The Data Analytics Blog

Our news and views relating to Data Analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning, and the world of Credit.

All Posts

Starbucks Creates The Addict’s Customer Experience Trifecta

June 17, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Observing consumer trends and understanding customers’ lifestyles can lead to moments of genius in meeting customer needs to create a superior Customer ExperienceCase in point: Starbucks.

According to US-based technology and market research company, Forrester Research, 92% of companies surveyed last year confirmed that the customer experience would be a top priority for them. We are entering what Forrester refer to as the Age of the Customer:

“a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.”  

For companies to thrive – and possibly survive - in this new age, they will need to offer a consistently superior experience for their customers.

Starbucks gets it Right: "Third Place"

Starbucks is one company that has done just that over the past few years. Starbucks did not grow into the largest coffeehouse in the world, with over 23,000 shops globally, because it has the best coffee. It did so by offering a superior customer experience. For decades, Starbucks have strived to become our “Third Place” – that place between work and home where we like to pop in for a while to read our mail, have a chat with a friend, have a business meeting, or pass the time waiting for our next flight or next appointment.

For Starbucks patrons, it’s less about the coffee and more about the experience. Sure, there’s that cozy ambience and vibe that they create with their soft jazz music, décor, and scent and sound of coffee being ground. But Starbucks solidified their position in our hearts and minds as our preferred “Third Place” when they first started offering free Wifi to customers.  

By simply knowing their customers and observing consumer and market trends, Starbucks had a stroke of genius with this offering. An innovation like that shakes up the industry and leaves competitors scrambling to catch up.  

Now that most coffee shops offer free Wifi, Starbucks continue to trailblaze the customer experience in order to tighten their grip on their competitive advantage.

Sheer Retail Brilliance: The Trifecta

Last week, they announced another industry first by offering wireless charging mats for mobile phones, so customers can charge their phones for free while enjoying a hot cup of java.

This is sheer retail brilliance. If there’s anything we’re more addicted to than coffee, it’s our Internet connectivity and our mobile phones.   With this latest offering, Starbucks have created the addict’s “Customer Experience Trifecta” of coffee, free Wifi and free juice for their phones.  

In doing this, they have not only created a competitive advantage, but also supported their objective of making Starbucks their customers’ preferred “Third Place.”   For travellers accustomed to sitting on airport floors to be near a plug-point, it’s a dream come true.

Lessons to be Learned

So what lessons can we learn from Starbucks that will help us thrive in the Age of the Customer?  

Create a superior experience for your customers by one of two ways:

  1. identify customer problems and then see how you as a business can solve them, or
  2. observe and respond to consumer trends in a way that fits in to and enhances your customers’ lifestyles. 

New call-to-action

Julian Diaz
Julian Diaz
Julian Diaz was Head of Marketing for Principa until 2017, after which he became Head of Marketing for Honeybee CRM. American born and raised, Julian has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Having begun his career at a major software company in Germany, Julian made the move to South Africa in 1998 when he joined Dimension Data and later MWEB (leading South African ISP). Since then, Julian has helped launch various South African technology brands into international markets, including Principa.

Latest Posts

Amazon Web Services Vs Microsoft Azure: Which Cloud Provider Should You Host Core Business Systems On?

Deciding on which cloud service to host your core business systems on can be a daunting task. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are two of the biggest players around, while Google Cloud and IBM Cloud are also gaining market-share.

Truth Seeker: How To Avoid Logical Fallacies And Cognitive Biases In Data Science

We have released a new eBook titled Truth Seeker: a guide to avoiding logical fallacies and cognitive biases in data science.

Exploring The Evolution Of Data Science In Banking

We’re looking forward to attending this year’s Evolution of Data Science in Banking conference. The 2019 conference will be held on the 5th and 6th of June at the Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Johannesburg. The event will explore the use of data and analytical techniques to help financial services providers meet regulatory and reporting requirements. Also to be discussed is how running analytics at a product level can provide a more holistic view of customers across their portfolios.