9th February 2012

UBC10: What makes a product into a Five-Star Experience?

About 13 years ago I bought a coffee maker. It was an espresso machine - you know the ones, just like you see in Starbucks, lots of steam coming out, lots of noise (mostly from you banging the old coffee grounds out of the holder). Most importantly for me, though, it was a machine from a "real" coffee maker brand: the people who make the coffee machines in Italian restaurants. Well, my espresso machine has finally been retired, and last week I bought a Nespresso machine. It's made by Magimix, the blender people. Not a name I'd associate with fine coffee. And yet... And yet... And yet... I feel so much better about the Nespresso purchase than when I bought the old machine. And it's not just about the fact it makes excellent coffee (and anyone who spends much time around me knows I *LOVE* my coffee). It's about the whole experience of opening up the box. When I bought my old espresso maker, it was about £140 ($210), and that was 13 years ago, so maybe it would be a £200/$300 coffee machine by today's standards. The Nespresso was £110/$175. It's a cheaper machine. So I had lower expectations...
2nd February 2012

UBC9: are you delivering five-star service?

I've often told clients in my workshops about the way that Ritz Carlton hotels make you feel special by using your name as you check in. I know how it's done, and while it's amazing at the time, once you know the trick that's how you view it. Today however I got very pleasantly surprised.
14th January 2012

UBC7: Stuck for ideas? Read this!

I’ve been reading. It’ll be no great shock to anyone who knows me or indeed who has followed this blog over the years. The fact is, the demise of Borders merely made way for more time sitting in Costa downloading ebooks to the Kindle app on my iPad rather than sitting in Starbucks leafing through paper books But my latest read has been a “real” book. With hard covers no less!
8th January 2012

UBC3: If you want more coaching or consulting clients, you need to have better conversations

ne of the key things I discovered while I was building my business was that the quality of the conversations you have will dictate the quality of your business results. To put it another way “clients = conversations”. Think about it like this...
5th January 2012

UBC Post 2: Breaking out of a Niche: Belgian Sake anyone?

That's the thing about brands: they're more often based on the associations and notions attached to a brand rather than on reality.
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