Regardless of whether or not customers are comfortable with paying over two dollars for one cup of coffee, it seems that a Starbucks can be found on nearly every street corner, meaning that enough people do pay the extra bucks. The Seattle-based company has found that the way to stay successful is through customer loyalty.
In a recent Inc. Magazine article, Damian Bazadona, founder of a digital marketing agency, talked about his perception of Starbucks over the years as it changed from disdain to appreciation. One of the biggest things that made him change his mind, he said, were the things Starbucks sold in addition to coffee.
"It's a collective mindset throughout their organization that truly captures the brand greatness (and ultimately the differentiation) in everything Starbucks does," Bazadona wrote. "The company puts actions to words and is a brand model I aspire to."
Specifically, Starbucks understands the context of its offering. Employees understand that the quality of the experience is just as important as the quality of the product itself. This helps to give customers a lifetime connection to the product. Starbucks wants to make repeat purchasing welcome and easy through using new techniques in mobile payments and by taking the time to call customers by first name.
There is also a sustainable culture, according to Bazadona. Within seconds of entering any coffee store in the world, individuals will know if they are in a Starbucks, which is powerful marketing. Consumers recognize the atmosphere through sight as well as experience.
Starbucks retains customer loyalty by letting each consumer feel important and valued. Pairing with a third party answering service will ensure the same experience. Customers will be in contact with a live person through the technology their choosing – phone, email or text messaging – and will have their questions answered in a courteous and professional manner.