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Starbucks staff told to be nicer


In an e-mail leaked to Forbes yesterday, Starbucks Boss Howard Schultz instructed employees to be extra sensitive to customers who could be feeling distressed about the financial markets and political instability.  

Schultz told employees that China’s ‘Black Monday’, the term coined after Chinese stocks fell to their steepest since 2007 yesterday, will “undoubtedly have an effect on our customers’ attitudes and behaviour”. He asked that baristas “recognise” this behaviour.

"Today’s financial market volatility, combined with great political uncertainty both at home and abroad, will undoubtedly have an effect on consumer confidence and perhaps even our customers’ attitudes and behaviour," he wrote in the e-mail.

"Our customers are likely to experience an increased level of anxiety and concern. Please recognise this and – as you always have – remember that our success is not an entitlement, but something we need to earn, every day.

Let’s be very sensitive to the pressures our customers may be feeling, and do everything we can to individually and collectively exceed their expectations."

Schultz also added that the coffee giant would stand strong against the financial crisis, citing that the “brand has never been stronger or more relevant".

"Our growth plans for the future of our company will not be impacted by the turmoil of the financial markets," he wrote. "We will positively manage through today’s challenging environment just as we have positively navigated through challenging moments in the past."

Published on Tuesday 25 August by Veebs Sabharwal

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