Retaining Customers One EMPLOYEE at a Time

I am currently sitting in a Starbucks in my small town.

My small town happens to have two Starbucks about 3 miles apart. I typically go to the “other” one. I really didn’t know why I chose to go to the other one, I would just go. However, this morning I realized why. You see, typically, if I have time to do a little writing, I will go to Starbucks to do it. I love people, I love atmosphere, I love a cool vibe and culture where I can be creative and dream big. Today, I realized why I choose to go to the other Starbucks and it 100% has to do with culture.

The other Starbucks is full of fun jokester type baristas. They all have this similar vibe about them. They love what they do, they love who they work with and they love where they work. This type of culture is so attractive to me as a consumer. It makes me feel like I am a part of what they are doing. Honestly, I am a part of what they are doing. If I don’t get coffee there, they lose money, if I do, they gain money.

When I walk in to this Starbucks, I feel something very different. I feel very rushed. I feel like I am just here for them to hit the 1 minute and 30 second goal of getting me in and out the door. Most of the time (because it’s early) I hear how tired the baristas are. I hear the leaders saying what we are and aren’t doing anymore (this morning it was how they are not brewing decaf in the morning anymore) It’s obviously not a huge deal but instead of making me a part of their experience, they spent time communicating about do’s and don’ts.

What does this type of culture attract? It attracts the SAME type of customer. I’m sitting here by myself, however there is one table of five gentlemen in their 60’s across the way from me that have not stopped complaining about everything under the sun. This is NOT a culture that breeds creativity and big thinking.

So what’s the point?

The point is, I would be willing to say the other Starbucks has more customers and generates more revenue (ESPECIALLY returning customers) and it simply has to do with the culture. After all, it’s the same product. The coffee, food, and products are all literally the same.

My challenge to you today is to ask yourself, what kind of culture does your business have? Is it one that people can’t wait to work at, attend, show up to? Or is it one that people may be saying, “nah, I’ll go to the other guys…”