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How My Love For Food Transformed My Approach Of Customer Experience - Part 2

30th August 2017

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

For once, I felt like a good salad.

My friend Jean-Luc let me down, he was on for a burger. 

In this new restaurant, the menu was tempting: "Pan-fried halloumi cheese, figs, strawberries, toasted pistachio, Arugula salad, with pomegranate balsamic dressing"; "Hickory wood smoked Atlantic salmon, frisee and rocket salad, avocado, cucumber, radish, cherry tomato, shallot, with cream cheese and chives, dill lemon dressing", and it went on and on. 

I went for the Halloumi and Fig Salad. Jean-Luc stick to his burger. 

While we were catching up around a fresh bread basket, the waiter arrived with our plates and said with a big smile: 

 - "Your Halloumi Salad. Aaaand your Burger". 

This sentence changed the way I was approaching Customer Experience. Here is why. 

Your words have the magic power to create reality.

I had in front of me a masterpiece of a dish presented in the most beautiful way. I could see some red touches of hidden strawberries, smell the toasted pistachio. Fresh pomegranate were spread like small gems around the salad, the dressing was forming random lines topping mixed leaves and slices of fresh figs… and the Halloumi cheese? It was still fuming from the grill.

The view was awesome, the smell incredible. It opened my appetite. 

But the words made me land on earth again. "Your Halloumi Salad". 

The description killed the moment. And it affected my experience. I was going to eat a salad. Period. 

While discussing my frustration with Jean-Luc, I realized this: our words create Customer Experiences. 

Imagine the waiter coming with the plates and saying:

- "Here is your Halloumi and Figs salad. But pay attention, this one is special. We just got the best strawberries from Spain this morning and believe me, you haven't tasted strawberries like this in a long time! Try to mix them with a bit of Halloumi and catch a toasted pistachio, you will be surprised by the taste: amazing! Enjoy!"

Only that.

The exact same salad. The exact same place, same people, same everything.

A completely different experience.

From this day on, I gave much more importance to the words I was using when talking to Guests.

Even more, I decided to make the effort to describe things that seemed obvious because this day, I understood that things exist because we talk about them.

If I don’t tell you “This vase is in crystal, entirely hand made. You can see the contrast between the polished parts and the brushed ones. The effect of light is so different”, would you see and feel those things?

Probably not. Your experience would be less exciting, kind of empty. 

Talking about things makes the world around us come alive. It fires up our imagination, awakens our senses.

Words create reality. Words can transform your Customer Experience. Share what you do with your Customers. Talk about the products you sell in simple words. It will transform your experience and your performance.

And my salad?

I ate it with a bit of resignation and a lot of gratitude. Because this waiter, with his Halloumi salad, changed the way I was approaching Customer Experience.

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