Category Archives: Service

Examples of how small wins can be applied to innovation in the service sector.

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 disruption alternative

The disruption alternative
Disruption is important. It is a powerful force to overturn monopolies and tired, out-dated brands and industries. Disruptive business models can also provide a huge benefit to consumers and customers like Uber for example. But following a disruption strategy if you are a manager or leader in a medium to large size organisations is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it can renew and revitalise an existing business. But it is also expensive, risky and time-consuming. There is another ... Read more

How to recognise your best customers

How to recognise your best customers
I recently ran a course in Singapore on Marketing Creativity. The participants received a certificate at the end of the course. They all loved it. I actually enjoyed handing these out. A classic win – win. But I think there is a broader lesson here for all marketers, brand and business owners. Ask yourself, How am I recognising my best consumers, customers or clients? As this example show, it does not have to be a big, grand gesture. A certificate or a few bonus points or an ... Read more

A small yet powerful way to engage consumers

A small yet powerful way to engage consumers
I just returned from Singapore where I ran a few courses for the Institute of Marketing there. The course I designed was called Marketing Creativity. Half-way through the course some of the participants told me about a new ice-cream place that had all these amazing flavours. So we all went off on a field visit to this venue. Ok so we all tasted the ice cream which was delicious. The staff were friendly and enthusiastic about their ice-cream. Another big plus. But what really caught my eye ... Read more

Can big companies still do big innovation?

Can big companies still do big innovation?
Think of all the big, disruptive innovations or new business models and you realise that almost none of these have come from big companies. For example: Uber Twitter Instagram Gum Tree Air B&B I could go on. These are big companies now but they all started by often young entrepreneurs. And what happens is that in the market-place of new business ideas the best ones rise to the top. They then get bought for big dollars by a big company . For example: Facebook has acquired more that 40 ... Read more

What is your glass of water moment of truth?

What is your glass of water moment of truth?
Imagine this scenario. You walk into a new cafe or restaurant but feel a tiny bit unsure whether to stay or not. Then the waiter suggests a table and offers you a glass of water. Before you know it, you are sitting down and examining the menu. But what happened? My theory is that it was the glass of water! It’s a small action that can generate big results. The cafe or restaurant is offering you something you need and its free. A physical and emotional transaction has taken place. I ... Read more

Why tipping is a good example of win – win

Why tipping is a good example of win – win
At one of my favourite cafes today I paid my bill and the lady behind the counter said thank-you for my tip. I in turn thanked her for her wonderful, friendly service. The thought occurred to me that this was a lovely example of a win – win. The waitress delivered great service which I in turn recognised via a small tip. The essence of small wins is to try and encourage this type of thinking. Applying win – win to other areas of your life: Imagine if you could apply a win ... Read more

Want a big idea? start with a small one

Want a big idea? start with a small one
I remember meeting with the CEO of a large international packaged goods brand who spent the entire time imploring his leadership team to come up with a big idea This sounded impressive but when I asked him later in what area he wanted a big idea, he said — it didn’t matter – he just wanted a big idea, any big idea. I also queried how he might recognize a big idea. He answered – we will just know. I have spent a great deal of time in and around marketing departments and ... Read more