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Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, operating over 21,000 stores in 64 countries. With 808 outlets in the UK, the majority of Starbucks are located in the US and Canada, followed by 1,700 in China, and 1,000 in Japan. Such growth would not be possible without effective customer experience management, and this is something the coffee chain has truly mastered, landing in 24th place in the US CEE rankings. But what is it about Starbucks' customer experience strategy that puts it ahead of its rivals?

[/vc_column_text] [vc_column_text pb_margin_bottom="no" pb_border_bottom="no" width="1/1" el_position="first last"] [ezcol_1half] PERSONALISATION:[progress_bar percentage="20" name="" value="+5 %" type="" colour="#e59f39"] INTEGRITY:[progress_bar percentage="28" name="" value="+7 %" type="" colour="#4f6e7d"] EXPECTATIONS:[progress_bar percentage="32" name="" value="+8 %" type="" colour="#a05563"]  vs total study average [/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end] TIME & EFFORT:[progress_bar percentage="24" name="" value="+6 %" type="" colour="#c9ab8d"] RESOLUTION:[progress_bar percentage="32" name="" value="+8 %" type="" colour="#6ca37d"] EMPATHY:[progress_bar percentage="36" name="" value="+9 %" type="" colour="#ae3b43"]  vs total study average [/ezcol_1half_end] [/vc_column_text] [vc_column_text pb_margin_bottom="no" pb_border_bottom="no" width="1/1" el_position="first last"] For a start, like many other US companies, Starbucks has been riding the crest of a service culture resurgent wave. The twin forces of the recession and emerging customer experience management practices have reignited America's innate 'have a nice day' ethos. This has been particularly important to Starbucks in the pillars of Personalisation and Empathy; the brand has recognised the need to prepare bespoke drinks orders in a manner which is personable and in-line with the customers' individual expectations. Judging by the 2015 US study, this is something which is actually harder to achieve in the US than in the UK. Far from the misconception that American customers have a naturally more optimistic outlook, it would appear that the emotional bar is raised even higher across the pond. Recognising this, therefore, is key to Starbucks' customer experience strategy.   The brand also has an ethos of Integrity and philanthropy. It views its outlets as integral parts of the community, rather than upmarket cafes. As it states on its US website: "Our stores allow Starbucks [employees] and customers to connect and tap into shared passions to provide a helping hand... that can strengthen individuals and communities. Throughout the year, our [employees] and customers dedicate their time and energy to create positive change in their local neighbourhoods... We believe the impact of service is on both the community and those volunteering. For the volunteer, service fosters increased empathy and connection." Such a statement is quite refreshing to hear. Large global chains can garner suspicion and cynicism from customers, who sometimes view them as simple money-making machines. Starbucks, however, appears to follow-through on its promises. For example, it currently operates a chain of Community Stores, which have been put in place to support non-profit organisations which are of importance to the local area. It does this by donating up to $0.15 from each Community Store transaction.   And whilst these initiatives are very respectable, one of the more intriguing aspects of Starbucks' customer experience strategy is its investment in technology. In fact, many of the brand's technological achievements are more impressive than its caffeinated concoctions, all of which are in place for the comfort of customers. One of these is its installation of wireless phone chargers. In 2014, Starbucks announced plans to introduce 100,000 wireless stations into more than 7,500 outlets over the next three years. In addition, Starbucks has fitted many of its stores with high-spec Clover coffee machines, which communicate with a cloud-based server known as CloverNet to track customer preferences, and machine performance. This technology will soon extend to smart refrigerators, which will monitor the expiration dates of milk and other chilled products. The brand has an indubitable awareness that its customers expect only the very best, and it is clear that Starbucks is determined to meet their expectations.   As Craig Ryder, Client Experience Director at KPMG Nunwood, points out: "Starbucks' customer experience strategy is successful because it caters evenly for all aspects of The Six Pillar System. The brand knows how to deliver a great service in a manner which is bespoke, and in-keeping with the lives of its customers and local communities. It will be fascinating to see how it builds on these practices in the next CEE study."   Download the CEEC 2015 USA Analysis [/vc_column_text]