Customer In Tears? This Could Be Good News!
A recent episode of No Reservations that I caught playing on television had the host Anthony Bourdain visiting the iconic restaurant, El Bulli, up in the Catalan mountains.
In conversation with him, a patron says with tears in his eyes (These were not his exact words but I have captured the essence of it!)
“El Bulli is for people who come with spirit and they leave with soul”
The next few seconds of the program are a blur for me….. Could there BE a higher compliment a customer can give a business!?
To connect so completely, so viscerally with customers. To get such total alignment between your vision, your purpose as a business and the customer’s experience. THAT, in my opinion, is to reach the holy grail.
For its creator, Ferran Adrià, I am filled with awe.
Ferran says, “I don’t expect people to remember the sequence of the dishes” (difficult anyways considering there used to be 50 plus courses at each meal served) “but what I aim for is that they remember the emotions they experienced as they made the journey.”
That is what the experience; ANY experience is all about isn’t it?
What you recollect of any past event is not so much the details of what happened or the sequence of events but you remember what song was playing, the scent that filled the air, you remember how you felt. You remember the sensory cues and the emotions they created within you. In the future, the same mix of sensory inputs immediately transports you to that emotional state. Possibly, the aroma of fresh-baked bread calms you; the sound of the surf makes you happy and so on.
The key is to figure out what emotions you want to evoke in the customer that is in sync with your brand positioning.
Then, crafting the sensory design that short-circuits the intellectualization of the experience. Then we are on the way to making some soul!!!!