Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks – Which Do You Prefer?

By coincidence, I had to place an order for gift cards online from both Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts main Bigstockphoto_coffee_beans___3730_2

website at the same time a couple of weeks ago. My experience between the two was pretty different and I think speaks to their company culture.

When I think Starbucks, I think of expensive coffee that I don’t find all that appealing – and I have tried to understand the coffee attraction. I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts coffee but that’s just me. I also perceive Starbucks in-store ordering process as confusing, frustrating and at times, intimidating. Dunkin’ seems to be just the opposite.

Guess what? Ordering off their website is exactly the same. On Dunkin’ I had my corporate gift cards in my cart to checkout in three clicks. I then had to give the usual information to purchase and ship. No pain and no confusion. I was done in a few minutes.

Starbucks took me to their personal and corporate information sign up sheet in three clicks. As I write this I am trying to duplicate my experience. I can’t get into my corporate account because I must have the wrong password. I didn’t really want a corporate account to begin with. I only wanted to buy a few dozen cards for $5 each.

Now since I’m locked out of Starbucks (Why would they lock me out – the only thing I can do with my account is buy things from them. Are they crazy or did some mad Starbucks IT security person come up with this idea?) Anyway, once I got my corporate account the other day, I then tried to find the right place to order my cards. They prominently featured showing me how to customize a card – which I thought was a good idea until I learned that cost more money.

Then I found a place to order some nice cards with nice photos – but they only came in $15 and up denominations – even though they claim to have $5 cards back on my second click page. At last I found the place to buy $5 cards which I did order. It took much more time that it should have taken and it left me frustrated and wishing I had bought all Dunkin Donuts cards.

Then I got an email with an order confirmation from both companies. Dunkin’ then sent me an email with a TRACKING NUMBER when they shipped. I had my cards in about three days. Starbucks also sent me an email when they shipped with NO tracking number. It’s been about 5 days since I have had the Dunkin’ order so I finally sent Starbucks an email asking about my order and if there is a way I can track it. That was about 6 hours ago. I’ve not had a response but I did get the cards by UPS this afternoon – which means that I could have easily tracked the order if they had included the tracking number in the email.

Two different companies with two different cultures and ways of treating their customers. One is headed up and the other down.

Take a look at your own company. Become a customer and see how easy (of difficult) it is to do business with it. Get some friends to call your office and tell you honestly about their experience. Use some secret shoppers. And, never, ever let your web designer design the process for communicating with you and your company.

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