Sunday, December 19, 2010

Starbucks Dissing Customers

Any good marketing executive knows that out-of stocks cause lost sales and lost customers. Starbuck should understand this. Not having freshly brewed decaf coffee is the same as an out-of-stock-situation. So I wonder why this once great place for coffee enjoyment neglects the decaf drinking portion of their customer base. It’s definitely counter-intuitive. Let’s look at the ramifications of this particular out-of-stock at the micro level.

In the past week, when the local Starbucks locations (three of them) failed to have freshly brewed deaf available, I walked out. Of course, they offered me the so-called quick-brew. That’s not the product I want. This represents a pathetic substitute for the real “thing.” It tastes terrible and leaves a yucky aftertaste. So what you say.

Often, one or two others join me for a coffee and a chat. They leave with me. Three sales are lost that day. This doesn’t include the sandwiches and pastries we might have purchased.

I no longer buy pounds of coffee at Starbucks for consumption at home. I’ve found a coffee I like better, more lost sales

Sometimes, I don’t even bother going to Starbucks first because I suspect the foul tasting quick-brew will be the sole alternative.

My monthly expenditures at Starbucks are down 64%.

I can’t be the only person in Starbuck’s marketplace to experience the same dilemma because I’ve had this happen in more than a dozen Starbucks stores in four states. This is just too much cost cutting, an overly aggressive reaction to economic conditions.

Starbucks isn’t the only corporate entity alienating their customers. Restaurants and several global retailers also estrange their client base with excessive measure to maximize profits. As far as Starbucks is concerned, all we can do as consumers is wait for the next entrepreneur who still cares about the customers starts the nest global chain of coffee houses.
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