Starbucks Still Gets it Right

I was in a Starbucks the other morning and noticed something I hadn’t seen before.

On one of the tables was a small “wheelchair” icon.  I had seen it before, but didn’t think anything of it.  But, that morning I was waiting for my coffee and read the text underneath.  I expected it to say, “Reserved” or even “Disabled,” but I was pleasantly surprised.

What it did say was, “Please offer this table to our disabled customers.” 

Get that?

Not simply reserved or please reserve but, please offer.  I think that’s outstanding and illustrates the forward thinking of Starbucks.  They treat people like people.  They do whatever they can to build community the old-fashioned way.

Now, they may not have the best coffee (just browse CoffeeGeek), but you’d be hard pressed to find a company that offers a better customer experience.

I have been critical of them in the past in their dealings with Doubleshot Coffee, but this is definitely a win in my eyes.

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Starbucks Still Gets it Right

AT&T…Why do you Tempt Me?!?

So, I’ve been fighting and praying to get any sort of broadband out where I live.  Currently neither the cable provider nor the phone company offer any sort of high speed…leaving me stuck with dial up.

So, Saturday I get a letter from AT&T, our local phone company, saying that “You’re also eligible for the fastest Internet in town..AT&T Yahoo High Speed Internet.”

I think, “This truly is a YAHOO!”

Today I call up AT&T to sign up, only to be told that I’m still not eligible.

So, AT&T, you know where I live to send me the mailer.

You know that I’m not eligible for the service.

Why even send the letter?

All you did was waste your time, waste mine and make me dislike you even more.

Thanks for that.

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AT&T…Why do you Tempt Me?!?

The L.A. Times “Reorganizes” Their Newroom

See this.

I think it’s fairly obvious the effect that the web and social media are having on traditional media.

This just solidifies it more as traditional media outlets continue to play “catch up” in the web-based media space.  Sure, many people still get their news / information from the newspaper, evening news, etc.  The problem is, the number of people in that camp is decreasing as the traditional sources continue to get “scooped” by online.

How many stories have we seen that started on a blog/YouTube, etc. and made their way to the traditional media.  We focus so much on the fact that it shows how great and revolutionary social media is, but the other side of that coin is that it shows how traditional media needs to evolve.

The immediacy of the web will drive much more of this.  I think the next step will be to no longer expand on the story in the paper, but to expand on the web.  Set up RSS feeds for specific large stories so people can follow those specific stories.

It’s an exciting time, and it changes every day.

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The L.A. Times “Reorganizes” Their Newroom

Netflix connecting with me and American Express

Couple unrelated topics, but they are things that caught my eye in the last day.

First. Last night I was watching the unfolding drama of Prison Break on Fox. If you’re not watching, well you’re missing out and it’d be tough to catch up. But, great show. At the end of the show, there was a short spot from American Express telling American Express customers to go to their website (actually a specific microsite) for an exclusive preview for American Express customers of next week’s episode.

Will this get more people signing up for American Express? Probably not just for a preview.
Does this make American Express’s current customer happy? Absolutely…if they’re fans of the show.

The only disappointing part for me (and I’m NOT an American Express customer, but I like this idea) was that after more commercials that I ignored, there was a preview for next week. Was it the same as the AMEX preview? I doubt it. But I think it would have been very cool for there to be no preview for viewers OTHER than the AMEX preview. Sure, I wouldn’t have gotten to see the preview, but I still think it would have been better than having a preview over the air.

Then, I went to my Netflix account today to add Saw 3 now that it’s out on DVD. Haven’t been there for a while because I haven’t had time to watch movies, I’ve been on a Deadwood kick and haven’t had to add any movies because I’m getting caught up on the series and I’m evaluating the Blockbuster service.

I know all the Netflix talk is centered around streaming movies, but I noticed something else. In the top tabs I noticed the “recommendations” tab had changed. It now says “Movies I’ll (heart picture).”

Small thing? Yes.
Important thing? Absolutely.

I think this takes the cold, impersonal “recommendations” language and connects with people emotionally. As Netflix touts their recommendations engine as a large part of their service, I think that using it to really connect with people on a personal level is very cool.

I haven’t dug deep enough into it yet, so forgive me if this is already there, but I think it would be very cool for them to not only give you recommendations but supply a forum or some other way to actually connect with people who have recommended that movie and discuss it and others. For example, if I ranked the aforementioned Saw 3 with five stars (haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t say!), it’d be great to not only get recommendations, but join some sort of discussion with people who also ranked it five stars. Then we could talk not only similar movies, but other movies we like that may not be linked because they are so different.

It’d push people even further down the long tail.

Anyway, just a couple small things that touched me and made me realize how much I want to be a part of a business that understands that data and logic matter very little because we’re emotional beings.

Emotion=connection=loyalty

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Netflix connecting with me and American Express