I am sitting at Starbucks this early evening busting out email and reading material I can never seem to get to at the office. As many of you know Starbucks is my absolute favorite brand/place in the world. And believe it or not, it’s not just about the coffee to me. It’s equally if not more about the place/space it offers me to be, think and produce. But today – I’m disappointed.
When I walked in I noticed months and months of debris built up along the curb lines in the parking lot. I also noticed the landscape is in need of pruning. I noticed the dust on the windows and doors is thick and peppered with bird poop. I noticed the address is sun-baked and wasting away and the number of decals and signage is overwhelming. The VP in me wanted to grab the Regional and Property Manager for an immediate property walk. I felt myself literally getting angry in the how-could-you-let-it-get-this-bad sort of way. It screams – I don’t care in a harsh way. Worse yet, it screams – you’re-going-to-buy-coffee-here-even-if-we-don’t-focus-on-the-small-stuff.
It doesn’t stop at the door. When I look up I see dropped decorative ceiling tiles and light fixtures that are full of dust. The window coverings are frayed on the sides and bottoms and the ledges are dusty. And to top it off, there is a bug hanging out on the window seal.
This is not the Starbucks I have come to love over the years. In fact, I feel sad. Sad to think that I give time, money and loyalty to this organization in exchange for a remarkable experience.
Is this the beginning of the end for Starbucks? I hope not.
It strikes me that I am the exact customer that Starbucks needs, wants and desires. I’m a semi-over-the-top advocate for the brand. I once gave major grief to one of my Area Managers for bringing a Dunkin Donuts cup of coffee to our weekly 1:1 meeting. I have posted hundreds of personal pics that include a siren mug in the foreground on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and the like. I take Starbucks on vacation when I know I’ll be a good distance from a store. I only buy Starbucks coffee to brew at home. And the list goes on.
It also strikes me that I am exact customer that Starbucks doesn’t want to set adrift. This post is evidence of that.
All that in mind – Starbucks take this a my fair plea. Please get back to the level of quality every customer would demand and expect from the best place in the world. Please.
Suffice it to say reviews are a two-way street. The Internet and Social Media enables the critic in all of us. We give ratings and reviews to food, coffee, authors along with goods and services across all industry. Nothing is immune. That is except the customer. That is until now.
We’ll be posting our Reverse Reviews [on our website] and finally revealing what goes on behind closed doors.
Can you see it? Recall that recent move out. You know the one where the carpet has a perfect circle cut out in the living room area that served as fire pit. The ceiling that accommodated knives, forks, spoons and oil dip sticks. Yes – shoved in for decoration. Or, the one with the living room walls painted with life-sized psychedelic Alice in Wonderland landscape and characters – a true work of art. Or, the one with 20 years worth of collected newspapers stacked neatly from floor to ceiling covering nearly every square inch of the apartment to include the bathtub and kitchen sink.
How about posting these masterpieces for all to see – names included?
My stepfather often tells the story of how he likes to open his farm supply store 30 to 45 minutes early every morning. His reason for doing so – preparation.
He likes to feel ready for the day.
He doesn’t want to get caught off guard by customers coming in the door with wants and needs while he is trying to get the store in order. His routine includes cleaning windows, dusting mats, sweeping the entry way, adjusting signage, sweeping isles, dusting fixtures, setting the sales counter in place, making sure he has property amounts of cash/coin in the register, sharpening pencils and making sure inventory is properly stocked.
Open the Store
I read an Ellis Shopping Report recently that dropped my jaw. It was brilliant up to the point of two apartments being toured – each included dead bugs.
I don’t write about this to discount the efforts of our team but rather to highlight how important it is to open your apartment store.
Every morning – without fail. Open the store for business.
Get in early or stay late the night before – it doesn’t matter.
Just Open the Store for business.
That means – walk the units you are going to lease. Walk them multiple times throughout the day.
“Mike – I just don’t have that kind of time. I can’t afford to walk them multiple times.”
The first year value of a customer is north of $10,000 in our market.
Multiple that times the ten friends that will hear about the dead bugs, dirty apartment, unpainted curb lines, dead landscape, etc.
Ten friends that will likely never lease an apartment at your community.
Let’s put a little math to it and see if we can change the perspective. The first year value of a customer is north of $10,000 in our market. Multiple that times the ten friends that will hear about the dead bugs, dirty apartment, unpainted curb lines, dead landscape, etc. Ten friends that will likely never lease an apartment at your community.
We are in the fight of our life everyday. Everything matters. Everything is Marketing. All the time. OTS Matters!
Work is theater. And your theater includes curb to commode to lease contract.
Your production: Customers Mean The World to Us. #rfc
And you are the lead actor.
Being the lead actor requires world-class preparation every day.
Lead actors don’t wait for bugs to present themselves.
They avoid bugs by preparing their act.
They open their store everyday in every way.
Your encouraging you to open your store everyday Multifamily Maniac,