Wednesday, May 7, 2008

coffee and ministry

I learned something about the Starbucks approach to customer service yesterday that seemed like good advice for the ministry as well.

I was at a Starbucks store and a group of employees came in and pulled a circle of chairs together for a little training. The facilitator read the group an email supposedly from a customer that described a bad experience. The facilitator then asked the group how they would have handled the situation differently. After several ideas were proposed the facilitator asked if the group had heard of "LATTE," which is apparently their coffee related acronym for the five steps of customer service.

Listen - make sure the person with the complaint is heard and you understand the problem. This is a crucial step in my experience. People don't just want the problem solved they want their experience validated.

Apologize - take responsibility. Restoring the broken relationship is as important as correcting the mistake.

Thank - It's not a burden to correct a mistake. We should be grateful that a problem was brought to our attention instead of ignored.

Take Action - Now, solve the problem. This is step four not step one.

Encourage - Find a way to do something extra to make the final result even better than it would have been normally (if no problem had come up). This could be a tangible extra, or just an especially enthusiastic well wishing.

1 comment:

Lilylou said...

Great advice from Starbucks! Who woulda thunk it? But I'm going to paste it up on my wall. Thanks, RR.