Working in customer service can be challenging at times. Even if it isn't intentional, customers can often make employees feel under-appreciated. I spoke to two former Starbucks employees, and they shared the top five things customers can do to make their jobs less stressful. 

1. Be understanding and patient 

Starbucks employees are people too, and when they make a mistake, the most important thing a customer can do is reassure them that it is okay.

"We're only human, mistakes are going to happen and I wish customers realized that," says former Starbucks barista Hope Fudenski. 

Former barista Lynn Nguyen said that what she appreciated most from a customer is simply them "having a great understanding and being patient with the workers."

Showing your barista a little respect goes a long way. It is a small way to show your appreciation for everything they do for you. Remembering this as a customer will make a big difference in both the service you show to them and the service you receive. 

2. Keep your hands to yourself

Employees are working through a pandemic and it is just as important to practice social distancing with the baristas as it is with fellow customers. 

Cleanliness is a top priority for Starbucks employees, and touching freshly cleaned surfaces and contaminating them is never appreciated.

"They stick their hands over the barrier to get straws or stirrers when if they asked I would have just given them one," said Fudenski of some customers. When customers do this they are putting people at risk, and it forces the employees to throw away everything they just contaminated. Simply being mindful of your actions as a customer will help avoid giving your barista any additional stressors during their shift. 

3. Don't be rude

Being rude to an employee is never okay. Being rude to a barista who is trying their best to fulfill an order is especially problematic. If customers could stop doing one thing, Nguyen would want them to stop "being rude to workers when something doesn’t go their way." 

Being rude isn't going to fix a mistake, or make an employee work any faster. It may be their job to make a customer's drink, but being rude to them will make their job less enjoyable. 

4. Know your drink order

"Secret Menu" drinks are – as the name suggests – a secret. More often than not, the secret drinks are just drinks that customers have made themselves and given them a name for what they believe they taste like. They put these drinks online and they go viral. Employees do not have a database to look at when a customer orders a drink with a name they have not heard of. 

If you're going to order an item from one of these secret menus, "tell me exactly what was in it," says Fudenski. 

It is also very important to know your order when there is a line of customers. As much information about coffee as the baristas know, they are not mind readers. Customers should approach the counter with their order ready, so they do not hold up the line.

5. Just be nice!

It's that simple! Give it a try!