Article by WebMaster
Have you ever noticed that when someone tells a customer story, it’s typically about a restaurant, a hotel, a retail store or some other front-line focused business? And the story is usually about a person who went “above and beyond,” but not always. Sometimes it might be about the atmosphere or environment. A customer might notice that when he or she walks into a specialty food store, there is always a delicious aroma of roasting nuts wafting through the air. Or, the customer may notice beautiful artwork displayed on the walls of a hotel or restaurant. Just as important as the people who create the story, the ambiance and mood can create a story as well.
Typically, you don’t hear stories about the manufacturer that has a great inside sales rep who always delivers friendly and helpful service. The reason is that most people can relate to an experience that others around them have had, such as eating at a restaurant, staying at a hotel or shopping at retail store. That doesn’t mean that manufacturers can’t deliver the same type of service. They absolutely can. It’s just not quite as relatable.
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.
First, you probably would agree that a better customer service experience can lead to an increase in sales. Of course, you must a have a decent line of merchandise that appeals to the customer. But, in addition to offering quality merchandise, and even beyond adding good customer service, another way to increase sales is by creating an engaging customer experience through the customer’s senses.
As a speaker, I’m invited to keynote at numerous conventions in Las Vegas. I’ve been fortunate to stay in some beautiful hotels. One that comes to mind, and is a case study for this concept, is the Bellagio. It has a huge lobby and as you look above the check-in area you are struck by the beauty of over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. The dramatic effect of the ceiling sets the tone for what guests should expect of their stay. Steve Wynn, whose company, Mirage Resorts, opened the hotel in 1998 and recognized the value of the dramatic entrance, and spent 10 million dollars to create the effect. While it’s unrealistic to expect the typical business to spend 10 million dollars on an entryway, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from these types of examples.
Mood Media understands how mood impacts sales. They specialize in using sight, sound and scent to help retailers and other businesses drive sales and elevate customer experiences. Here are three ways the execs at Mood Media create a mood experience that also helps drive sales.
- Sound: Mood Media’s research claims that the majority of a customer’s purchasing is influenced by emotions, and there is no doubt that music contributes to emotion. What’s playing in the background is almost subliminal, but truly helps set the tone for the buying experience. I remember being at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. There was great, upbeat music playing all day. I noticed that employees and guests would walk through the hotel and casino with a smile, some of them actually bouncing to the beat of the music. Music can help motivate and set the right mood of a brand.
- Scent: This is the strongest of the five senses. Mood Media shared research that indicates smell is the foremost factor in up to 75 percent of emotions a person has each day. They claim that people are 100 times more likely to remember something they smell over something they hear, touch or see. Maybe that’s why my real estate agent always baked cookies during the open houses we had to help sell our home.
- Sight: A 2016 Bunn study found that 68 percent of Americans say they have purchased a product or service because of something they saw on a digital sign or monitor. Digital signage and visual marketing can highlight promotions and convey your story in an engaging and entertaining way that could potentially increase sales.
Sensory marketing is a double win. When you use sound, scent, or sight – or a combination of the three – it adds something extra to the customer’s experience and it helps sell … by putting customers in the mood.