American Hunter Kills BMW Customer Service Agent

a.o.k stories Nov 19, 2017

This post describes a recent experience I had which falls outside of the norm and one which on the face of it I would have expected to have been resolved fairly easily. The resolution came from a completely unexpected source. Stick with me on the post title - nobody was hurt in the exchange at least not physically although the reputation of one brand was damaged in my eyes because of the poor customer experience I had. You will also learn about the three key ingredients that drive a great customer experience.

The Scenario

My cherished BMW convertible spends its time garaged most of the year in our holiday home in SW France. It's the ideal car for touring whilst on vacation enabling passengers and driver to enjoy balmy evenings with the roof down. However it has a fault that has developed where the tyres aren't lasting as long as they should and so need replacing more frequently than the norm.  

A visit to my local French BMW dealer is about an hour away and without the use of a...

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Passionate Pillow Talk of the Customer Experience Kind

a.o.k behaviours Nov 18, 2017

In this post, you will learn from an experience I had when travelling aboard a cruise ship and what to ask if you want similar extraordinary things to happen with your own customers, guests or clients and the experience they have doing business with you.

Not Everyone Can Be Excellent

"Anybody can be a waiter, not everyone can be an excellent one."

That's what our waiter Pepe said as he set down our drinks on the table and arranged the small bowls of nibbles alongside. We were on a cruise a few years ago.

I'd chatted with Pepe to find out a little more about life aboard his ship and one of the answers he gave me included this. And what a great observation too, one which applies to all walks of life.

"Anybody can be a .......(insert your own job title here), not everyone can be an excellent one!"

We met Pepe when we spent five days aboard MSC Fantasia, the then recently launched flagship of Italian cruise line MSC Cruises. The trip was partly a holiday and partly...

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How Many Ways Can You Tie Shoe Laces?

Activity Aim

The aim of this activity is to get participants to think about how routine many of their choices are when it comes to offering customers solutions to problems and how by being creative they may be able to offer an alternative solution. The activity can also be used wherever you want to challenge people's ideas about the norm and what they have become accustomed to.


Participants consider how many different ways they think there are to lace a shoe with 12 eyelets (6 per side).

Setting Up the Activity

  1. It's important that you stress a 12 eyelet shoe so either have one on hand or use the image at the top of this post. This is because the answer you give as the solution to the activity is based on calculating a formula using 12 eyelets.
  2. Ask participants to work in pairs or individually.
  3. Give them 5 minutes to consider their answer.
  4. Ask each person or pair for their answer and then reveal the correct answer which is 43,200! For...
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If Your Business Were a Shoe, What Would It Be?

free activities Oct 30, 2017

Activity Aim

The aim of this activity is to allow participants an opportunity to discuss how they see their business, department, team or other issues based upon using a shoe as a metaphor. We all wear shoes so this activity can easily be related to by every participant.


Participants should choose a shoe that they believe represents their business, department or team based upon their interpretation of how they see the shoe they choose, its characteristics and how these relate to their business. You can interchange the focus word to represent the issues under discussion.

For example, a Nike trainer is chosen because it represents the team's agile response to customer enquiries, it's stylish and contemporary, it's relaxing to be in and does what is expected of it.

Setting Up the Activity

  1. Provide images of various types and styles of shoes and other footwear. I suggest a selection of between 12 and 20. Either print these off and hand them out, stick them to a...
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Don’t Be Boring, Dull And Lifeless! Put On Those Pink Gloves And Start To Be Remarkable.

behaviours creativity Oct 28, 2017

With the explosion of business reality shows like Dragons Den, The Apprentice, Natural Born Sellers, The Restaurant, the list goes on, we are increasingly using clichéd phrases and Metaphors in our workplace to the extent that they can become rather irritating and be quite honest a bit of a bore! 

I should not complain completely as in the past I have “possibly” used quite a few too! However, I feel the time has come to ‘reinvent the wheel’ ‘yes’ another mundane cliché  I hate!

A Great Customer Experience Requires This

A great customer experience requires creativity and the ability to stand in ‘The Customer’s Shoes’ – whoops, here I go again! Here are a few of the idioms I have found just by surfing the web in ‘my cubicle’ which is my office, for 20 minutes (all will be revealed later!).

"Thinking outside of the box, touch base, customer centric, go to market, going forward, blue sky...
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Why I Get Naked at Work to Improve Our Customer Focussed Culture

creativity Aug 25, 2017

I have just read an interesting article from a contributor on LinkedIn that I love. Her name is Liz Ryan. She writes with such inspiration from the heart and her illustrations are great too!  I hope you will read her latest blog in which she discusses; ‘How to get naked, win friends and influence people’. It certainly gives us food for thought!

We all have personal branding – with our current job title or our industry designation and put on huge overcoats and batten down the hatches of our inner self, losing all our fun, creativity, and often all our innovation. We all have the ability to come up with creative ideas which can help us each and every day in the workplace, if only we scratched beneath the surface to discover what is actually underneath.

Being creative can involve cooking a meal from scratch, creating a novel, doing some DIY, making up a bedtime story for your child, finding ways to cut costs, or even developing a creative solution to a...

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