Forbes: How to Drive Sales with Mood-Setting Customer Experiences
Writing for Forbes, customer experience expert Shep Hyken (@hyken) gives us Three Ways to Create an Engaging Customer Experience That Drives Sales. Hyken advises, “No matter what type of business you’re in, if you want to take your customer service and experience to another level, take a few lessons from retail and hospitality.” Specifically, he’s talking about how many successful retailers, restaurateurs and hoteliers increase their sales by creating an engaging customer experience through the customer’s senses. He makes some great points we thought were worthy of highlighting.
Citing Mood Media, which specializes in using sight, sound and scent to help businesses elevate customer experiences and drive sales, Hyken explains how sensory experiences put customers in the right mood to make a purchase. Though his examples come from the worlds of retail and hospitality, he urges marketers in any industry to ponder how they can set the right mood for customers and create positive emotions that ultimately drive revenue.
Sound: Since buyers are driven by their emotions, music can have a tremendous impact, whether it’s overt or subliminal. It seems like this wouldn’t apply to some kinds of businesses, but think about how it might. For example, when you call customer service at your auto insurance company and are put on hold, what do you hear? Whatever it is, it can certainly have an effect on how you feel about the interaction when a customer service rep finally gets to your call. Did you get upbeat pop music? Soothing classical? Or crackly royalty-free electronic musical phrases repeating on endless loop? Like it or not, it matters. It’s a subtle but important part of the overall customer experience.
Scent: Mood Media research indicates smell is actually the strongest of the five senses, by far. It’s why realtors bake cookies for an open house or high-end department stores waft luxury perfumes at passersby. This one is admittedly a challenge for industries like property and casualty insurance or auto loan financing. But anywhere face-to-face interactions with customers happen, like a claims office or a bank lobby, you can ensure that the space smells enticing, whether it’s with fresh coffee brewing in the lobby or a scented wax warmer at the reception desk. Look for opportunities to make experiences pleasant and memorable, and those elements become part of your brand’s overall reputation.
Sight: This one is a bit of a no-brainer, as most (if not all) marketers are keyed into the power of visual marketing, including digital signage, video, interactive devices and apps, and so on. The thing to keep in mind, though, is the importance of visual consistency through all channels and media. Through our lens of customer communications management (CCM), we’ve emphasized the importance of good visual design and brand consistency across touchpoints and channels.
Go read the article and see what else Shep Hyken has to say. We like the direction he’s going with his research and thinking. And be sure to subscribe to our blog to be notified when we publish new posts about CCM and customer experience.
About John Zimmerer
John Zimmerer is the senior director of marketing at Topdown, where he leads market research and outreach efforts for the company's customer communications and customer experience products. Most recently, John has been researching and writing about the future direction of the technologies that power customer experience, and is regarded as a thought leader in this area. John has nearly 20 years of software product marketing experience. His areas of expertise include market research, analyst relations, public relations and digital marketing.