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Lots to learn from a customer service wizard of a company
on December 30, 2009
I'm a big fan of Starbucks and the way they make you feel when you buy product there. In fact I like the way they make you feel even when you don't buy product there.
Author Joseph A. Michelli details Starbuck's five principles of being they use to separate themselves from the pack. They are:
1. Make it your own
2. Everything Matters
3. Surprise and Delight
4. Embrace Resistance
5. Leave Your Mark
Michelli filled the book with wonderful stories and anecdotes that illustrate the five principles. I found they actually served a dual purpose; not only did they help tell the story of Starbucks but they were all really interesting.
What makes this book a great learning tool are the 'Create your own ideas' and 'Ideas to sip on' at the end of each chapter. Michelli does a great job of illustrating what that chapter's principle means in real life and then starts you on the path to implement them in your own workplace. It's a very helpful way to take the theory and put it into action.
Michelli confesses at the end of the book that for all the great stories he heard while research the Starbucks Experience, he also heard some horrible stories. From employees not showing up to being rude to customers but he says those types of stories were few and far between. The same can be said for his book. What I found odd is every time he would name a Starbucks drink, the registered trademark symbol would follow. It's the kind of thing you'd expect to see in a marketing piece opposed to a business book. I'm not sure why they're there, perhaps it was part of an agreement to get more access to company execs or perhaps Starbucks paid a fee to have the book written.
I reviewed this book in more detail on my Web site: [...]