Starbucks has recently generated some negative publicity, as the company’s baristas have not been able to keep up with its adoption of technology. This is particularly apparent with Starbucks’ relatively new relationship with Square.
We are doing aggressive in-store training and working with stores on how the Square partnership works,” [Starbucks Senior Manager Linda] Mills says. “We work quickly to adopt new technology, and sometimes we launch initiatives where there could still be some things to work on. But we don’t want to wait on innovation to be perfect.”
This is becoming a common problem with chain stores implementing new payments technologies. The corporate office negotiates a deal with the solution vendor, installs the new technology, and trusts the store management to train employees. Unfortunately, that last step is often never accomplished. Consumers come into the store attempting to use the new payment technology, but employees are unfamiliar with the process for using that solution, or, in some cases, have never been told that they accept the solution at all.
Both the corporate entities and the solution vendors need to take more responsibility for ensuring that sufficient training is performed at the storefront levels. Customers will never be able to use the new payment form if the employees interacting with the customers don’t know how to use the technology that surrounds it. At that point, why bother enabling the new form at all?