Starbucks Employees Are Begging You To Answer This Customer Service Question

Working at a popular coffee shop like Starbucks isn't always easy. Per Insider, it can get particularly challenging to deal with difficult customers, especially when the store is packed with visitors looking for their coffee fix or a quick snack. Here's one sample anecdote: An English professor popped into a Manhattan Starbucks and ordered a multigrain bagel, per the New York Post. The barista asked her if she wanted butter or cheese, but she refused to answer, because she wanted neither. "I refused to say 'without butter or cheese.' When you go to Burger King, you don't have to list the six things you don't want ... Linguistically, it's stupid, and I'm a stickler for correct English," she told the Post. The situation escalated to the point where police were called, and the professor was told to exit the store for creating a ruckus. 

Of course, that's the opposite of an ideal scenario at Starbucks. But it's not just the extreme cases that can have a negative impact on employees. A self-identified Starbucks staff member turned to Reddit on January 12 with a simple request for their customers, hoping to drive home an important point.

Customer surveys mean more than you think

A Reddit user claiming to be a Starbucks employee started their January 12 post with a basic point: Every Starbucks outlet needs to receive high "customer connection scores" in order to keep things running smoothly. They wrote that it's understandable that lots of people don't enjoy making small talk and said, "I'm one of those people, I have social anxiety so I get it. Most baristas understand this as well."

But here's the problem: According to this Reddit user, customer connection scores at Starbucks are mostly linked to the survey question, "Did your barista try to get to know you?" Saying "no" to this question won't reflect well on the employees (even if you were just picking up a mobile order and didn't really want to get to know the barista in the first place). The Redditor wrote, "It takes zero effort to just say yes and then everyone gets to stop bothering everyone else. No district managers bothering stores, no baristas bothering customers."

One Reddit commenter stated that when they learned "anything besides the perfect score was calculated as zero," they adopted the habit of handing out perfect scores in surveys. Another grateful commenter appreciated this, writing, "Thank you. The pressure we get from our managers to keep the window open and chat with a smile on during blizzard ... Really, thank you."