Category: Customer Service

Home Depot vs Lowes and my trip to Starbucks

Good Morning!

I started out today playing my usual 0530-7:00am doubles. My partner and I won this morning in 3 sets. I had a piece of my garage door trim that I need to replace, so I took the board with me to Home Depot this morning thinking I’d replace it there. As I entered the store, I walked by 2 cashiers that didn’t even acknowledge me. Then, I went back to the wood section and for 15 minutes going up and down the isles tried to find a matching piece. The entire time, not a sign of a HD employee. After, almost 20 minutes, I walked out the same entrance, by the same cashiers… again, not even a “good morning” or “can I help you find something” at all. The time was around 7:00am-7:20am that I was in their store.

Customer Service Grade for Home Depot=F-

So, I proceeded to go up the street and give Lowe’s a shot. I should have originally gone their first as they were closer to the tennis club to begin with. I entered the Lowe’s entrance (Lumbar Yard area) and an actual customer said hello to me as he was leaving. Then, as I walked in, the cashier said “good morning” and I told her what I was looking for by showing her my piece of wood that I had in my hand. She said that there might be some trim that would work down isle 25. So, I went down to the isle and started looking. I noticed that there was an actual Lowe’s employee back in this area and he had to have seen me at least twice, but… (and here’s where Lowe’s gets a lower grade), the employee never bothered to ask me if I needed help.  I found a piece of wood, it cost $4.96 and I brought it up to the same cashier that I originally saw on the way in. She couldn’t read the tag on the end of the piece of wood and I told her the price, however, she couldn’t find it and just charged my $4.53 and with tax it came out to about $4.96. Transaction completed!

Customer Service Grade for Lowes=C+

In summary, I’m convinced that neither one of these places figure that legitimate customers are coming through the door at this hour. Rather, it’s just the daily contractor types that know where everything already is. However, they both need to realize that “any” customer that comes through their doors needs to be greeted immediately as Lowe’s did do.

Ok.. With my piece of wood in hand, off to Starbucks to get my morning cappuccino. Prior to today, I was on a streak of 5-5 with the Starbucks at the local Top Foods. Since the Starbucks near Lowe’s was close by, I decided to give them a try. And.. I got the drink made properly. However, while the person was ringing me up, he asked me, “would you like to fill out an on-line survey” and gave my my receipt with how to fill it out on-line. What in the heck is Starbucks trying to do here? This a “major” phopah in my opinion. The fact that they are asking for a survey=something is wrong with Starbucks. And.. I agree completely. First of all, don’t ask the customers, who just spent way too much money on a coffee drink to now take more time out of their day to fill out some random survey that has “zero” affect on the service that they will get from Starbucks or the drink that they make. If you want “real-time” results, have the customer fill out a quick 5 question (check the box) questionaire and drop it off in a “suggesstion box” versus trying to get them to fill out and on-line survey.  Starbucks is in a lot of trouble now with their “lack of attention to details” and are having to close a ton of stores. Their main problem is this: The can not make a consistant drink. Period. As much as I would like to believe that they can, they just have not developed a module for producing a “double short cappaccino” among other drinks. This is where they need better training. These folks in the black aprons, they are not better at making drinks than the green apron barista’s. Back to the drawing board Starbucks.

Have a great day!


Starbucks Coffee-Consistantly inconsistant

I am addicted to Starbucks coffee. I have been drinking a double short free pour cappuccino for many years now. However, I can go into 5 different Starbucks on any given day and get 5 different versions of a cappuccino. It appears to me that Starbucks does not properly train their employees how to make cappucino’s correctly. Even the baristas that are in the new black aprons – they still don’t always do it better either. I often times will go to the local Chevron station and get a great drip cup of coffee for half the price. Yet, everyday, I try to strategically figure out which location has the barista’s working that I have gotten a good cappuccino from before.

For instance today, I went to my local Top Foods Starbucks. They guy ringing up the drinks (a black apron dude) knows how to make them. However, the barista making the drinks looked new to me. And, she appeared to not have a smile on her face. I figured.. OK.. rookie, here goes another waste of $3.00+ for a lousy drink. I stepped up to the bar and asked her how it was going. She said, “I am not in a bad mood”, and I thought that was interesting and she asked me how I was doing. I told her, “OK” and that I was a bit bummed that I didn’t get to play my morning tennis match – I was stood up today.

To make a long story short, the cappuccino was above average, not perfect, but acceptable.

Thanks again!

Brian 🙂

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