While I was in the university, we had several courses in the social sciences, ranging from human psychology, politics, sociology and a whole lot more. What these tried to do was interweave marketing with various aspects of the social sciences. I deduced that customers are human beings, they have feelings, they think through a systematic cognitive process, their decision-making is controlled by subjective and objective factors. Customers are affected by what they see in their environment. The decision to buy the latest Ford Explorer, could be attributed to social influences, such as from friends at church, colleagues at the office, and members of the family.
A renowned academic in the 1970s, Russel Belk, opined that situational variables are responsible for the way we shop. The state of the shop, ambience, fragrance, spatial arrangement, customer service and a host of other factors affect our buying decisions.
Here are practical ways to enhance customer experience for those who have retail and service outlets:
- Enhance the ambience conditions, by doing some good interior deco. Customers like to feel out of the world, while they are at your place. You would not want them to perceive your place as raggedy and unkempt, with basic designs that don’t attract. No way!
- Fragrance lightens up the mood. Good smell is pleasant and enchanting, and the opposite is the case. Invest on some evaporators, aerosol dispensers and other fragrance items you may obtain.
- Music is surely a no-brainer, when it comes to enhancing our moods. Music relives memories, makes us happy, provides us with some cues( weak stimuli that bring about greater stimulus), for example, while listening to a popular rap song about Gucci belts, it could propel one to take a greater step in buying another related product, or even a Gucci eau-de-toillette perfume. Another example could be a man who heard a sweet R’n’B song, while shopping, and it propelled him think of having sex with his wife, what does he do next? He buys a condom! Good music is actually what may keep your customers from leaving the shop/service outlet on time. You are not only selling, but you are also entertaining.
Learn, by intuition, the average age of customers who come by day and those who turn up by night. Find a long collection of music that appeals to the young and those which may likely appeal to the older ones, say customers between the ages of 40 and 55. Of course, timing of the music, is essential. You have to know when younger shoppers come around, and when the older shoppers/customers visit.
Extra tips include: offering Wi-Fi connection, cable TV and games.
Standards are getting higher day after day, and many sellers are jostling for customers in more exciting and creative ways. Why not give your business a little face lift by applying some of these concepts? Even though, they may come at an extra cost, you will surely not regret the value of improving the moods of the customers in the long term.