At the risk of being forced to move, I live in Seattle and I don’t eat seafood nor do I drink coffee.
That being said, Starbucks is a locally based company I am always amazed by. Not only are their products great, their team is consistently of the “can do” mindset.
Despite not being a coffee drinker, I am a very regular Starbucks customer. I have patronized Starbucks all over the world. You see, I drink iced tea. LOTS of iced tea and they have mastered the perfect glass of iced tea.
I also travel regularly and more and more hotel rooms have gone to single cup coffee makers in the rooms which makes brewing my own tea more challenging. In Las Vegas, finding a coffee maker of any kind in a hotel room would be the equal to winning the lottery.
Last year, it occurred to me that since Starbucks makes both great iced tea AND had these nifty “Coffee Travelers” that maybe I could get a “traveler” of iced tea. I called the Starbucks in the Hughes Center at Paradise & Flamingo in Las Vegas figuring a location near office buildings would likely have the “traveler” boxes. Essentially, they are a foil bag filled with beverage and then put into a box with a spout for easy pour. Each “box” holds about 95 ounces making it perfect for meetings or iced tea junkies such as myself.
I opened the conversation with “I know this is going to be an odd request but…” The person on the other end of the phone paused for just a moment and said, “I’m not hesitating because we can’t do it, I’m just thinking what I will use for a funnel to get the tea into the pouch since it’s designed to be put under the coffee urn tap to fill.”
She then asked how many I needed (2), what variety of tea (black), sweetened or unsweetened and when I wanted to pick them up. Sure enough, a few days later I stopped in on my way to the hotel from the airport and there were my iced tea “travelers” all ready to go. They gave me cups, lids and straws and I was a happy, well-hydrated camper for the several days I was in Las Vegas.
Three times since then I’ve visited Las Vegas, each time with family or friends who also drink iced tea and the same location has been wonderful about making my special boxes of tea. I call a couple of days ahead and tell them when I’ll be in and it’s ready. By the time you are reading this, I’ll be sipping tea from yet another box of tea by the wizards at Starbucks.
What is brand loyalty worth to your company? If you are part of a large organization, what is branch loyalty worth to you and your career? I continue to call this particular store for my special order each visit not because no other location could or would do it; rather because we now have a history. It’s that history which retains long term customers.