How many senses do you have? The answer six! Sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and
common! How many senses do you use when planning your Customer Experience? If you are
like many of the companies you haven’t really given it any thought. In my view your company
therefore doesn’t have commonsense!
Why do I say this? Simple. We all use our senses to gather information about theworld around
us. Thisis the root of the Customer Experience. Imagine not havingany sight, sound, touch,
taste or smell. There is no data input and therefore noCustomer Experience. But the issue is
that customers do use ALL their senses when gathering information about you and they then
make subliminal judgments about you. Are you in control of this or not? Let’s take a brief look at
When Jo, my PA joined Beyond Philosophy™ I gave her a copy of another company’s
brochure and I asked her if she thought they were a quality company. She looked at the
brochure, and then picked it up, and without thinking, rubbed the brochure between her index
finger and her thumb. Subliminally this was an input forher to judge the quality of the company.
Look at what happens when you go into a supermarket. You are confronted by quitea
bright environment. The packaging is brightly colored or just plain, all in anattempt to “catch
your eye”. The issue is that there are so many visual messages that your mind can not deal with
them all at once and everything blurs together. Of course, subliminally you look at the
packaging, at the size of box, and the design. Then the “bag of chipsyndrome” hits you. You
buy the chips and you think “boythere are going to be a load of chips in there!” Then you open
the chips and there isn’t. You are disappointed. How many times when you buy something do
you say;”Why did they put it in this size box?” Your physical and emotional expectations arenot
Typically in a DIY store you hear the intercom say; “Staff announcement. Would Bert Scroggins
go to customer service, there is a customer waiting”. Five minutes later there is another
announcement; “Staff announcement, would Bert Scroggins go to customer service, the
customer is STILL waiting”. Haven’t they heard of two way radios? Or pagers? Or telephones?
Why do they inflict this on every customer? Do they think we want to know that Bert Scroggins
isgoing to the checkout? Do they realize that when we heard the staff had not gone tothe
customer service area this tells us a wealth of information about the company attitude to
customers. Clearly the first message is that Bert Scroggins is busy doing something more
important thantalking with a customer. Secondly, the company hasan “inside out” attitude.
They are also prepared to inflict this message on everyone as it is the most effective way of
sending out this message! Also music has amassive effect on how people feel. We are aware
of one experiment where it was found that by playing music of a certain style and tempo that
customers stayed longer in the shop and paid more attention to themerchandise.
What smell is your company associated with? In a lot of stores it seems to beantiseptic!
Again, after a spillage is cleared up no thought is given to what the storeis going to smell like.
What do your local supermarket or your shops smell like? I can’t think of anything except the
baker’s shop with that great smell of bread. But again smell is massively underestimated as a
way of improving the Customer Experience. In one shopping mall a sweet citrus smell was
pumped into the shopping mall to see what the effect would be. People spend 45% more that
weekon all their purchases. So the issue here is simple. Companies have no sense as they are
not using anysenses. They focus on sight, but the other senses are dealt with in a haphazard
way. You should be actively thinking about the senses you want to use and how you are going
to use them to build a great Customer Experience!