It took a much-discussed hit and continuing stock tumble for Starbucks to finally turn to “us” customers and staff for ideas on how to get back in their good graces. Sign up at my Starbucks Idea and offer your suggestion. It pops up on the site immediately. Then peruse others’ ideas to comment or vote on them. Find one of the 13 categories that most interest you. From the response there’s clearly a pent-up interest in sharing tips. I disagree with mashable’s opinion however and even with savvy John Moore’s view that Starbucks shouldn’t have opened “the customer suggestion box floodgate.”
Perhaps your tip will rise to the popular ideas list or even the top all-time list and be labeled “Under Review,” indicating that the turnaround team at Starbucks may put it into practice. Then you see it labeled “Coming Soon.” Too bad they aren’t rewarding the top 100 contributors. A $500 gift card seems about right. Say the first 50 winners of the “People’s Choice” (our vote) get the $500 gift card and the first 50 contributors of suggestions that are implemented get the $500 gift card. Double winners get a $1,000 certificate, of course.
Consumer-serving companies don’t have to be getting flack to adapt their version of this social media template (first launched by Dell as IdeaStorm). Those riding the wave of loyalty could too. Also, if you serve clients or customers consider crafting your version to get bright ideas from customers - and attract new ones and media coverage as you cultivate an ever more loyal constituency.
Act soon and be the first in your kind of business to do so. SmartPartner with a reputable, non-competing business that your kind of customer also uses. Then you get a double benefit. The winners at your site get gift coupons from your partner and vice versa. Thus you gain a warmed-up introduction to each others’ customers as you tout those gift coupon prizes on your sites. Plus you add another wrinkle to the story for the local (and your industry) media to cover.
Here are some suggestions from the Starbucks initiative, fyi:
• Please inform the baristas not to line up the sip-cup openning with the seam on the cup. The alignment greatly increases the chance of coffee dripping while drinking, as capillary action allows the coffee to travel up and over the edge of the cup then drip down.
• I think that we should have a place that we can put SPL for splenda, My drink is a Grande-Nonfat 3 splenda Latte I wanted to make a card with that one it so my family will know when they go get a drink for me but it is not an option as an add on.
• How many times does one person from the office volunteer to go get coffee? “Can I get anyone anything?” and twenty people raise their hand with an order. The locations that are central to business locations should have mobile units deliver drinks to offices! There could be a minimum drink order per office to ensure it wasn’t a waste of their time.
• Job share opportunities in management positions. Benefits are:
- retain partners who decide to start a family.
- attract new management partners.
- support existing partners work/life balance & help create a positive, productive environment.