What Do Starbucks and HOSTING Have in Common?

Early One Morning at Starbucks

It is early in the morning and I stop at a local Starbucks to get a much-needed coffee. This is a Starbucks store I rarely ever use. I order my venti dark, and decide today to get a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. Then I move down the line and waited for my breakfast sandwich. The next person in line behind me places their order and comes to stand next to me.

The man who handles heating bakery items up at this Starbucks store came with over with an item. Only to my surprise, it was not for me. The item from the oven in his hands was for the person who came after me in line. That person leaves, and another person who ordered after me, joins me to wait. As I wait a while longer the man who handled heating things come by again. At this point, I am sure the item he holds in his hands is for me. Only to my surprise, it is not. Another person who ordered after me in line walks away.

The man looks directly at me and says, “are you waiting for something?” I say yes, I ordered a sausage, egg and cheese. Here is where I was impressed. He did not ask me for my receipt, he did not make a big deal out of this, did not have to get a manager involved. He say “I will go heat one up right away for you!“.

At this point, a few things jump out at me. Starbucks gets it. What I mean by that, they have empowered their employees to take some initiative. He did not have to see my receipt. He did not make a big deal out of it; he directly took action to solve my problem.

As a side note yes, I really do think this way about things. When you run a business like I have for a long time, you try to learn from what others are doing right and wrong. Its the key to improving the business. Not all great ideas are invented within, you have to constantly look outside your organization.

Now I watch as him puts my breakfast sandwich in the oven, I am thinking my long wait is about to be over. He then walks over to the register. He says, “it’s slow right now and is it ok that I take a break.” They tell him, no problem and he walks around the corner out of sight.

The Ball Is Fumbled

Just when I am thinking so many good things about Starbucks, my sandwich is sitting in the machine and no one else knows. Even though this member of the Starbucks team was empowered he clearly dropped the ball.  Lesson learned. Even with the best of training, the best of plans and when it might count, he blows it. This is the real world. 

The barista hears the oven beeping. She walks over takes the breakfast sandwich out of the oven. She looks over at me. We could be best friends by now, I have been waiting so long watching her make coffee for others. On her way to me, she stops and picks up the card shown below:


on us


Starbucks Service Recovery Card

This is a service recovery card. “Your next one’s on us.” She hands the card over to me and says she is sorry. Wow, I am blown away. Those words are always so powerful when said at the right time. What is clear from this interaction: Starbucks is thinking about customer service and has a established processes and tools to facilitate high quality customer service. These are long-term bets, which will pay huge dividends over time with customers. This is a company serious about improving the customer service experience.


Zappos, Zingermans helped inspire the HOSTING WOW program

At HOSTING we have the WOW program. HOSTING has taken the time research the best customer service companies in the world (Zappos and Zingermans) to collect best practices.

10 Inspiring Zappos Customer Support Stories

Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service

Based upon what was learned, HOSTING put together a one-day training event offered to employees, customers and prospects.  We have had over 50 customers attend the program over that last three years.

This was all done to support the HOSTING corporate mission “Provide The Best Customer Experience For Mid-Size Enterprises That Are Running Mission-Critical Applications in the Cloud, Supported By The Industry’s Best Team”

At first I was a bit skeptical about the HOSTING WOW program. Ntirety was acquired by HOSTING in March 2014. At Ntirety we are really proud of our focus on high quality database services, and very high historical client retention rates. So when the management team at Ntirety was required to attend the WOW training my first reaction was not WOW. Well I came out of the other end as a convert. Today, Ntirety is better prepared to deliver an awesome customer service experience that ever before. We are an extension of our customer’s team – as a result we need to make sure we are delivering the best customer experience.

The HOSTING WOW training helps ensure we have the processes and tools in place to make world-class customer service part of our DNA.


What do Starbucks and HOSTING have in common?

What we share with Starbucks is a desire to have great customer service experience. We have both developed processes and training to help facilitate achieving great customer service. We both empower our employees to make a ‘right’ when they see a wrong. This puts us ahead of the competition.

At HOSTING we know you are trusting us with your business. We take that trust very seriously. We will admit when we have made a mistake, and work with you to make it right. We know that if you want a world-class customer satisfaction experience; it takes hard work, honesty, strong processes, training and a commitment to be the very best.

I am proud to be part of the HOSTING family. Part of a company that strives to provide “The Best Customer Experience For Mid-Size Enterprises That Are Running Mission Critical Applications in the Cloud”.

Dont Take Our Word for It – Net Promoter Score

Don’t take my word for it, check out our Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a recognized industry standard for measuring customer loyalty. To learn more about The Net Promoter Score http://www.netpromoter.com/why-net-promoter/know

At the writing of this blog, according to Satmetrix the owner of NPS, these where the top ten NPS leaders:

Top Ten Net Promoter Score (NPS) Leaders

The top 10 NPS leaders are dominated by USAA and Apple

  1. USAA – Insurance = 80%
  2. USAA – Banking = 78%
  3. Costco = 78%
  4. Apple – Laptop = 76%
  5. Dillards = 75%
  6. Nordstrom = 75%
  7. Apple – iPhone = 70%
  8. Amazon = 69%
  9. Southwest Airlines = 66%
  10. Apple – iPad = 65%


HOSTING leads Cloud Computing with Highest NPS Score

At HOSTING, we lead Cloud Computing with and NPS score of 65. When I looked at the Rackspace website they have a whole page www.rackspace.com/NPS on the value of the Net Promoter Score, yet ironically they don’t share their score with you on that page. At HOSTING we are transparent and are happy to share our NPS scores. We are not perfect, but we will word hard to live by our mission:

The Best Customer Experience For Mid-Size Enterprises That Are Running Mission-Critical Applications in the Cloud”.

What important, is that by measuring and focusing on quality has helped drive HOSTING to be the Cloud Computing leader with an NPS score of 65.

Michael Corey, President Ntirety
Ntirety – A Division of HOSTING
My Personal Twitter Account: Michael_Corey
Ntirety Corporate Twitter Account: Ntirety
Buy Michael Corey’s book -Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware here!



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