All Rob

We start the CX inspiration day at Starbucks. Together with eight Customer Experience leaders in the government, today we get a look behind the scenes at three companies to see how they organize customer experience.

While everyone trickles in, Robin and I stand in line for coffee at Starbucks. We slowly move up and then we can order coffee for five people.

"Two americanos, an oat latte and two cappuccinos please." The male barista looks at me and asks, "What name can I write on the cups?" Next to him is a female colleague with a marker at the ready. I think about who ordered which coffee, because how nice is it when everyone has their own name on the cup? I see a somewhat pleading look and realize that today it is not at all the intention that there are different names on the cup.

In a split second, I decide not to make a big deal out of it. Because it's rush hour at Utrecht Central Station at this Starbucks and I don't think he's in the mood for it. No, this man wants us away from that counter as soon as possible. So I look at Robin and realize that his name is easier than having to write Nienke on every cup, so I say 'Go ahead Robin.'

He looks at his colleague with the marker in his hand, sees the five cups and in half a second he has an even easier solution. 'Can it be Rob?' I look at Robin, we give each other a quick wink – hopefully unseen by the barista – and with a sigh I say that's okay.

While he is relieved to strike something at the cash register, he sees that he has charged cash instead of paying with a card and the order can be replaced. I think this is his punishment by the universe, because Robin's name is Robin. No Rob. And actually, these coffees are for Robert, Anke, Marieke, Nienke and Robin. Not for five Robs.

At checkout, it is also more than two euros cheaper the second time. So now that we're all called Rob, life has immediately become cheaper. I have to laugh a little.

Even though I'm bummed about it, because I've organized a CX inspiration day and that's why I want it to be personal for my guests. Oh well, you also get inspiration from the worst practices, it goes through me.

We sit down, waiting for the coffees for Rob. About three minutes later our coffees are ready. "I've got the coffees for Robin here!" the barista shouts with the marker. Haha. She has made her colleague very loud, but it is not a good customer experience.


This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on June 6, 2023

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Nienke Bloem is often called the Customer Experience speaker in the blue dress. 

She's a global CX thought leader, educator and a global keynote speaker who inspires audiences with best practices and proven methodologies. She leads a speaking practice, a CX game company and a training business; she breathes Customer Experiences and is author of two CX books.

Her two-day Customer Experience Masterclass is known as the best program to prepare for your CCXP and she is the go-to person for CX leaders who want to advance their leadership and bring direct results from their Customer Experience transformation programs. Since 2020, she hosts a CX Leadership Masterminds program and helps leaders spice up their leadership and deliver an engaging CX Story including a solid CX Strategy. Besides, she is a modern-day pilgrim and found the parallel with leading customer centric transformations. 

With her over 20 years of corporate experience, she speaks the business language. Her keynotes and education programs in Customer Experience are inspiring and hands-on. She is one of the few Recognized Training Partners of the CXPA and it is her mission to Make Customer Experience Work and help you deliver business results.