"Latte" your customers

Share this content:
The cover image from "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg
The cover image from "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg

During his keynote speech at the Experian Marketing Services Digital Summit in Las Vegas July 27, Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Businesstalked about why it's important to change the habits of your employees if you're going to market your brand effectively.

(Jonah Lehrer was the convention's July 26 keynote. But, we can choose to skip that debacle, can't we?)

To illustrate habit formation, Duhigg used Starbucks as a case-in-point. In one example a barista wrote on a cup: “I give DECAF to people who are rude to me.”

The company also got some flack because a customer in Hell's Kitchen, New York, claimed a barista had written the b-word (you can use your imagination here) instead of her first name, on the side of the lady's Starbucks cup. Duhigg showed a clip of the incident's aftermath, showing a woman, obviously hurt, and a newscaster interviewing her.

Before Duhigg showed the clip, he asked the audience to imagine that they were Starbucks' marketers, who had poured millions of dollars into growing its brand recognition.

“If you ever wanted to know what the sound of $100 million going up in flames is, it's: ‘My name isn't *beep,* it's Vicki,” he says, laughing. The audience laughed too, albeit nervous laughter.

Although it may sound cliché, customer service is an important aspect of was Starbucks sells, Duhigg says. Yes, the company purveys consistent coffee, but the service—what keeps you coming back to that specific Hell's Kitchen location over and over again—needs to be consistent too. And welcoming. And nice. And overall, of course, respectful.

So, Starbucks instituted a habit loop, he says. The company told baristas all over the country to “latte” customers who were irate. In other words, baristas were encouraged to hear customers out, and give them what they wanted.

In case you were wondering, in this context, "latte" stands for:

Acknowledge the problem
Take problem-solving action
Thank them, and
Explain what you've done

The result? According to Duhigg, a bold, robust coffee business.

DMNotes is DMN's around-the-clock blog. Yes, a blog in 2016.

Bookmark this section and follow our RSS Feed here


Next Article in Customer Experience

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above