Why Companies Have No Sense!

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 common sense!

Why do I say this? Simple. We all use our senses to gather information about the world around us. This is the root of the Customer Experience. Imagine not having any sight, sound, touch, taste or smell. There is no data input and therefore no Customer Experience. But the issue is that customers do use ALL their senses when gathering information about you and they then make subliminal judgements about you. Are you in control of this or not? Let’s take a brief look at these senses, which will feature in a more extensive way in our new book, Revolutionize your Customer Experience(TM), published worldwide in October 2004.

Touch

When Jo, joined Beyond Philosophy(TM) I gave her a copy of another company’s brochure and I as ked 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 for her to judge the quality of the company.

Sight

Look at what happens when you go into a supermarket. You are confronted by quite a bright environment. The packaging is brightly coloured or just plain, all in an attempt 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 crisp syndrome” hits you. You buy the crisps and you think “boy there are going to be a load of crisps in there!” Then you open the crisps and there aren’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 are

not meet.

Sound

Typically in a DIY store you hear the Tannoy 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 is going to the checkout? Do they realise that when we heard the staff had not gone to the customer service area this tells us a wealth of information about the company’s attitude to customers? Clearly the first message is that Bert Scroggins is busy doing something more important that talking with a customer. Secondly, the company has an “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 a massive 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 the merchandise.

Smell

What smell is your company associated with? In a lot of stores it seems to be antiseptic! Again, after a spillage is cleared up no thought is given to what the store is 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 spent 45% more that week on all their purchases.

So the issue here is simple. Companies have no sense as they are not using any senses. 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!

Colin Shaw

Founding Partner, Beyond Philosophy © Beyond Philosophy


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