A brief introduction...

I remember when I started my professional life...  I had just graduated business manager from a private university, with more questions than answers in a city called Barranquilla on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.  Regardless the place you live in, I think is very intimidating when you jump into real-life job seeking and find yourself trying to understand those first huge carrer decisions and wondering if what you choose was actually what was going to be useful for you life (and if you would make a living out of that!).

So I opened my first business, a marketing agency created by the possibility to fill up a space left by a person who decided to move abroad and with a few connections I had, I started offering my services to important companies in the region, it was nice learning, and I managed to open a few alternate income for the company out of the same line of business.  But competition got hard, I practically moved form being the primary services provider in the city to compete with several people that decided to do the same at a relatively cheaper price (sacrificing quality, something I wasn't willing to do), so after three years, I closed the office.

¿What was I going to do? OK, let's join an airline and switch lifestyle, and I decided I wanted to become a flight attendant at Avianca Airlines in Colombia, and enjoy myself travelling while getting paid for that.  But when management is in your DNA, it just makes you focus on business growth, and there I was again, working to improve quality on the operations and services we offered at the airline.  13 years flew really fast (literally!) and during that time I moved from one position to another in the airline, always working very close to the customer experience management.  At the same time I kept on studying Organizational Communications, Marketing and Business Management in order to gather as much knowledge as possible to keep on giving my best.

But companies change, and when times got harder at the airline, the let all of my division go (one of the saddest moments ever).  But with my experience and optimistic view of everything that happens I found two great opportunities that mixed into the person I'm today: teaching at a college and teaching on a company.

Today I work for Juan Valdez Café.  If you are reading this and you are a coffee lover, you probably know that the softest coffee in the world is from Colombia.  Well, now I'm in charge of training all our international partners and customers in the world about the products portfolio of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, that is something that makes me very proud.  I also got the chance to teach Quality Management as a subject at the International Business program at the Universidad del Área Andina so I always think I'm helping a new generation of professionals to find their own paths.

¿Why studying now Customer Experience?  I just love imagining new ways to surprise and engage customers on the companies I've worked for.   Even though you think you know everything about the commercial purpose of your company, it is becoming more and more necessary transform the work-style of companies to set up all the relationship with consumers from their point of view.  It doesn't matter if you work on an airline, a university or food and beverage industry.  All products are becoming technically (or form the operational side) very hard to differentiate, but customers will always remember the emotions, journey and experience they had with your brand.  Nowadays it is all about engagement, mutual understanding and create authentic connections to empower business and individuals; although many successful businesses have learned that on an empiric way, we might take advantage of what's been created as an academic compilation around the subject to apply it to our own organizations. 


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