62. Anticipating Customer Needs With Phillip Di Bella

62. Anticipating Customer Needs With Phillip Di Bella


Phillip Di Bella

Anticipating Customer Needs

Phillip di Bella founded Di Bella Coffee back in 2002. It began as a small coffee roasting operation in the suburbs of Brisbane in Queensland, Phillip ended up taking a big portion of the market in several ways. One of these was when they were the first to develop a system that was coined the “Crop to Cup” system taking quality coffee direct from farmers all over the world to consumers in Australia, and now internationally. Phillips current role of Managing Director Remains at Di Bella Coffee despite selling to Retail Food Group in 2014. He still sets the vision of the company and provide the support and mentoring to the senior management team. Phil is an active collaborator and contributor to the community. He has been on the Queensland Premier’s Advisory Board for 3 years, he has remained as the Director of Brisbane Marketing for 6 years he is the Director of Tourism & Events Queensland. Phillip is also on the Department of Marketing Industry Advisory Board at Griffith University where he was awarded as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship for his significant and ongoing work, insight and contributions.


During my conversation with Phillip he shares:


  • What he believes makes for a customer-centric business
  • The philosophy he adopts for his business and team
  • Why he enjoys discovering an error in their team processes
  • What makes for effective complaint handling when things don’t go to plan
  • His three questions to determine client perception of the business
  • How he determined his locations and business models for his international locations
  • How his business growth has come from anticipating customer’s needs
  • Why he believes the concept of business ‘disruption’ is irrelevant
  • The dangers commonly made in business expansion
  • Why it’s necessary for the owner to have experienced all roles within a business
  • The questions he asks when selecting staff;
  • Why he believes reflection is the most under-utilised activity and it’s benefits for business
  • His personal goal for later this year


Phillip’s Example Of A Customer-Centric Business

  • Pike’s Fish Market, Seattle
  • Virgin – for their early identification of a missing adjoining flight


Selected Links For This Episode


“People think that saying hello, smiling and being nice is customer service. To me that’s not, That’s politeness…To me, customer service is when people are dedicating to deliver” Phillip Di Bella


“We love it when something goes wrong. That is our opportunity to make a customer’s day… We use it as an opportunity to get better” Phillip Di Bella


“If I research the companies that are doing things right, I become an imposter. What I do is I look at the companies and say ‘how can I do that better or different?’, and ‘is there a market for it?” Phillip Di Bella
“Hire people who are good enough to have their own business but make sure you’re giving them a reason not to go off and own their own business” Phillip Di Bella



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