Photo: MarkGregory007 on flickr
Starbucks had a problem early on. Customers would take their time and toss a bunch of different terms at the baristas for their customised orders, and it was holding up the line.So, Starbucks decided to make its own vocabulary to get its customers to behave and quickly and efficiently order their drinks.
But why is it that when you’re standing in line at Starbucks and order a “small coffee,” the barista serving you is sure to yell out “tall Pike” for everyone to hear?
Anne Morriss, managing director of the Concire Leadership Institute, explained it to Harvard Business Review:
“We all have been very well trained it turns out. Because when we show up in line, if we order it incorrectly, then the correct version is shouted out for the whole store to hear, and so we’re very motivated to get it right it turns out when we walk up. And if we’re having trouble with it, Starbucks actually printed up a nice pamphlet that you can take home and study that goes through the vocabulary.
“But really what’s motivating is that you don’t like to be corrected in public. It turns out that that had an enormous impact on the efficiency of the line and the quality of the service experience.”
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