Anyone who knows me already knows I am an iced tea junkie. Not the “iced tea” from a soda gun, cans or bottles but real, brewed iced tea. As a result, Starbucks gets a lot of business from me – not coffee – iced tea. They have mastered the perfect glass of brewed iced tea.
My mom is an addict also. She and I are taking in some in Las Vegas. Several things about Vegas; it’s hot – even things that appear to be just across the street are 1/2 mile away and I don’t know of a hotel on the Strip that has a coffee maker in the room.
What that means to iced tea fanatics is it’s a long way between much-needed iced teas and there’s no convenient way to just brew your own tea in your room.
To solve this dilemma, I called the Starbucks at Paradise & Flamingo – near where we are staying and spoke to Christine, the Manager there who just happed to answer the phone. I asked if they offered the cardboard boxes of brewed coffee I had frequently seen in conference rooms. “Of course”. Then I said, “Okay, this next part will seem a little strange.” Her reply, a pleasant “Maybe not.”
I told her what I wanted was one of those boxes, but instead of brewed coffee, I wanted their magic formula of brewed iced tea but without the ice. Ice I can easily get at our hotel – brewed tea, not so simple. She said she didn’t know of a reason why that couldn’t be done but asked me to hold a minute. It wasn’t much longer than a minute before she came back and told me sure, and even gave me a price that was more than fair. Seems the only reason she had to confer with her team was that the fill opening on the top of the box is designed to fit the coffee tap. To pour tea from a pitcher would require a little creativity but she was sure they could use a funnel to accomplish my request.
I was so thrilled, I ordered my “box of tea” – in fact, I ordered 2. It worked so well, this will become a normal event for me whenever I’m in Vegas.
The best part; Christine’s can do attitude. There was no “Well, we don’t normally do that” just a willingness to explore a new way to serve the customer. Logically, it wasn’t that odd a request, they have the boxes, they make the tea but often I find employees aren’t open – or empowered – to put components together in ways other than the “standard issue”. This is why we love our Starbucks and gladly stand in line to do business with them.
Are the members of your team empowered – and encouraged – to serve customers even beyond the confines of your “menu” of goods or services? Shouldn’t they be?