Great American Customer Service

There is a difference between American and British customer service. I think it was summed up for us this morning as we headed into Starbucks to get a caffeine fix. 

“Here’s your deliciously made skinny caramel macchiato”

The sound that greeted us as we arrived. 

Being British, we went with what we thought would be a simple order. A tea and a skinny latte. 

“Is that a royal English breakfast tea?”

Apparently it is. Had no idea that breakfast tea is now Royal. I guess they had to do something to make them distinctly higher class. After all, Earl Grey has had the aristocratic tea market sewn up for far too long!

Unfortunately having made myself understood, and then successfully paid, making tea proved a little too much for the Starbucks team this Monday morning so we had to wait for a long while. 

A woman next to us also seemed to be waiting for a long while for her danish. She urged us to assert ourselves a complain. So abandoning all our usual sensibilities we did gently enquire and then eventually got our tea. 

The woman then decided she needed to speak to the staff. The words “yes I do have something to say to you but I’m happy to wait” were used. Tom and I left the store going “oooh, they in trouble!”

As we waited to cross the street the woman caught up with us. She explained she wasn’t angry, but she works as a customer service trainer and thought they might need to consider improving in some small areas if they want to be a more successful branch. 

We then taught her the basic principles of British complaining. The tut and huff. I don’t think she believed in its power! But then, I don’t think it would ever work here. 

And here we are celebrating our spoils!


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