Starbucks / customer service - management issue

20 William Kitchen Road (Store# 4350: Scarborough Chapters) , Toronto, ON, Canada
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I am writing this review here as a warning to future customers walking into a starbucks store managed by chris ali (previously at store# 4350: 20 william kitchen rd, scarborough, on, m1p 5b7) to be cautious of him and his employees (e.G. Starbucks shift supervisor, april) based on the following incidents: 1. Starbucks should not allow their managers to make careless comments that can easily be misconstrued by customers. Perhaps it is starbucks' culture to be 'laid-back' but it should never be acceptable for a male manager to say "wow!" to a female customer upon first impression (particularly since nothing warrants this type of attention just for walking into a coffee shop in everyday wear). If female customers walking into starbucks like this type of attention from him, he should be reserving this type of ‘special treatment’ for them and only them. Otherwise, it is not a compliment and it is not customer service. Under any other circumstances in any other company that provides customer service, this type of incident would not be tolerated towards customers (female or otherwise) at all. 2. A starbucks store has a manager in place to manage a store and part of that includes listening to customers’ feedback regarding their experiences. While most managers understand the nature of their job entails interacting with customers, this starbucks manager has not only refused to acknowledge a customer when he/she has a legitimate complaint, he has also deliberately disrespected the customer’s wishes to not be subjected to further harassment from the entire staff (including the manager himself) and they have also continued the same harassing technique and taken it even further upon themselves to personally retaliate against the customer for not wanting anything more to do with this case, a manager at this store who refuses to handle customer service situations is not needed – please remember to take down his name and the name(s) of his employee(s) involved in the incidents and report to the district manager/corporate headquarters immediately. 3. Starbucks should not be offering food samples if they cannot stand the thought of customers eating a small piece of food for free. This manager thought I was eating his food for free despite being passed to everyone else in the store – the reason being because I mentioned it in a feedback letter to compliment him. Instead, he took the same feedback letter and eagerly ran off to show his own manager for praise and then turned around and accused me of eating his food for free. the event of not knowing how to provide customer service, disrupting customers’ routines is not the answer. Instead of leaving customers alone and managing the store, this manager would intentionally go out of his way to purposely antagonize customers by pulling pranks to incite a reaction (and then laughing uproariously afterwards) and making customers do things for him, thereby deliberating making them angry. He would even teach these tactics to his employees and then pat himself on the back for successfully angering/harassing a customer. Customers are not there for you to prank around – we want nothing to do with the starbucks games. If starbucks managers feel there isn’t enough to do on a daily basis, they need to ask their own manager on what else can be done. 5. Managers should not force customers to write feedback letters for their own promotional use to look good in front of his/her company. Customers should reserve the right to provide positive feedback on their own (starbucks’ famous ‘word-of-advertising’ method), but not at the manager's request for one in order to make him/herself look good before his own company. Sending the same employee to continually harass me (e.G. The service level will decrease until you do this for us) until I was forced to falsify a positive feedback letter for the employee should not be tolerated by the company. By doing this, starbucks has lost credibility under this manager’s doing because all ‘positive’ things said about the company are generated falsely. 6. Managers/baristas who engage in ‘establishing rapport’ have a responsibility on their part. Customers who walk into starbucks are not looking for assistance nor are they looking to gain anything from starbucks – they are simply there to make a purchase and mind their own business. However, when managers/baristas are looking to establish a rapport and interact with customers, it is important to keep in mind that this rapport means you do not prank the customer around over and over again. This manager has not only allowed his employee(s) to conduct ‘customer service’ in any manner possible, but has also made it acceptable for even the shift supervisor in charge to also conduct her own ‘pranks’ and to follow customers outside of the store. 7. Managers/baristas should not trespass the boundary into their customers' personal lives. Not only is this a severe breach of privacy and respect on the company’s part, it is also completely unwarranted and has nothing to do with providing customer service. A coffee shop is a place to relax and enjoy your own affairs and interaction with other patrons, not to have a manager/barista continually steal information from you or pry into customers' private, personal details when customers do not wish to disclose them. It should not be a requirement for starbucks employees to be involved in customers’ personal lives at all. 8. If starbucks employees are unsure on how to do their jobs, they need to be re-trained. For some reason, despite starbucks providing training for their baristas, they still manage to be incompetent at their jobs and this manager has not even bothered ensuring that baristas are following starbucks’ regulations. As a result, it has become the customer’s responsibility to deal with each and every starbucks barista and the shift supervisor for not knowing how to provide customer service. If starbucks employees (including managers) feel they are overworked or unhappy or do not want to provide a service anymore, they should take this up directly with their own manager and not out on the customer. 9. Managers should be wary of using the 'making a connection' as a sales tactic. This manager did not want customers engaging in ‘hellos’ and small talk with him yet he would force customers to accept the outrageous customer service tactics bestowed upon customers, such as touching, inappropriate comments, unnecessarily 'helping out' and then having the same starbucks employee glare at the customer when he/she approaches the same employee, small talk that goes nowhere, insincere hellos, prying into customers' personal details, and so forth. The whole scheme was very manipulative and insincere. Their idea of a 'customer connection' was to pretend to like the customer first before hitting him/her with a sales tactic and then giving the cold, degrading treatment for not complying with them from then on. When a manager’s intention of ‘making a connection’ is only focused on sales instead of customer service, he/she should not be surprised when customer service standards immensely fail with the result of a customer filing a complaint to starbucks’ corporate headquarters in the end.

Jan 12, 2016

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