Last month, my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans and witnessing the 41st year of Jazzfest (a great music experience for those of you who enjoy outdoor concerts). Based on a tip from a waitress at breakfast, we learned about a great restaurant that had earned the No. 1 rating on TripAdvisor, and I was determined we would eat there sans reservation.
How many times have you sat through a PowerPoint presentation where the speaker went on far too long? I bet you are saying it happens far too often for your liking!
Some say that money makes the world go around. I say that ideas are what make the world around us happen (often fueled by money in order for them to take root and prosper).
Those of you who are baseball fans will immediately recognize these three icons and their significance to the San Francisco Giants, who have just won their first-ever World Series. Being a resident of the City by the Bay, I too have come down with a bad case of Giants fever, paying a small fortune for the "cure" by going to game 1 of the fall classic last week.
Technology is moving at a torrent pace, affecting just about everything in our daily lives at home, at work and at play. As the world becomes increasingly high-tech, consumers have a corresponding need for "high-touch." I first learned about this concept as one of ten "megatrends" in the 1982 book of the same name by futurist John Naisbitt. This megatrend still holds true today, nearly 30 years later, as evidenced by several business leaders I had the chance to meet at the recent thinkAbout conference on the "experience economy."
I could not believe my eyes last week when I turned on ABC News and saw a story that represented some of the poorest reporting I had seen in a long time. It made me think we've returned to the days of yellow journalism.
With apologies to Billy Joel, it seems that summer is over, and it's already back-to-school time, with all its associated rituals of getting ready for the new school year. I thought summer went by fast, until I witnessed my oldest daughter start high school this week. How did that happen?
Hotels are a good place to learn about emerging consumer preferences, and the new Andaz brand from Hyatt is becoming a big hit with travelers. They've eliminated the front desk, and arriving guests are checked in by hosts who have mobile devices in hand. They hire hosts for personality based on retail skill rather than front-desk experience, and they understand that employees are indeed responsible for the customer's experience. "We're on show all day, every day," exclaimed the hotel chef in a recent article in USA Today.
Whenever I see employee surveys that indicate the majority of workers are not happy with their current job, I get concerned. In my view, it takes happy employees to create happy customers. That is, high customer satisfaction and outstanding customer experiences don't just happen on their own. They are the result of dedicated employees who understand and live out on a daily basis their organization's mission and values.
After a year or longer, when most luxury offerings got hammered by a never-seen-this-before economy, there are new signs of life that are a positive for those of you who offer refractive surgery and other elective services.