A few months back I posted my review of The Starbucks Experience. At the time I raised a concern to Starbucks: when you “outsource your experience” to someone else (e.g. to grocery stores such as Safeway or Albertsons), you run the risk of damaging your brand. The people running the Starbucks kiosk are employees of the grocery chain, not Starbucks. They don’t buy into the brand from an experience stand point, and apparently are not encouraged (e.g. via incentives) to do so by their employer (or indirectly by Starbucks).
Well, I recently had an awkward moment at a “true” Starbucks location. However, the customer service I received was quite positive. You see, I was without cash and without my wallet–except I came to realize this only after placing my order. The barista simply asked for my name so that she could correlate my transaction with my return, credit card in hand. Trust was emphasized: “I know you’ll come back. No worries.” Impressions like this are long-lasting.
Thanks, Starbucks and especially to the kind barista on Santa Rita Road!
Update 8/2/2007: I see that Marc Farley picked up this post. Who knew of the connection between Starbucks and iSCSI.-Craig