Over a year ago I posted about an experience at one of my local Starbucks. I had my days mixed up and pulled up an hour before they opened with a serious caffeine fix. You can read all about it here, but I’ll give you the nutshell version:
As I was leaving a barista who was getting the store ready to open came out to get me, asked me if I wanted a drink, invited me in and took care of me. He didn’t have to do it, but he did, and I think it is an amazing testament to the hiring practices of Starbucks that they sort for people who “get” what a great customer experience is all about.
From the original post:
Managers at Starbucks put tremendous attention into hiring good “people people.” People who enjoy interacting with and pleasing others. Their hiring and training process is designed … systematically … to produce events like the one I described. It isn’t an accident. It isn’t left to chance. And it’s part of why they win.
Fast-forward to yesterday, and I was browsing through my local Borders and saw this book. Turns out, my story made the book.
What didn’t make the book, was the following:
The barista’s name is Wen, and he works at this Starbucks. If you are flying into Dulles, live or work around Herdon, Reston, Chantilly or Sterling … pop in and tell Wen he is famous … and appreciated. If you are from Starbucks, give the dude a raise. He and people like him make you look good.
UPDATE: Incidentally, the lesson to take from this is not to mandate that your employees do 2.3 good things per day. That’d be as silly as mandating that all the introverts in your company magically transform into extroverts. The lesson is that Starbucks (or, at the very least, the management in our region) makes it a point to hire people for whom doing things the “Starbucks” way will be easy and natural. Do that well and the company can step out of the way and let the employees be themselves.