I’m working from a newly renovated Starbucks this morning and it’s a reminder of how important change is to the survival of any business. Continually improving the experiences customers have with you is part of what shows you care about them. Customers don’t always understand what they want until they see or experience it, so by anticipating those wants and applying improvements without being asked, you can really make your business stand out.
Learning from your customers
I’ve worked from this Starbucks many times over the past year. I find my brain regularly likes a change of environment; it’s why I don’t own a desktop anymore. As soon as I stepped into the newly renovated space I immediately recognized the adaption to customer needs. The cash was no longer near the entrance, which led to lineups that awkwardly took up the front doors, the new seating layout allowed for more people to sit comfortably, and the pickup counter was now near the lids, cream etc. There were now also children’s colouring books on the counter and flowers on the tables because this location gets a lot of mother’s stopping in due to it being very close to a large suburb.
The lines that no longer snake by the entryway will be especially noticeable during the cold months when people can quickly dart in without letting all that cold air in. Now located near the back, the cash lets people lead their kids to the washroom and quickly get in line after. This also doubles as energy savings for the store by having less heat loss during the long Canadian winters. I myself have felt the cold draft woft over my feet as the door is held open many times.
Optimizing the sales funnel
Starbucks, like most brick and mortar businesses, has a literal sales funnel at each location. By encouraging customers to walk all the way to the back lets the store show off more products from their fancy drink menu, snacks, mugs, etc. No longer hidden behind the curled lineup, you walk along the length of the store and see everything that’s available as you make your way to the counter. I’m sure this helps decrease the time people stand at the cash deciding what they want to order (I have been that person many a time); another point in the pleasant user experience category.
Encouraging more flow-through
Starbucks locations have become synonymous with a temporary work space for many people. They provide a solid wifi connection unlike the alternative coffee chain up here that offers a much slower connection for patrons. There have been lots of times when finding a seat can be difficult because there are so many people diligently working at their laptops Check Out Your URL. Sometimes people work there most of the day for the low price of a coffee, a fancy cup of coffee, but a coffee none the less.
No seating can be rather annoying when you just want to chat with a friend or sit down with your child for a quick break. Starbucks is helping to alleviate this issue by simply removing many of the available outlets. This way they can continue to serve people looking for a place to work, but the time is now limited to the charge on their device battery. There are a few coveted tables that have an available outlet for those quick enough.
So how is this relevant to your businesses?
The actions your organization takes should be a reflection of both the people that it serves combined with the company values and goals. How you communicate with clients and the interactions they have with your brand on and offline will define the future of your business.
For your business this may translate to optimizing the checkout process on your eCommerce site, improving the display of your products and services (both on and offline) or simply improving communication with existing clients by intuitively addressing questions before they come up.
Finding the systems that works best for you and your business is very important. It is equally as important that you continue to find the little changes that fine-tune these systems and even grow into whole new systems themselves.