Four Lessons Healthcare And Senior Living Leaders Can Learn From The Starbucks Experience

I love mining other industries for ideas on how to improve client satisfaction and loyalty in healthcare and senior living.  The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles For Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary has some great takeaways. The book is based on author (and fellow Certified Speaking Professional) Dr. Joseph Michelli’s time spent observing and interviewing individuals and teams at Starbucks, here are four takeaways:

  1. Their employees are called “partners.”  And they put their money where their mouth is.  All employees—including part-timers—received stock options in 1992 when Starbucks went public.  We all know when employees feel valued and taken care of they are more motivated to improve client satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Checklists are part of everyone’s workday.  This leads to less customer service failures and small misses that could negatively impact the customer experience.
  3. They believe in creating mini surprise experiences for their customers.  For example, during National Icecream Month they have given out free icecream. 
  4. Personalizing the experience for regular clients is prioritized.  Some examples:

At one Starbucks location, the team members learned American Sign Language (ASL) because they noticed that was how some of their “regulars” communicated.  At another store, one employee decided to create a spreadsheet to track personal details and preferences of her regular customers so she could be more proactive about meeting their needs.

How is your organization like Starbucks?  How can it apply some of these simple strategies to improve the experience of stressed healthcare and senior living clients?

For more information or to order Dr. Michelli’s book, check out Amazon.com: The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary eBook: Michelli, Joseph A.: Kindle Store

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