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How to Be a Liked Customer at Starbucks



  • Always order the same thing. It's preferable if itís a simple order. First, if your order is 99% predictable, they'll have it ready for you when they see you walking up the parking lot. Second, there's always a 50% chance the employee needs to go to the washroom and they would much rather be heeding nature's call than your customer needs. So, being the guy with the complicated order wins you no points.
  • Pay with normal money. Don't try to write a check for a $1.64 coffee. Don't try to pay with a credit card for a $1.64 coffee. Don't try to pay with a $100 bill for anything. Don't spend 5 minutes scrounging for exact change. Have your money ready. Place some (or all) of the change in the tip jar.
  • Don't be smelly. And your money should not be smelly, dirty, or wet. Don't try to pay with money you've just pulled out of your socks or from between your pendulous breasts.
  • Be patient. Accept mistakes The joy of good customers is when all hell is breaking loose, the customers are lined up 5 abreast and 9 deep after the July 4 parade, the customer service person can mentally x-off the good customers in line and know they'll wait their patient, happy turn. They begin to associate you with lowered anxiety levels and they come to like you purely by Pavlovian mechanisms if nothing else.
  • Smile back. Say "thanks!" when your order is served.
  • Don't assume because a person is giving you good customer service it means the woman wants to date you or the man wants to be your best friend.
  • Only engage in chit chat if chit chatted to first. Be conscious of who is behind you. If there are other customers waiting, cut any chit chat way way short. Even if the place is empty, never chit chat too long. They are likely in the middle of a lull they had earmarked to get things done like restocking the condiment bar.
  • After a few months, give the employee a small personal compliment like "hey, that's a great necklace" or "cool watch!" or "neat glasses!". But never compliment a person based on physical traits, especially female service people. This is a quick and easy way to make the person feel uncomfy. So don't say things like "you got fantastic legs!" or "what's a pretty girl like you doing unmarried?"
  • Only give compliments when they lower the personal barrier first. For example, they say something like "Are you enjoying the sun today?" or "Got big plans for the weekend?" They probably don't really care too much about your answer and don't want a long speech in return. However, that gives you a chance to give them a short, chipper answer and then slip in a small compliment.
  • Once in a while, when you see their manager, say "you've got a great bunch here!" or "Kara is fantastic!". Don't be an ass kisser either. Pace your compliments.
  • Don't leave your table messy. Clean up after yourself.
  • If you go on holiday, send them a postcard.
  • Have normal eyes. Customer service people develop a deadly accurate sense for the wing nuts by their eyes.
  • As customer service people grow accustomed to you and recognize you as a decent, harmless customer, they'll begin to do you little favors or bend certain rules. You might get a free refill, for example. Sometimes when it gets really busy at Starbucks, they'll discreetly pass me my coffee and let me pay when the crush is over. What's critical is you should never assume you'll always be accorded these favors. It's a one way ticket to asshole customerville if you pipe up with something like "You're charging me for a refill? The day staff never charges me for a refill."
  • It's always good to learn and use people's names but let them ask you your name first. Many people consider their names very personal and don't freely give them. This is particularly true of women who have had bad experiences with stalkerish customers. Even if a person is wearing a name tag, don't use their name unless they offer it. Some wear their name tags grudgingly and know what they're truly for: to brand workers so people can complain about them. So don't simply read their name off a name tag and assume a level familiarity that's not been given.
  • When they do give you a name, try to remember their name and use it in future. "Thanks Sarah!" "I'm doing good today, Dave!" If they reveal other personal details about themselves like "Oh, got to study for my exam this weekend" ask a few days later "hey, how'd that exam go?" It's nice to think people remember details about our lives. You seem much more interesting to others when they think you find them interesting.
  • Finally don't do anything disgusting in the washroom.





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Copyright 2002 Karl Mamer

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