Author Archives: Dr Ken Hudson

The Starbucks customer experience

The Starbucks customer experience
I have been running a number of courses and workshops in Shanghai and Hong Kong on Small Wins Innovation. One of the group activities we do is to visit a Starbucks site and search for small, new ideas. Participants are fascinated with this exercise because it’s like they are seeing Starbucks for the first time. They come back with numerous images of lots of small ideas and discuss what works, what they can learn and apply to their business. Invariably they come to the conclusion that ... Read more

What can you customise?

What can you customise?
It’s been out for a few years now but Coco-Cola has been placing various names on their bottles. This idea was created and tested in Australia and then rolled out to the various Coca-Cola businesses. All the indications are that it is working. This made me think. What can you customise in your product, service or consumer experience. Perhaps I could customise my books or ebooks for example? It’s a nice example of a win – win. The customer feels special and hopefully it ... Read more

A small way to help your customers

A small way to help your customers
I found this in a corner of a book store in New York. It’s a sample of the many staff recommendations of a few of their books for sale. What a great idea. It gets the staff engaged and proud of their knowledge and advice. And it also helps the customer make a wise decision among a treasure chest of book titles. A lovely win – win. Think of suggestions of what wine might go with what meal as another example. Or Amazon Books — customers that bought this book also bought this ... Read more

What leaders can learn from the ballet

What leaders can learn from the ballet
We just spent a delightful evening at the ballet at the Lincoln Centre in New York. Not only was it an amazing experience but as I reflected on the performance I was struck with how much leaders could learn from this experience also. Here are a few: - The pursuit of excellence. There was nothing ordinary about this performance. The audience expected an was given a world-class show. Leaders — what are your standards? Are you building a world-class team? - The diversity of the group. ... Read more

A small win – win for the environment

A small win – win  for the environment
It’s a small thing that more and more hotels are doing. They put up a little sign on your towel rack asking you whether you can use the towel again rather then having to wash them. It’s a classic win – win. It’s great for the environment. It’s obviously very good for the hotel as it saves, time, effort and money. And we as hotel guests feel good about doing our bit for the environment. I love this example because it is simple, easy to do and the cumulative ... Read more

How to enhance the consumer experience

How to enhance the consumer experience
You barely notice them. The tiny, bite-size actions or features that can often make a big difference. Remembering your name or your favourite coffee, for example. Or as in the picture here the little sign that the room has been clean. It’s these little actions that signify a certain attitude that we care about your consumer experience. It says that we have high standards. Welcome to the new consumer experience battleground. The more brand leaders focus on the consumer experience, the ... Read more

How to annoy customers – it’s the small things

How to annoy customers – it’s the small things
Business owners have over the years improved their customer service. Rarely do you hear of the complete screw up. And if it does happen, most business leaders know how to handle these situations. But what I have noticed is that the customer experience battlefield is now the small things. Asking 2 or 3 times for a new fork for example. Or the key that does not work when you return to your hotel room. A friend just told me that a new cafe that just visited for the first time charged them $2 ... Read more

What leaders can learn from burnt toast

What leaders can learn from burnt toast
This is a story of burnt toast. Burnt toast you say! Yes I was having breakfast the other day at one of my favourite cafes and I asked for another slice of toast with my scrambled eggs. The friendly staff brought out the toast but it was burnt. Now I should have sent it back or said something. But like most other consumers or customers I did not make a fuss at the time but rather have decided to write a blog about my experience. You see, a slice of toast is a small thing. The cafe is ... Read more

The key to innovation – small steps

The key to innovation – small steps
We like to think of creativity and innovation as a breakthrough moment made by a special individual with amazing gifts. This may be true with artistic creativity. But in the world of organisations and business the truth is somewhat different. For a start, increasingly innovation is a team game. A new product is rarely the result of a lone individual working in a corner. More often it is the result of a team of diverse individuals that have harnessed their talents in pursuit of a collective ... Read more

The secret to innovative organisations

The secret to innovative organisations
Everyone wants to know the secret of innovative organisations. These organisations seem to be able to produce breakthrough new ideas and products — on demand. But how do these innovative organisations do it? My observation is this. They have more people innovating, more often. It’s that simple. Yet so hard. Think of a gym. What makes a vibrant gym? It’s the friendliness of the staff, the quality of the instructors and the gym equipment. But it’s also the number of ... Read more