I’m a fan of Starbucks coffee. I love the taste and I love the atmosphere for their coffee shops.

In Quebec City, there are three Starbucks stores, and I have my favorite. Because the clientele is different at each place, and because I’ve developed a friendship with the baristas there.

Went I visited New York City for the holidays, I was really looking forward to being in a city that had a Starbucks on every corner (at home, I have to drive a few kilometers to reach one).

Over the 5 days that I spent there, I must have visited at least 6 or 7 different Starbucks stores. And almost every time, I was disappointed. It just didn’t feel the same. Even though it’s the same coffee, the same furniture, the same ads and posters on the walls – they even have the same blackboard drawings!

But it didn’t feel the same as my store here at home.

The difference is the relationship
Even though all the variables are controlled in chains like Starbucks, so that a customer’s experience can be the same anywhere they go, there is one thing that cannot be identical from place to place: humans.

We form relationships all the time: with the people we do business with in our jobs, with the cashier at the grocery store, with our coffee shop baristas. Those relationships have a great influence on our customer experience with the company they represent. In the end, they will bias the opinion we have of the company and its products.

How are your relationships?
How to you see your customers? Are they once-in-a-lifetime opportunities or people you hope to see on a regular basis?

Because AceProject is a hosted solution, we tend to develop more of a relationship with our customers. What’s even nicer, is when an AceProject user changes jobs, and brings AceProject over to the new company – it’s the most rewarding endorsement we could hope for.