A Real World Lesson in Customer Experience Management in Bogota
This past June I accompanied three other CRMGurus to Bogotá, Colombia where we were to speak to about 200 delegates at a CRM/CEM conference.
W ended up with a practical lesson and case study in Customer Experience Management in the town of Chia, a small town about 30 kilometers outside of Bogotá.
This is the home of Andres Carne de Res which means Andres meat of the cattle.
I am tempted to say that Andres Carne de Res is a restaurant, but that would be understating the case: Andres Carne de Res is an EXPEERIENCE.
The entrance is a not impressive collection of unpainted buildings (which I later learned can hold 1,800 diners) with a bunch of people milling around the entrance in the sound of Latin American music. We enter a semi-darkened room, the walls festooned with indefinable objets dart.
At that moment a troupe of musicians (or are they actors?) marches by in various costumes: a cleaning lady dancing with a mop; a ballerina in finery; a mime; two elegant black gentlemen bearing signs; and several other odd people playing guitars. The ballerina pauses to dance and flirt with one of us.
We order juice drinks from exotic local fruits and snacks. Te drinks come in coconut shells cut in half with ice. The snacks are not unlike nachos.
The crowd is boisterous but non-threatening to us obviously North Americans—in fact we are greeted with smiles everywhere.
The serving personnel are young and attractive—we are informed that most of them attend Bogotá’s top university.
Uur host and guide—Rafael Rodriguez, introduced us to the owner of this establishment, Andres himself, who insisted we have a drink and chat. He carried with him a leather-covered note pad which he used every day to jot down improvements for the staff to improve customer service and experiences. His charming assistant said hr 25 years worth of notes which he uses to guide to his managers once per week.
I explained that my son was attending hotel and restaurant school in Amsterdam and was seeking student assignments. An invitation was immediate.
My son may go to Bogotá. I am returning for lesson # 2.
Jay Curry, Senior Consultant
THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE FACTORY
This is a late update, but I was with Jay and Rafael at Andres Carne de Res. It was quite an experience! And this if from a vegetarian about a restaurant that serves mostly meat, although our host Rafael was kind enough to find and order a few of the vegetarian items they had on the menu.
However, the food was besides the point. The main attraction of the restaurant is the experience. It is a quite a spectacle – crowded and with a great number of things going on, including performances by mimes and dancers, dancing for the diners, etc. There is even a large open area behind the restaurant where kids are taken care of in style while their parents enjoy at the restaurant. We are not talking about garden variety baby siting here, there is face painting, a basketball court and a host of other things to keep the kids busy and excite.
I am uploading some pictures to make the point, since each picture is worth a thousand words. On the flight back from Bogota to Miami, when I mentioned to the lady sitting next to me that I had been to Andre’s the first thing that came to her mind was that she had heard it was a great experience – not a word about the food, although it was great. Talk about a fantastic customer experience, this one was truly unique and memorable.
[img_assist|nid=2092|title=with one of the mimes |desc=the first time I saw them I thought they were statues.|link=none|align=center|width=640|height=480]
[img_assist|nid=2093|title=Jay, Rafael (our host) and myself with the man himself – Andre|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=640|height=480]
[img_assist|nid=2094|title=a copy of the menu:|desc=The menu is actually a big aluminum box with a handle that you rotate and tthe menu scrolls down. There must be a few hundred items on the menu. The bill is presented in a tube (looks like a tube of toothpaste). The restaurant is filled with knick knacks.|link=none|align=center|width=480|height=640]
Naras V. Eechambadi
Naras is the CEO of Quaero, a marketing and technology services company. He is also the author of “High Performance Marketing: Bringing Method to the Madness of Marketing”, Kaplan Professional Press. Email: [email protected] Web site: http://www.quaero.com