OK, I promise that this blog isn’t going to end up being simply about Starbucks! However, something happened this morning that I think provides a useful tip and marketing lesson.
When I got to Starbucks this morning (absolutely craving a Toffee Nut Flat White) I was met with disaster. The big espresso machine was out of action so no real coffee (they had the brewed stuff but that just doesn’t do it for me!).
Now, the staff were very apologetic, of course. More importantly, however, they also handed out a coupon for a free beverage. Excellent idea. Why? Because one of the most important assets any business has is customer loyalty (and satisfaction, of course).
The coupon is a great idea because not only does it placate regular customers like me (I shudder to think how much I spend at Starbucks!) but any casual customers will most likely come back to redeem the coupon. Most people will feel they are missing out somehow if they don’t redeem that free beverage. And of course everytime someone buys from you, the relationship is deepened.
So, the broader lesson is that if ever there’s a screw up in your business, make sure you make a big effort to look after your customers. Show them that you really do care and that they are important to you.