We broke the bank and bought a widescreen, high definition 3D television for our den. The hope was it would attract more visits from our three granddaughters. So we stocked up on the best kids movies available in 3D—Frozen, Brave, Tangled, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3…the best. It was exciting to watch their first experience. After donning the special glasses, they squealed as the colorful images projected into the room.
Then, a terrible thing happened! They went to Disneyworld and saw 4D! In addition to all the theatre-filled images, their seats shook, they got misted with water, and wind blew their hair and under their seat. Emerging from Mickey’s PhilharMagic movie, we asked for their reaction. It was quick and fired point blank: “Chippy, when are you going to get a 4D television?”
Customers want 4D. Not literally, mind you. But, they are attracted to experiences that tantalize more than a couple of senses. Famous bars have become light shows; bakeries pump tantalizing aroma from their kitchen onto the sidewalk, and, modern hospital lobbies provide a babbling fountain with tranquil music, not glaring TV soap operas.
Walk into the lobby of any Westin Hotel and your nose knows the scent suddenly shifts from the “smell of the street” to a signature fragrance called “White Tea.” Bass Pro Shops and Cabala’s Outdoor Shops have combined a wilderness-themed outdoor sporting goods store with features of a museum and a carnival. An antique and memorabilia shop in Memphis plays oldies music; an upscale jewelry shop in Chicago has all employees wear formal evening attire angle.
Conduct a sense audit—what should your service experience smell like–sound like–feel like–look like–taste like if you wanted to excite the customer’s memory with an enchanting experience? What messages are being sent by the color, font, tone, images, or language used on your website? What does your parking lot, lobby, waiting area, telegraph about your attentiveness to your customer’s experience? Examine your customer’s experience through the lens of organizations known for a sensory-driven experience—Disneyworld, Ringling Bros., Cirque du Soleil, a rock concert, a museum, a baker, or a magician? The essence of customer experience is memory making; make yours out of the ordinary.