Actually, dont even bring your gun into the store! Good for Starbucks in trying to maintain, in the face of local and state legislation, a patron experience absent angst. It is too bad that more retailers do not step up and establish some sanity in the marketplace.
As a citizen, I am outraged when lobby or a specific interest group just highjacks the direction of our communities (or nation). I agree with the constitutional right to bear arms, but, give me a break, when that means folks, who to just show that they can do it, arrive in my restaurant, tavern or store - visibly armed. I may not have the legal right to bar their entry, but I can surely let them know they are not welcome when bearing side arms.
Starbucks has always been a target with their progressive mission, whether that be wrapped around health care, gay marriage, smoking or the environment. They offer a safe haven for their customers – comfort, ambiance, coffee and sides, as well as a sense of well-being. It has always been more about the experience than the coffee. But, as the Boston Globe pointed out in an article on September 19, 2013, “Starbucks Wants Guns Out of its Stores”, “…Starbucks is being forced to tread carefully with its special blend of politics and commerce”. All sides on the gun issue are watching, ready to pounce upon or praise the effort.
This situation really goes beyond the Corporate policy; this goes to the heart of the relationship we have with our customers and guests. We have all sorts of tools to learn about how they feel and respond to our sense of service, product and facility. Hopefully, we answer in kind with what we have heard. Starbucks obviously has, for their customers are uncomfortable with guns in their sanctuary.
Local laws will prevail. CEO, Howard Schultz, “… said he hopes people will honor the request not to bring in guns but says the company will nevertheless serve those who do”. Hopefully, the Barista’s hand will not shake too much or spill too much coffee when serving our proud gun enthusiasts and show-offs. You just know – some time, some place this type of situation will invite another tragedy. Where is the sanity?
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
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