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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Starbucks is a renowned company in the food and beverage industry. The company's headquarters is located in North America but it has a presence in other parts of the world. It has spread to different locations with the aim of uplifting consumer experience (Moon & Quelch, 2006). Since inception, the company whose goal is to become the leading beverage service provider globally has grown steadily. For instance, it has expanded asset base, customer numbers of 20 million, sales volumes, profitability index, and strategic partnerships. The growth is attributable to the innovative strategies and investment in the right areas (Moon & Quelch, 2006). Some of the strategies include the vibrant marketing strategy, diversification, enhanced distribution network, quality services, prompt customer attendance, and superior value chain system. The difference regarding quality in customer service has made the company stand out among rivals over the years. More specifically, this paper examines the factors that make Starbucks' customer service different from others and its impact on performance.

Factors that Make Starbucks Customer Service Unique

Starbucks Company is known for quality coffee, tea, and snacks such as Dunkin Donuts and bagel chains (Moon & Quelch, 2006). Other products include beer, wine, flavored coffee, and dunckaccino including vanilla chai. Despite good performance, the company faced serious challenges that threatened its profitability including customer satisfaction. This led to high-powered deliberations led by Christine Day, the Vice President, on how the challenges could be addressed (Moon & Quelch, 2006). The discussions led to the introduction of the new set of performance strategies that were aimed at revolutionizing customer experience that was established as the main cause of the reduced competitiveness and sales.

Therefore, what makes Starbucks customer service different is the new strategies adopted. The first strategy adopted is the continuous increase of staff members when the need arises, to guarantee efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery (Moon & Quelch, 2006). The heavy investment in labor was cured the problem of long waiting times for the customers. The number of customers could overwhelm the available manpower thereby resulting in delay.

The second strategy is the production of quality products based on customer needs and preferences. The products are customer-centered thereby enhancing the level of their satisfaction. The approach has transformed the perception and competitiveness of the company among rival entities. Many customers feel satisfied with the products and services. The next strategy that contributes to the excellent customer service is the streamlined product distribution network and affordability (Moon & Quelch, 2006). Starbucks products are easily accessible to customers despite being affordable. The prompt system of distribution makes many customers resort to the services without reservations.

Another element that makes the company's services different is innovation in both product and service innovation (Moon & Quelch, 2006). The company employs innovative standards and approaches to understand the dynamics and trends regarding customer preferences and quality expectations to produce products that satisfy customers.

The next element is the company's culture and availability of strategic partners. The culture of performance and resolve to satisfy customer needs at whatever cost is present in every stakeholder. This has made it easier for the company to embrace new changes regarding food or coffee preparation and service delivery. The synchronization of the culture makes it easier for everyone to work with determination and dedication.

The new performance-oriented strategies were developed after the company's management realized that the company could lose customers due to poor quality of services. The Vice President noted low sales volumes and customer numbers that were attributed to lack of efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery (Moon & Quelch, 2006). The problem was a consequence of the low number of staff since they could not serve the increasing number of customers promptly.

The Role of Starbucks in American Culture

The U.S is characterized by entrenched cultural practices that range from social, political, economic, and traditional. The cultural practices define or influence how the people behave, social engagement, and economic development. Further, they also shape the way people interact and share resources. The notable deeply rooted cultural practice is the consumption of coffee. America is known as a coffee hub because a majority of the population likes the beverage. Indeed, the love for coffee is immense in the region and the availability of the company is a blessing to many (Moon & Quelch, 2006). The other cultural values include being welcoming, genuine, considerate, and delightful. Starbucks has systematically played an important role in sustaining the cultural practices and values. Although some challenges that have nearly eroded the noble cultural practices due to management lapses persist, new subcultures have emerged through unit leaders.

Starbucks has done well to ensure that the love for coffee is not lost, courtesy of the coffee services that are provided in every region. This commitment is evident because the company has increased the accessibility of coffee among other beverages through the company networks or branches including heavy investment in staff hiring (Moon & Quelch, 2006). The traits of friendliness, honesty, and being considerate among the staff members influences the perception, behavior, and attitude of the customers. Many people have continued to be welcoming, understanding, and considerate. Overall, the company has influenced the nation's culture positively.

How to Apply What Has Been Learned

The case depicts clearly the power of performance evaluation and continuous assessment in organizations. In essence, performance evaluation enables organizations to establish the existing performance gaps, weaknesses, and strengths. This facilitates planning and decisions or strategy formulation as evident in the case study.

Therefore, the biggest lesson learned that could also apply to my company is the importance of systematic performance evaluation. The approach will foster identification of the weaknesses, and strengths, thereby aiding in planning as well as strategy formulation on how to mitigate the gaps while having strengths sustained. The case study also affirms the importance and influence of culture on performance in organizations (Moon & Quelch, 2006). Because of this, it can help me reaffirm the development and adherence to clear-cut cultural practices, values, and heavy investment in the workforce. Likewise, the case creates awareness on how organizations can formulate performance strategies and make relevant competitive decisions.


Moon, Y & Quelch J. (2006). Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service. Harvard Business School. n.d.

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