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.
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