valued and well taken care of by providing insurance coverage, stock options, and internal promotions.Context:Starbucks was constantly investing in new product innovation to drive sales and growth and the financial numbers reflect this growth. But recent market research showed that customer service, on which Starbucks prided itself, was perceived as unsatisfactory. Customers viewed Starbucks as a corporate giant...

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