â??We engage in millions of conversations with our customers everyday, and those conversations and ideas have helped shape the company we are today,â? stated Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbuck’s. â??With the launch of MyStarbucksIdea, we are extending the Starbucks community online and creating a dynamic forum that enables us to capture and act upon our customersâ?? best ideas.â?
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) launched a website where they ask their customers to pitch ideas for the coffee company. These idea suggestions are voted in a Digg-style by users in the semi-social network. Some of the top voted ideas include free drinks on your birthday, a punch card system for frequent customers, lower prices, etc.
To show that customer ideas are taken seriously, there is an Ideas in Action Blog on MyStarbucksIdea.com. Starbuck’s employees write about which ideas they’ve taken from the submitted ideas and how they are testing them out. For example, one customer submitted an idea to have a sticker over the lid’s opening to prevent coffee splashing. In the Ideas in Action blog, a Starbuck’s employee wrote:
“As a result of your feedback about spills out of the sip hole, we have been testing splash sticks in limited markets to gauge customer interest (sounds like some of you have seen them). Based on an overwhelmingly positive customer and partner response, we are rolling out splash sticks nationwide this week.”
Using the Internet as a means of direct communication with customers is a great idea for the coffee company. Starbuck’s has over 15,000 outlets for selling coffee so tracking feedback would be difficult otherwise.
Starbuck’s will also be introducing free wi-fi soon through a deal with AT&T. There will be Starbuck’s registered cards that can be recharged for 2 hours of free Internet whenever a drink or food is purchased.
If I were to submit my own idea, I’d make it easier for customers to make orders. Sometimes describing what you want is almost a full paragraph. Also, I’d introduce Orange Mocha Frappucinos since this drink was a hit in Zoolander.
 Starbucks Unveils New Strategic Initiatives To Transform and Innovate the Customer Experience