Lessons for patient experience from the world’s largest Starbuck’s

Want to grab a cup of coffee? 

Great. Buckle up, unless you live in the Chicago area, this is going to be a long drive. 

You might think that the world’s largest Starbuck’s would be in the Mall of America or Seattle. 

But it’s not. 

It’s four floors plus a rooftop deck on the Miracle Mile in Chicago. 

The place is amazing.

Even if you don’t like coffee, just walking through is an experience. It’s an exploration of the science and art of coffee and everything that goes with it. The entire second floor is an authentic Italian bakery. The fourth floor is a cocktail bar focused on – of course – coffee drinks.  

It’s visually stunning, a sensory adventure, throughout.  

The lesson is that the leaders in the field of customer experience – such as Starbuck’s – are constantly innovating. If you’re not, your customer experience gets stale. It becomes expected and loses the key element of surprise.   

Experts we follow talk about 4S’s when it comes to maintaining a customer experience.  

  • Fix any “Sacrifices” you’re forcing a customer to make. 
  • Achieve customer “Satisfaction.” 
  • Develop “Surprise.” 
  • And to exceed their expectations, you must maintain “Suspense.” 

Now, you don’t have to invest in real estate on the Miracle Mile to follow these practices in your practice. You can do it every day with creativity and intention.  

It can be small actions rather than grand gestures.  

The important thing is that you’re thinking about it and planning how to maintain a remarkable experience for your patients. What can you do every day to make it fresh, new, welcoming?  

Experience is also the subject of our next Fuel Tank, with customer experience guru and author Shep Hyken. That’s coming up on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 12 p.m. central time. You can register for that session here.  

In the meantime, if you want to talk about how it applies to your practice, let’s grab a cup of coffee and talk about it.