What I Hate About the Store I Love


Dear Teavana,

I’m a regular.  I love your store.  I go there frequently and I purchase a lot of tea.

I have most of your tea gadgets and gizmos.

I give tea to friends as gifts.

I introduce people to you all the time.

Any yet, every time I come to your store I’m treated as if it’s not enough.

Your sales people always try to get me to buy more.

I usually come in completely prepared to order what I need.  I know what I need.  I want that and that’s it.  I wish you appreciated that.

On my last visit I walked straight to the counter and when the sales person engaged me I told her exactly what I needed: 4 oz of Roobios Orange.  As she was getting the bulk tea canister.  I said “yah know what?, I’ll go ahead and buy an extra tin today” (I even upsold myself for you!).  Her eyes lit up a bit and she proceeded to get the biggest tin you have and said “why don’t I fill it up?”  I agreed although I wondered how many more ounces this was than what I asked for.  She didn’t offer to tell me.  In fact she filled it so full that I’ve wasted a good bit of tea each time I open the canister.  That’s irritating.

Teavana, I like your products, just not your people.  Your tea snob store clerks make me feel like I never give enough.  But I do.  It’s people like me that keep you in business.  I wish you remembered that.

Oh don’t worry.  I’m probably not going anywhere for now.  You don’t really have any competitors and your product is worth the frustration of your poor customer service.  I just hope you figure that out soon.


A fellow tea snob

My observation/application: Even though things may be difficult in our present economic conditions, don’t forget people in your quest to be profitable.  Customer service still wins.

Where has scarcity and fear caused you to take your eye off of people and to start doing drastic things to survive?

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  • brewster April 6, 2009  

    awesome post! customer service matters MORE now than ever. in these economic times you do not want to give people an excuse NOT to engage in your brand.

    I do have to say that today a friend gave me a cup of organic indian black tea with organic indian honey and it was DIVINE!

  • Aaron April 7, 2009  

    i always notice customer service. the good and the bad.

    yesterday, i actually had a great customer service experience from someone I least expected it from

    my garbage man

    i forgot to put out my garbage cans. i heard the truck passing by, so I rushed outside to put the trash out. the truck had already passed my house.

    but one of the men on the truck walked back down the street, grabbed my 2 heavy trash cans, carried them to the truck, and then returned them. and he smiled the whole time

  • Jenni Catron April 7, 2009  

    @brewster – that cup of tea sounds amazing!

    @Aaron – love that story! I think I would have trouble having a smile on my face if I emptied trash cans for a living. I love people with that kind of attitude!

  • Heidi April 7, 2009  

    This is so applicable to church too. In how people treat guests.

    You go to your tea store for something you enjoy, people go to church to find a tangible God.

    The beauty of the savory tea sitting on the coffee table is now gone, because we keep remembering the snob.

    We stop listening to the message and looking for God, because we had to park miles away, or the coffee was cold, or you walk into a vast auditorium and no one knows or CARES to know your name.

    It doesn’t matter what economic mess we are in. The golden rule still applies “treat someone the way you would want to be treated”

    Okay, I am sorry I went on a tangent.
    Customer service is SO important to me.

  • Jenni Catron April 7, 2009  

    @Heidi – so true!

  • Brittany April 7, 2009  

    Have you tried the Savannah Tea Room – they were on 8th Ave near Zanies but are relocating to the Germantown area (8th & Monroe)this week or next – They have delicious tea and awesome food (soups, salads, sandwiches)! I know the owner and I can guarantee good customer service there!

  • Jenni Catron April 7, 2009  

    @Brittany – thanks for the recommendation! I haven’t tried Savannah’s, but I will now!

  • Ladybird April 7, 2009  

    I always, always notice customer service. That is HUGE to me. I will go to a store that costs more just because they have great customer service. I always try to let management know when I have had a really good experience.

  • mandythompson April 7, 2009  

    So… have you gotten a comment/email from Teavana yet? I’m sure they’re gonna jump on this! Let us know what they say.

  • Jenni Catron April 7, 2009  

    @Ladybird – I love that you let management know when you’ve experienced GOOD customer service! Too many times people only speak up to complain.

    @Mandy – I haven’t heard from them yet. We’ll see 🙂

  • bustersdaughter April 7, 2009  

    wonderful, it is very necessary for the sales people to remember who they work for.

  • Jewel April 8, 2009  

    my parents owned 2 christian bookstores when i was growing up and they always taught me how important customer service was….we were not to point to the place where it was located, we were to walk the person to the shelf where the book or cd was and truly help them find it.

    needless to say i am a HUGE fan of customer service. i get so mad when people don’t treat the customer the right way…one time i slammed everything i had in my arms (almost $200 worth) down at the counter at macy’s and walked out because i was being treated sooo horribly. at macy’s too. i said i’ll take my business somewhere else and created a storm on my way out so the manager knew…it infuriates me. my money keeps your business going…treat me like you want it and help me spend it 🙂

    so thanks jenni for comforting me that it’s important to someone else as well!

  • Jenn April 9, 2009  

    This was great! I firmly believe that customer service is what keeps me coming back to places. For instance, I drive 45 minutes to shop at Publix when I could drive 10 to shop at Kroger…it is all about the service I receive. And how true that this should be about church too. It is about the service we give and get that keeps people coming. I can’t count the number of times I hear someone say they came back to CP because someone greeted them at the door or smiled at them when they got coffee. Little things make a big impact.

  • Brittany April 9, 2009  

    When you try out the Savannah Tea Room tell Emily (the owner) Brittany sent you!
    I also highly recommend all of their rooibos teas
    (my fav is the peaches & cream)