FoxNews reported that a Starbucks barista laughed at a customer’s Trump t-shirt and put “Build a Wall” on the beverage the customer ordered.
The other baristas were reported to have laughed when the name was called out. The customer walked out, feeling humiliated and bullied. Starbucks apologized to the customer and is “using this as a coaching opportunity for the future.”
The problem isn’t Starbucks
This type of thing isn’t limited to Starbucks. There are many examples of bad customer service based on political boundaries, from people not tipping wait staff, because they look like an undocumented worker, or bakers who won’t bake wedding cakes for gay couples.
Bad customer service based on a person’s politics is bad customer service, no matter which side of the political fence you’re on.
People should be treated fairly, no matter who they voted for. This country was founded on bipartisanship, where opposing parties find common ground in compromise, not in bullying the other party to believe the same way.
Bigger lesson at play
We’re reporting on this not to tell you to patronize Starbucks or not, but to warn you that this kind of behavior from your own staff could be detrimental to your business.
When one of your employees treats customers badly, it reflects on your brand.
Do you want to alienate half the population who might shop in your store? There has to be a better way to defend your politics without estranging customers.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
The Golden Rule is one of treating others as you want to be treated. It’s one of the main tenets in Christianity, but the concept is not limited to Abrahamic faiths. Practically every religion and culture have some form of the Golden Rule.
In Ancient Greece, it is in a negative form: “Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.”
Mohammed, the Islamic prophet taught, “The most righteous person is the one who consents for other people what he consents for himself, and who dislikes for them what he dislikes for himself.” Buddha said, “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
Spread love, not hate
Every business owner and employee has a right to their own political beliefs, but when those beliefs lead to bullying in the store, that’s crossed a line.
We don’t win people over to our side by treating them badly. We find common ground when we treat everyone with respect and dignity.