How can we use senses to work for us? Smell

How much do we pay attention to the senses when it comes to customer interaction? What we smell, what we can feel, what we see, what we taste and what we hear. How can we use the senses to work for us? How can we use them to enhance the level of customer service we already give?


Let’s start with the strongest of the senses. And by strongest, I am referring to the sense that can trigger the strongest emotional response. The sense of smell can bring about memories from many years ago. Sometimes those memories are pleasant and sometimes not so nice.

Think about your store. If a customer walks in and notices an unpleasant odor, you have already decreased your chances of a favorable experience, some say it by as much as 80%. When we smell something, the receptors in our brain trigger emotions, memories and (get this) a sense of well-being!! When these enjoyable scents are paired with equally enjoyable visual images, not only does the customer perceive the experience more favorably, but they are more likely to remember it and share it with others.

If you are like a lot of us, you are at the store for an entire day all by yourself. You gotta eat right? Sometimes our food may fill our stomachs, but the smell also fills the air.

Is your operation free of food trash and smells? Are you using aromatherapy to create a pleasant atmosphere for your customers? Does your operation have a “clean” smell to it?

The other side has to be considered as well. Does your operation have a chemical smell to it? Does it smell like toilet cleaner, floor cleaner or window cleaner? Does that broccoli you heated up in the microwave linger around like Limburger cheese?

I was at IKEA recently and it seemed everywhere I turned I could smell their cinnamon rolls. I resisted the urge but it wasn’t easy. For some, the smell was so powerfull that I’m sure they gave in to the temptation. What is great about this is that it didn’t cost them anything. The scent was free! What great marketing!

So, how are you going to use the sense of smell to work for you?

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