Free Short Case Study On Service Marketing

Case Study – Starbucks Customer Service

Here is your Small Business Thursday Tip of the Week:

I have written before about the importance of providing excellent customer service and about the concept of fixing a mistake by over delivering.

Here’s a great example courtesy of my favorite coffee spot – Starbucks.

Imagine if you will… You pull off the road on a chilly day and pop into the road side Starbucks. You order your drink and hand over your 10% Starbucks gold card. They accept it but don’t give you the 10% discount that the card promises. This Starbucks doesn’t honor the discount because they are a franchise location and not a corporate-owned store. “Fine”, you say and ask for your money back… They’ve already started your Drink and refuse. Wow, this sucks if your Starbucks, right? Not if you over deliver on the apology. Check this out:

So the other day, NJ Transit trains all went kaboom, so I wound up driving to my meeting in Jersey City. En route, I stopped at the Joyce Kilmer rest stop on the NJ Turnpike, and hit the Starbucks inside. Knowing that I’m on the turnpike, I accepted my fate of paying nearly $6 for my beverage. At least I don’t do that often. But I digress.. The girls there happily accepted my sbux gold card (the card that gives you 10% off on each visit), deducting the cash from the card, but did not give me the 10% off. They explained that because they’re a licensed store, not corporate owned, they don’t have to honor the discount, and choose not to.

“No problem,” I said, “just refund my money and keep your drink then.” They refused, since they had already started making the drink. Somewhat put off, I put in a call to SBUX customer service line. My point was simple, they should require stores that don’t honor the discount to post a sign saying they don’t. That’s all. No yelling, screaming, irate stuff, or anything like that. Just a simple request that they let people know what they’re getting into in stores like that.

The CS rep, whose name unfortunately eludes me just now, decided that SBUX needed to “make me whole, and give me an experience nothing short of fantastic.” I figured that meant I’d get a free drink coupon or something like that in the mail. I didn’t really even feel like that was necessary. His offer, a $50 sbux card mailed to me, which I could transfer the balance from onto my gold card. Despite me trying to convince him that he really didn’t need to do that, he insisted.

I’m floored. My goal was to spend 5 minutes on the phone with them and make them understand the need to let customers know what to expect in non-corp stores like the ones on the NJTP. Instead, they pulled out all the stops and went way beyond what they needed to.

How can you address your mistakes or the perceived mistakes your customer might think you made? Over dilivering on the original promise can not only solve the problem at hand but will also help you gain additional loyalty!

If you have questions or suggestions or would just like to add to the conversation, please comment and share below.

Original Source: The Consumerist

Welcome to our free case collections. As part of The Case Centre’s commitment to promoting the case method and supporting case teachers, we offer a growing range of free cases produced by a number of prominent schools and organisations across the globe.

You must be registered and logged in to our website to access free cases. Once logged in you can use the 'show only items in the free case collection' tick box on our product search to search all free cases.

Amity Research Centers has selected ten cases from its health and medical care collection to be available free via The Case Centre. Amity Research Centers feels there is a dearth of expertise in health and medical care and that knowledge of developments and initiatives in healthcare is limited. It makes a deliberate effort to write cases about healthcare management in various organisations and for public health policy makers.
View full list of cases

Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s (ANZSOG) teaching cases are all set in the public sector – topics ranging from public value to risk management and regulation – with most recounting events from the past five to ten years. The collection comprises nearly 200 cases, with a selection available for free from The Case Centre.
View full list of cases

Building on its entrepreneurial legacy to advance entrepreneurial thought and action for the world, Babson College partnered with Banco de Chile to immerse twenty faculty members from ten Chilean universities into the rigorous art of entrepreneurship case writing and teaching. The project has produced eleven Chilean entrepreneurship cases, each with an English and Spanish version. 
View full list of cases

These free cases from the Australian College of the Arts (Collarts) are aimed at students studying music organisations in arts management or music business programmes. They are written by eminent music insiders, including Paul Saintilan, Dean of Collarts, previously at EMI Music and Universal Music; Rob Cannon of the Australian Institute of Music who has also held international record company roles; and Michael Smellie, a former Chief Operating Officer at Sony BMG. 
View full list of cases

Copenhagen Business School

This collection of free cases is part of Copenhagen Business School’s commitment to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME). All the cases focus on aspects of responsible management, including social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. The cases address a number of interdisciplinary subjects making them suitable for a wide range of courses in business schools and universities. New free cases will be added regularly.
View full list of cases


Developed as part of a project co-financed by the Directorate General Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission, this free case collection includes 18 innovative teaching cases on technology entrepreneurship. The cases all have accompanying teaching notes and many have media support items. 
View full list of cases

Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University

Few resources on the delivery of health services and health technologies in low-resource settings currently exist for educators. The Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University has begun to fill this gap with a series of teaching cases and accompanying teaching notes examining principles of healthcare delivery in low-resource settings that are freely available for download and distribution.
View full list of cases


IMD's collection of free cases includes a case series on the KasKazi Network that deals with the distribution of fast-moving consumer goods to low-income areas in Kenya. The collection also includes eleven 'climate saver' cases that showcase corporate best practices in carbon-saving products and processes and feature companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Lafarge, Novo Nordisk, Nokia Siemens Networks and Tetra Pak, among others. The cases were featured at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference thanks to IMD's collaboration with the WWF's Climate Savers. 
View full list of cases

Medical Peace Work

This collection of 12 free teaching cases was developed by Medical Peace Work, a partnership of medical organisations and teaching institutions committed to the development of expertise in health work, violence prevention and peace building. The cases depict challenging situations for health professionals who are looking for ways to prevent and reduce violence and other forms of power abuse, and to build trust, understanding, mutually enriching structures and a culture of peace.
View full list of cases

MIT Sloan's LearningEdge

In early 2009, the MIT Sloan School of Management began free distribution of select teaching materials created by faculty and students at the school. The collection, available on LearningEdge, covers a wide array of companies and organisations, industries, and geographies, and focuses on a number of business disciplines. 
View full list of cases

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business has produced a large number of free cases covering subjects such as e-commerce, entrepreneurship, international business, marketing, operations information & technology, political economics and strategic management.  
View full list of cases

The Case Centre

We have partnered with a group of leading business schools to provide this collection of free cases on topical issues. Currently 10 free cases are available covering a wide variety of subject categories and topics. 
View full list of cases

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Legatum Center case studies illuminate the thought processes of entrepreneurs, the challenges they face, and the solutions they devise as they develop their businesses. These cases are available without charge to help teachers, students, and aspiring entrepreneurs. At the same time, they may demonstrate to academics and governments the value of entrepreneurial activities in low-income countries.  
View full list of cases


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *