Life’s a blessing at La Vie Lente

While indulging in a foam-leaf decorated cappuccino, my eyes take in purple Jacaranda splotches against a blue sky canvas and green tints and textures from herb filled pots seaming off the garden – Life is a blessing.

 
La Vie Lente Urban Farm reminds you of exactly that and of slowing down.

Cappuccino at La Vie Lente

Cappuccino at La Vie Lente

I imagine kids running up and down from under the Jacaranda trees covering the kiddies’ play area on a busy weekend while parents socialize over some of La Vie Lente’s carefully selected wines. For now, though, there’s stillness as if time decided to go into slow motion.

 
It’s about slow life here.

 
La Vie Lente has the ability to create calmness even while cooking up a storm. They compose music on plates with a variety of countrified dishes, including some of the latest dietary trends.
Farmhouse omelettes, blueberry flapjacks with pecan nuts and fig cream and breakfast platters with cheese, boiled eggs and freshly baked farm bread with preserves, quality butter and cold meats. These are a few of the items you will find on La Vie Lente’s breakfast menu and if you’re not careful, brilliant lunch dishes like grilled line fish with potato dauphinoise, smoked paprika prawns and vegetables, banting lunches and grilled rump tacos might just trick you into ordering something of everything!

Line fish at La Vie Lente

Line fish at La Vie Lente

“Life’s a blessing…” echoes the song in the background and I silently second it. This is a place you can slow down at. If you haven’t found your happy place yet, this should be it.

La Vie Lente is an urban, daytime farm bistro that also caters for special, intimate events. Contact them on 072 916 7801 / info@lavielente.co.za for more information.

10 Steps to creating your own customer journey map

Do you sit with information about your guests, but you don’t know how to use it? Do you sometimes wonder which areas of service you should focus on? We’ve got the solution for you!

Customer Journey Mapping

Customer Journey Mapping

A customer journey map is a tool which will assist you in identifying what your customers experience at your establishment, what their likes and dislikes are, and which areas of customer service you should focus on. It’s something that any company in the tourism and hospitality industry should spend time on, as that is the one thing that will help you to get to know your customers better. You will be able to identify the different touch points between the guest and your establishment and the guest’s experience at each touch point. The ideal get-to-know-your-guest tool.

Here are ten easy steps put together by Travelling Mystery Guest to assist you in creating your own basic customer journey map. This map can become quite intense if you really put some effort into it – the steps below are just some guidelines to put you on the road: (PS – we also offer workshops on this topic. Contact us for bookings.)

  1. Before you start jotting down the map, you need to have a meeting with all relevant stakeholders of the business in order to decide which questions need answering, which business decisions you’re facing and what you hope to learn from the map. Then decide on a framework to work from. With the different touch points as a framework, you will be able to identify all the different areas where guests interact with your establishment during their customer journey.
  2. Gather intelligence. This part is the difficult part, as this is where you need to gather as much data as possible in light of your objectives. If you want to know which social media pages your guests prefer to use, you will need to do online research, interview your guests, delve through previous surveys that has been done and observe followers online. It is also here where you need to identify your different target markets, i.e. business tourists, leisure tourists, kids, etc.
  3. Put the information that you’ve gathered in a visual form. Remember: You need to visualize it from your guest’s perspective – focus on what the guest is doing, thinking, feeling, interpreting and buying. These will eventually form your touch points on the map.
  4. List general patterns that are relevant to the specific guests’ journey through your establishment (i.e. they mostly book via a travel agent, they mainly eat breakfast very early in the morning, they always ask for two point plugs, they usually book single rooms, etc.)
  5. Now identify additional journeys that represent other types of guests (i.e. the journey of a business guest and the journey of a leisure guest) and repeat steps 1 – 5.
  6. Identify areas where the customer journey between different target markets starts to differ. Also identify the “road blocks” that impact different customer groups in different ways.
  7. Add moments of truth (detailed interactions) at each touch point. For example: At the touch point, Company Website, the moment of truth would be that the website needs to provide ample information, needs to lead customers to additional pages like Facebook and the blog, needs to be easy to navigate, etc. These are things a guest would expect from your website. It will shape their perception of your establishment and perhaps even convince them that they need your service.
  8. From the moments of truth, you need to identify the areas where your company is not living up to standard. Spot the areas where you see opportunities for better engagement with your guests.
  9. After looking at the current customer journeys of your different target markets, now also create a map of the ideal customer journey. Ask yourself where the opportunities lie to exceed your guests’ expectations.
  10. Socialize your map with the relevant stakeholders. Consider the differences between the current customer journey map of your establishment and the ideal customer journey map and from there develop a road map for improvement. Be sure to include all relevant departments of the business in this map discussion in order to ensure that everyone understands the mission: exceeding customer needs.

Thanks to my sources: Antje Helfrich and Marc Steiner from Openview.