When coffee giant Starbucks introduced its mobile order and pay system, it created a convenient platform for consumers and reduced wait times in stores significantly. However, the company didn’t anticipate how popular this automation would actually be. The retailer quickly found that their stores were not equipped to handle the volume of pickup orders coming in, which created backups, damaging customer relationships and slowing revenue growth. Training has become critical for Starbucks, and other companies that are looking to integrate degrees of automation into their customer experiences. This retail landscape is changing, and as automation becomes more popular, organizations are going to have to understand how their employees and automated systems will interact with each other. Starbuck’s new two-year agenda, called North Star, aims to refocus the company’s approach to customer service. Happy, friendly baristas are going to become even more important in the coming years as the volume increases created by automation become more significant.
The Interplay of Automation and Customer Service