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Customer experience succeeds when there is genuine, personal engagement with customers.
For our tenth anniversary, we went to Montreal. There we discovered a little restaurant, La Marche de La Villette, on Rue St. Paul in Old Port. It was crowded with tables, and we were uncertain about the chaotic atmosphere, but the waiter (Michel) sang delightful French songs to the patrons, and the food was delicious.
The entire experience was so wonderful that we returned several times to visit during out stay. The food was amazing every time. We were always welcomed by the staff, who recognized us with each subsequent visit and asked how we were enjoying our stay. But it was when we returned the next year that we fell in love with the place and began telling everyone about it. Not only was the food as delicious as ever (if you go, try the crepe with jambon et fromage) but they still remembered us and referred to us as their ‘friends from New York’ We returned every after that, sometimes bringing our kids. We truly missed our annual visits after moving to Utah.
[Update: We missed it so much we took an impromptu road trip across the country last July to go to Montreal and spent each lunch at La Marche).
What did this restaurant do right?
Certainly La Marche offered consistency that was often lacking from the restaurants along Jacques Cartier, who largely existed to serve the tourists. They provided a unique atmosphere. But what set them apart – and what has kept this restaurant in business over the years – is their genuine, personal treatment of their customers.
The staff at La Marche treats their patrons like old friends, welcoming them back no matter how long it has been. The owner, Lucovic, works tirelessly to provide an exceptional experience, making visitors feel like part of a family.
Everybody is talking about customer experience this year, but La Marche gets it right without thinking about it. It’s genuine.
[Update: We’ve now moved back to New York and we’re already planning trips to Montreal to see our friends at La Marche.]
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Google announced on March 19 the introduction of a new image search function that provides the ability to easily and quickly search for animated GIFs using an animated GIF filter. Prior to this change, finding GIFs has been an arduous task, and the response to the change has been overwhelmingly positive. With the new change of Google GIF search, select “animated” under “search tools” and choose GIF as the type. The change to Google’s image search includes the ability to narrow the search to transparent images as well. This enhancement is of benefit to those looking for the GIFs but may have an even larger impact to publishers who use GIFs with regard to their visibility.
How GIF Search will Impact SEO
The Google animated GIF filter will speed up the process of finding GIFs to embed, allowing publishers and bloggers to publish more quickly and therefore more frequently using GIFs. And because more people will be able to find GIFs easily, the number of searches for GIFs will increase, so having them on a site will net new visitors.
The direct impact of the search change on SEO is unknown, but because GIFs have been around since the 1800s and are one of the most popular formats for publishers, making them easier to find and use will increase the likelihood that more websites will feature GIFs. Animated GIFs are easy to make, quick to use, and don’t take up much space, so they load quickly. They add visible interest to blogs and websites, increase time spent on the site, and encourage increased pageviews.
Read the Google announcement here.
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