Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service Essay

3872 words - 15 pages

IntroductionIn 1982 Howard Schultz, an employee of a small coffee-bean store called "Starbucks" was enlightened while sipping an espresso in a coffee shop in Milan, and the rest is history. He envisioned America's "third place" next to home and work, where coffee-connoisseurs could linger and relax in a classy, pseudo-European atmosphere while enjoying their favorite bean beverage. After buying the company a few years later, he vigorously pursued his vision of selling a wide-selection of hand-crafted brewed espresso of remarkable quality along the extensive line of coffee beans from all around the world. This was provided at a price well above industry standards, with a cup of coffee costing twice as much as that offered at any similar venue. Though initial skeptics where dubious regarding the product's breakthrough success, customers found the price a small drawback next to great service and friendly ambiance and gladly cashed out upwards of a dollar for a single cup of coffee. The product line was simultaneously evolved, with a new warm beverage hitting stores at least once every holiday season.Over the years, the Starbucks experience was adopted by a far wider range of customers than the initial upscale 25-44 female white collar coffee lover. This is in part due to Starbucks' universal appeal, since the soothing atmosphere provides a safe haven for anyone wanting to take a break. Also, the vast range of beverages paired with the high-level of customization gives way to a mind-boggling variety, served fresh on location and available to suit almost anyone's taste. As a result, sales of beverages have escalated to 77% of total sales while a decade earlier the distribution was equal to that of coffee beans.Generally, Starbucks is proud to have a high approval rate among employees and "partners" (with 80-90% claiming to be satisfied with their employment). They firmly believe that a satisfied partner is the key to having satisfied customers. This has mostly paid off, with consumers appreciating the high quality of the products, service, and atmosphere. However, more recent market research shows a decline in customer satisfaction, with speed of service being the main issue in most cases. As a result, an extra $40 million is planned to be injected to make sales quicker and more efficient. As of now, it is still debated if this would be a sane and profitable course of action to follow, and whether it would truly add substantial customer value in the long run.PEST AnalysisThe factors influencing the market for coffee should be carefully investigated before moving on to more advanced, in-depth analysis. By doing so, we will get a good general overview of just what the most significant political, environmental, socio-demographic and technological factors might be.PoliticalThe issue of taxation regarding coffee plays a large role on the level of profitability. Although fairly modest in the USA, the amount of tax levied on coffee can be decisive as to...

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