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How My Love For Food Transformed My Approach Of Customer Experience - Part 1

30th August 2017

This article was written by Joe Sejean, CEO and Founder of Activate Experience.

After a long day at work, you reach home, half tired, half tired. Totally tired. 

You open the door and hmmmm, the smell of food transforms the evening in a breath-in-breath-out instant.

A sensation of feeling home; the anticipation of a good moment with a loved one or a group of friends; the appetite opens instantly; the senses awaken...

I love food passionately.

It gathers people; it is all about sharing, talking, discovering. It is a time dedicated to feed our body, sometimes our soul. The most important decisions in the world are celebrated with a lunch or a dinner. The most important contracts on the planet are sealed with a handshake at great restaurants.

In my personal life, food is now influencing my choice for travels.

Not only that: food has changed the way I approach Customer Experience altogether. The analogy between both struck me one day. 

Here is why:

Food is a global experience

A great dinner is not only about the taste of the food. It is about everything that goes around.

The ambiance. Candles, nice dimmed lights. The living room is well arranged. The table is set. Nice glasses, there will be wine. A bowl and a spoon? There might be soup for starters. Body and mind relax and get tense at the same time… this is going to be good.

The smell. A suggestion of caramel smell escaped from the kitchen. Maybe for the desert? Oh my. Imagination opens up. Diet? No way. Full menu today, this is for certain.

The presentation. The soup (it was a soup!) is served from a fuming tureen. Freshly chopped parsley is spread on the top with a line of sour cream around. The glasses are on the right side of the plate, easy to catch. The bread is warm, arranged in a beautiful basket. Perfect.

The sounds. Water pours nicely in the glasses with a refreshing murmur. Bread breaks gently in the hand reminding of small branches cracking in the woods. The discrete shock of the spoon in the plate; the voice of friends; the sound of conversations… And this background music. Is that Jazz? Maybe Soul, maybe both. Doesn’t matter, it gels the whole scene together.

The taste. Finally. Taste buds are on fire. There is a bit of ginger isn’t it? And coconut? Yeah, just a bit. And this parsley on top… Magic.

Take one of those elements and execute it in the wrong way: you will compromise the whole dinner experience… and this is great news for Customer Experience.

See this.

The ambiance. Receive your clients in a messy office; you will struggle to make their internal negative voice stop.

The smell. Serve a Customer in a store that has bad smell, the experience will be over before it started.

The presentation. Put the clothes that your client just purchased in a shopping bag as if they were old rag, the mood will decrease drastically.

The sounds. Have a door that slams in your restaurant or an oven alarm that rings too loud and for too long, your guests will be bothered.

The taste. Finally, deliver a lousy product with damages or defects and you just saw your customer for the last time.

Customer Experience is a global approach that involves all the senses. When it is done in the right way, magic happens.

Food is not only inspiring me in those dimensions.

There is another magic factor in food that can improve your Customer Experience and your performance like you have no idea.

More in my next post...

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