Start and end with the customer in mind!! for any organization to flourish they have to realize that it is all about customer experience. Make sure your customer experience is superior, is something to remember long after he is served. This is the only way you will succeed and make sure your customer will recommend you to others.
Comparing Starbucks and The coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Egypt in that matter I see that Starbucks understands very well the importance of customer experience while The Coffee Bean completely misses the point!
Starbucks beats everyone in opening really early at 8:00AM ..People can enjoy their coffee before going to work while all other cafes are still sleeping. When they open at 8:00 they are ready to serve, you’ll never hear things like sorry we are still preparing, we are still brewing, we are still cleaning….nothing of such nonsense. They are open, fresh, ready to serve as great as usual. Their staff are energetic and ready to serve…their food and beverages are ready and fresh…everything is perfect for a good morning cup of coffee. You get in and out in no time happily served, no delays and no annoying experience.
The coffee Bean on the other hand made me regret choosing them to have breakfast yesterday. I am on vacation and I went with my husband to enjoy a breakfast out. we went to Tivoli Dome and found Starbucks crowded so I thought I’d go to The Coffee bean to enjoy a calm place …And what a bad choice it was. They had their doors open claiming they are ready to serve but they were still cleaning, still putting their supplies in place ..the staff are not doing anything expect smile at you and keep you wondering “What is the meaning of this ridiculousness smile if you’re not serving”. I ordered and waited 50 minutes until served!! Another man came in and no one cared to go and serve him until he complained and said “Can I at least have a menu?”
They have a very strong edge they are wasting which is having breakfast food that no other cafe has, including Starbucks. They have different types of egg dishes and sandwiches so they are perfect to serve breakfast but to wait 50 minutes to be served!!!! and that is not all. When we complained that we’ve been waiting for too long we got this look of “why are so annoying ..so what if you had to wait!!!” and when the girl brought us the food finally she said sorry the chef is not here and I had to cook it myself!!
I got my eggs cold and not tasty and a couple of hours later both me and my husband had diarrhea so there must have been something not clean in the food.
The ironic thing is a couple of days earlier I was wondering why The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is not successful in Egypt, they had their City Stars branch shut down and their Branch at The Platform on the North Coast also shut down. I went there before and enjoyed their drinks but not early in the morning and was wondering what is not making them succeed. Now I know obviously they have a very weak management. It is so obvious that the company has no clear strategy that is well communicated to the staff. So they start serving whenever they wish and the chef decides to come in late, and cleanliness has no standards….They don’t even know how to apologize to an unhappy customer.
Although Starbucks had a very fierce campaign against them in Egypt and a lot of people decided to boycott it because according to the story they are Israelis and they they take their income to support the Israeli practices against Palestinians, they are still always crowded and people enjoy their drinks. This is a strong proof that when a customer enjoys his experience at a place he will keep going no matter what.
A remarkable, different, enjoyable experience is what every customer is looking for when dealing with any organization…if you want to succeed make sure you offer such an experience.