Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Experiencing the German "Service Desert" (Muenster, Germany)

My friend Thorsten Hennig-Thurau has described Germany as being a "service desert" because of the lack of good service that frequently occurs.  We experienced that last night, as we waited for 35 minutes just to place an order at the Peter Pane restaurant in Muenster.  We sat outside, where only about half of the tables were occupied, and when we sat down it took a lonnnnnnnnng time for someone to even acknowledge we were there.
We experienced quite slow service here.
When we finally placed our order, Candy ordered a Raddler.  (Robert had ordered that in Muenster a couple of nights earlier.)  We both had hamburgers, which were tasty but quite thin.
Candy and her Raddler!

Wrapping Up Another Course at WWU (Muenster, Germany)

Today was the final day of the Service Management class.  Four teams provided an overview of the service innovation they designed using the service blueprint tool.  Afterwards, as part of my tradition, I treated those who did not have to go off to another class (or, to work) to ice cream. 
The students seemed quite happy to be done with their big project...and, to get ice cream!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Reuniting with Samantha & Robert in Europe (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

We had not seen Samantha and her new husband, Robert, since they visited us in Ohio at Christmas (2018).  But, it worked out for us to travel from Muenster to Maastricht to see her.  Since we had a car, we drove out to Gulpen to have lunch (we had ice cream at the restaurant in 2006 when my sister Tammy, her two kids, and my mother came to visit us).
Samantha & Robert Kitson, Candy and I having lunch in Gulpen, The Netherlands

I was delighted to find my favorite (Belgian) beer on tap...Tripel Karmeliet!!!
Once we finished having lunch, since it was Memorial Day in the U.S., we visited the American Cemetery near Margraten, The Netherlands. The Dutch have always been very appreciative of the U.S. support in World War II.  Our son-in-law, Robert Kitson, is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Samantha & 2nd Lt. Robert Kitson (Air Force) at the American Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands

Dining 17 Years Later at the Lemminks' House (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

In June 2002 I brought the family with me as I helped to organize the Frontiers in Services Conference in Maastricht, The Netherlands.  We spent a week in Maastricht, and one of those evenings the Lemmink family and the Gremler family enjoyed dinner in the Lemmink Garden.  (See second photo below.)  Nearly 17 years later, we had a similar experience...this time with only one of our daughters (Samantha) and her husband.

Jos and Marion Lemmink, Candy, Samantha and Robert Kitson, and some guy from Pittsburgh

Mallory (in pink) Samantha, Lotta, Jos (wearing a Bowling Green hat!), Dwayne, Candy, Marion, and Ester

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Dining Outside at Lit Fass (Muenster, Germany)

Christof Backhaus and his girlfriend Paula suggested we try an "unusual" restaurant in Muenster, Lit Fass.  What turned out to be the unusual part was my meal. After asking Christof for assistance in interpreting the menu (written in German, of course) I ordered a bratwurst dinner.  When the food arrived it included fried potatoes, two eggs, and a salad.  But no bratwurst.  I thought a mistake had been made by the kitchen.  It turns out that the mistake was made by Christof, who paid attention to only the "brat" part of the description..."brat" is the FRIED part of the fried potato. 
Look, Mom, no bratwurst!
When I asked if they had any bratwurst in the restaurant that they could add to my meal, they said no.  Bummer!   (Thanks for your help, Christof...)

Exploring Roman Ruins (Xanten, Germany)

Today was the first break from teaching since arriving in Muenster.  Candy and I were joined the Krah family for a visit to the Roman ruins in Xanten, Germany.  We drove about 90 minutes (we rented a car yesterday) and explored the ruins for about 4 hours.
Mtahias Tesch, Jan Frederik Dohmann, Doreen and Tabea Krah, Candy, and Dwayne inside the Amphitheater (Photo by Jens Krah)
This once held about 10,000 people.
Dwayne exploring the Amphitheater and "Gladiatoren"
The Hafentempel

An interviewing viewpoint from below.

Lunch in Xanten (Photo again by Jens Krah...he is good at avoiding being IN the picture)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Student Project Work on a Saturday (WWU, Muenster, Germany)

For the fifth day in a row we had class.  Today (a Saturday!) we discussed service recovery and service guarantees; one company that came up as an example in both discussions was Domino's Pizza.  I displayed a response from the Bowling Green Domino's related to a service failure years ago (they did an excellent  job of service recovery) and a commercial where Domino's offers "Carryout Insurance."   For the second half of class students worked on their team projects for next week (and thus were designing a service innovation using the service blueprint tool we discussed on Thursday).  Apparently all of the talk about pizza and Domino's made students hungry for Domino's Pizza.  So, they placed an order and had the pizza delivered to the classroom.
A working lunch with Domino's Pizza!
Bastian was quite hungry!
One student (purposely?) dropped her pizza to test the Carryout Insurance offer made by Domino's!
Enjoying the pizza on the lawn outside of the MCM.
And, after testing out the Domino's service quality (and Carryout Insurance offer), it is back to work on the service blueprints...

Friday, May 24, 2019

Dinner at the Hennig-Thurau Estate (Muenster, Germany)

After four straight days of teaching I was a bit tired this evening.  But, to take my mind off of my teaching duties, Thorsten Hennig-Thurau (my Muenster contact) invited Candy and I to his house for dinner.  Claudia Thurau, of course, did all of  the work in preparing three excellent pizzas.  Also at their house was Raoul Kubler (an assistant professor) and his wife, my PhD candidate colleague from Arizona State University, Mark Houston, and Thorsten's three sons: Frederick, Patrick, and Tom.

The dinner party!
Thorsten, Mark, Raoul, and Dwayne
Thorsten's preferred style...the Selfie!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Teaching Students How to Use the Service Blueprint Tool (WWU, Muenster, Germany)

Today in the Service Management class at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU) we discussed service blueprints.  Students divided into to four teams and created a blueprint for Revive, a hydration clinic located in Chicago.

Team 2 Identifies Customer Actions for the Revive Clinic
Team 1: Carolin B., Anna E., Christina K., Annika B., and Alexandra K.
Team 2: Marie B., Bastian H., Sophie V., Lisa B., and Luca K.

Team 3: Jessica B., Jessie H., Franziska H., Isabelle W., and Dominik L.

Team 4: Melina B., Felix H., Sarah P., Felix G., and Jenny M.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Playing Knobelkäse at Pinkus Brewery (Muenster, Germany)

On Tuesday evening, Christof Backhaus and his girlfriend Paula joined Candy and I for dinner at Brauerei Pinkus Müller.  We had some traditional German food, and afterwards played a game using cheese (Knobelkäse).  (Mallory and I played this game two years ago with Christof.)

To play Knobelkäse, you begin with a block of cheese (ours was 4" x 4" x 1/2"), a knife to cut the cheese, a match stick, a die (one dice?), and a cup to roll the die from.  The match stick is placed in the center of the block of cheese.  Each person rolls, and if you get a six (6) you are required to cut a triangle-shaped piece (i.e., three-sided) which you can then eat.  
Media by knobeline: #originell #münster #knobelkäse #pinkusmüller #spaß
The game starts with a block of cheese, 4" x 4" x 1/2", with a match stick stuck in the middle.
Only those who roll a six get to cut the cheese.  If one rolls another number, she/he simply passes the die and the cup on to the next person.  Each person who rolls a "6" cuts a triangle.  The object of the game is to avoid being the last person to cut the (triangular piece of) cheese and have the match stick fall over.  That person is the loser, and thus pays for everyone else's beer (or meal). 
Christof takes a picture while Candy cuts the cheese.  (Means something totally different in the U.S.)

It was Christof's turn...
The match stick fell...Christof lost...and, thus, he bought!

On the Road Again...A Year Later...Back to Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany)

Nearly a year after being appointed as "Visiting International Professor" at the University of Muenster, I returned to begin teaching my regular course, Service Management, for Masters students.  Our arrival (Candy is traveling with me this time) was two days after we watched Mallory graduate from BGSU.  As usual, the MCM Department had my regular room waiting for me upon my arrival in Muenster. 
Outside of My Muenster Office
As usual, there were 20 students enrolled in the course.  Each of them showed up and seemed eager to get to know more about Service Marketing and Management.  It should be a great week!

A Great Looking Group!