Monday, December 19, 2005

Holy Mochachino! Starbucks actually blew me away for a change

Although I've been to hundreds of Starbucks in my life, last weekend's visit was the single most unique and memorable experience I've ever had. It happened at the Louisville, KY store. (972 Baxter Avenue, to be exact.)

When my friend Laine and I arrived at the counter, one of the employees asked, "Do you know you're still wearing a nametag?"

"Yep, I always wear it to make people friendlier and more approachable."

He chuckled and said, "No, seriously. Why are you REALLY wearing that?"

I looked to my friend and said, "Laine, am I telling the truth?"

"Yeah, he actually wears that thing all the time," she said.

"1,870 days to be exact."

"Oh, so you're a numbers guy too, huh?" he replied.

"No, not really. My website has a counter. I couldn't keep track of that many days!"

"Wait a minute...what?"

"I'm an author and a speaker. Here...take one of my cards," I said as I reached into my pocket, "to prove I'm not BS-ing you."

He examined the card as he continued to laugh. "So Scott, what kind of stuff do you write and speak about?"

"Approachability."

"Wow! That's great. Yeah, we actually have 'nametags' for our customers at this store. People donate a small amount of money to get their own mug with their name on it. It encourages repeat business and helps raise money for charity."

"That's awesome! I've never heard of a Starbucks doing that before," I said. "Hey, can I get a mug with my nametag on it?"

"Sure. Let me grab a blank one for you."

He hung it up on the Wall O' Mugs, I snapped the photo and then we formally introduced ourselves. "Good to meet you, Scott. I'm Nick Murphy. I manage this store."

"Nice to meet ya, Nick. Can I post this picture on my blog next week?"

"YES! Yes you can!" he urged.

A while later, Laine and I finished our drinks and decided to call it a night. Before heading out, I went back to the counter to say goodbye to Nick. And after a hearty handshake he asked, "Hey Scott, do you want to take your new mug back to St. Louis?"

"No way man...keep it on the wall for when I come back."

* * * *

See, this is exactly what I've been talking about for the past month. It's a perfect example of doing something cool, bringing customers back and creating fans. Way to go Nick.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What's your most memorable Starbucks moment?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com