During my brief stay in Copenhague, my colleague Alex (@alexnereuta) and I had the chance to dine at Amass, an establishment opened in 2013 by a former chef from Noma, the well-known restaurant. The vision behind this unique restaurant really spoke to us:
At Amass, we believe in a holistic approach to food that not only prioritizes our guests and gastronomy, but also the environment and our future as an industry. Our gold organic certification, which insures that 90% to 100% of our food and beverages are organic and free of pesticides, is only one of the many initiatives we’ve taken to reduce our carbon footprint.
The four realms of a customer experience
For me, the customer experience is, above all, a matter of emotion, attention and intention. Customers need to be drawn in, respected and surprised.
According to Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, the authors of The experience Economy (Harvard review press), there are four “realms” of a customer experience. These realms are distinct but they also complement one another:
As I paid attention to the various customer touchpoints deployed by the restaurant, I was astonished by the many details that went into building the complete customer experience.
Here are some lessons that I took away:
1. Impress customers before they book. As soon as I saw the restaurant’s website,
I knew I had to make a reservation there. There were several things that drew me in right away: the restaurant’s vision was clearly articulated, the photos of the food conveyed simplicity and refinement, and the overall brand image was original and fully aligned with the values of environmental responsibility promoted by the establishment.
Another way Amass succeeds in conveying its vision is by featuring its very own Garden on its homepage.
The garden at Amass represents the soul of the restaurant. We currently have more than 80 different varietals of plants, including leafy vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers that appear on our menu daily. But our garden is more than ingredients: It’s the inspiration for dishes to come, making each day a work in progress.
2. Impress customers when they arrive.
Knowing that the restaurant was located in an industrial area, I expected to be greeted by a sleek, “industrial chic” esthetic. I certainly didn’t expect to hear rap music and see massive graffiti on the walls!
I found this contrast between pared-down refinement and industrial ambiance very fun and unique. It’s as if they sought to democratize the space. As a result, guests come away feeling like they were part of a unique environment that embodies the brand’s values.
Here are some of the details that enriched our customer experience:
- Warm linen towels were attractively presented for hand washing. There was a noticeable fragrance of chamomile from the garden.
- As we awaited our order, a mysterious leather box was placed on our table. What could it contain? We were intrigued. We opened the box to find all our utensils unpretentiously arranged: it seemed to contain the exact number of utensils required for our six-course tasting menu.
Finally, we loved the quality of the interior design, particularly the way they completely integrated the kitchen with the rest of the restaurant.
3. Authenticity and attention to detail are key to the customer experience.
Every detail was thought out to offer us a unique, multi-sensory experience:
We wanted to do the wine tasting (with pairings) between the two of us. But five glasses a person was too much for us! We talked to the server, who was happy to offer an alternative: we received half portions and we were able to split the cost between us. Not every restaurant would be so accommodating!
The wine glasses had a uniquely refined design that truly elevated the wine and the dining experience. Each of the wines had a distinct colour, flavour and history and they were all truly delicious!
We were surprised by the fact that each of the courses was presented by a different server.
The breads were wrapped in a magnificent linen cloth. Instead of asking guests, “Would you like some more bread?,” the servers asked, “Should we put more bread in the oven for you?” That was a nice touch!
When explaining the menu, the servers were personable and informative: Most of our wine is made by friends, whose vineyards we know and whose journeys we share. It’s honest wine made with love and care by people who are farmers first, who tend their grapes without using any chemicals and who let the winemaking take its natural course. We believe wine made in this way tastes better, is more vibrant and suits our food perfectly.
4. After payment: small details can make a big difference
- As we were getting ready to leave, the staff offered to call a taxi for us.
- Our bill also came with a personalized note from the chef and a message inviting us to keep in touch
- Finally, there was an interesting piece of urban artwork next to the bathrooms: a sort of garden gnome flipping the bird. I loved it! Alex did too 😉
How customers experience your brand
By Annie Verrier, President and Founder, Performa Marketing
Inspirations : @amass, @harvardbusinesspress, @mattorlando @hélènedouville