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A Tall Order for Customer Service

I was visiting a good friend in Hoboken, NJ and we were in dire need of some serious java. We headed over to the Starbucks in walking distance from her apartment near the Hudson River.

My favorite drink these days is the Starbucks Double Shot on Ice. It’s similar to the tasty canned version but made fresh by a smiling barista. Well, usually.

Starbucks customer experience

I ordered and happily waited for my caffeinated beverage. When my name was called, the drink tied to my name was definitely not correct.

I kindly told the barista that my drink wasn’t right. She said she wasn’t the person who made it but would gladly redo it for me. In the background, I saw a male barista looking over, rolling his eyes. I instantly felt bad and apologized for being difficult.

The very next day, my friend and I ordered Starbucks via the mobile app. We clicked on the Starbucks Double Shot featured picture to make 100% sure that it was the correct drink before ordering. When we went to pick up our drinks, my drink was wrong again. The same barista was in the background looking over, shrugging his shoulders, as I talked to another barista to correct my drink.

I gave it one more shot and returned to the Starbucks for a third day, expecting a different result. Yes, that may be the definition of insanity.

I walked in and the eye-rolling-shoulder-shrugging barista was at the register. He immediately yells out to his coworker, “Hey, I got this one. It’s free for her.”

I’m confused but go with it. He grabs a Venti and perfectly mixes up my drink.

I ask him why this was free and his honest reply shocked me:

“The last two days, I was having a really bad time. I had to stay later in the day, even though I opened at 4am. I was tired and grumpy. No excuses though. I made your drink wrong twice and I owe you.”

We all have bad days.

I know I’m guilty of being grumpy with customers and coworkers. This barista’s honest admission was welcomed. Both of us were glad that I stopped by again, giving him the opportunity to make the situation right.

This post originally appeared on the Customer Service Life blog.