Using Sound and Smell to Create a Customer Experience

Light some candles. Put on a little smooth jazz. Offer some chocolate strawberries. No, you aren’t about to get romantic with your special someone. You’re about to go on a hot date with improved Yelp reviews and customer retention.

Sometimes, online and consumer-facing businesses focus exclusively on visual stimuli. They keep their shops relatively organized and mopped, but their customer experience doesn’t appeal to all five senses.

How on Earth do you give customers a full sensory experience? Well, that’s what this video is all about! Time to take your relationships with customers to the next, albeit strictly professional, level.

Click to tweet this: Businesses that make a million bucks smell, sound, feel, taste, and look like a million bucks. @DaveCrenshaw

Video transcript:

The five senses are powerful tools when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. Often we think of the five senses in terms of just a spa. But what about an auto repair business?

I once coached a business that baked cookies in the office to help customers feel that they were at home when they walked in.

Often we focus just on what we can see. But I’d like to talk about two neglected senses—smelling and hearing.

When you walk into your office just take a little whiff. What do you smell? What does that smell convey? What emotions will your customers feel? What changes might you make?

And second: hearing. If I call into your office and if you put me on hold, what music do I hear? Or if I watch a video, is the music reinforcing the feeling you want your customers to have?

I’d like you to share in the comments section below: what’s one sense [your business does] well with and what’s one sense that you want to improve?

Also, if you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future video, ask that below as well.

Thanks for watching and may your business pass the smell test.

Join the conversation: What’s one sense [your business does] well with and what’s one sense that you want to improve?

I respond to every question and comment. So, please, join the conversation!


Could you be neglecting your best customers? With Dave’s Most Valuable Customer worksheet, you’ll get quick insight into who to serve and how to serve them better. Includes a free chapter from Dave’s hit book, The Focused Business, by clicking here.

6 Archived Responses to “Using Sound and Smell to Create a Customer Experience”

  1. Maggie says:

    We definitely need to improve the smell! It’s a dance studio, so you can only imagine

  2. Mark says:

    Dave, one of the niche services in my primary business focuses on scent infusion as a part of image enhancement. We’ve been successful with creating positive perceptions for our clients for their patrons, visitors and even increasing employee morale. We’ve been astounded over recent years at the comments our clients receive and even the feelings their patrons share about perceived quality, comfort and how much more frequently they return to those businesses. The types of businesses we scent are varying and with our first hand experiences i’m sold on the concept; so although i don’t normally comment on your helpful videos I felt i had to on this one. Thank you, Mark.

    • Dave Crenshaw says:

      I’m very excited to hear about your product, Mark! Scent is such a powerful sense for memory recall and image association, and yet it seems to be the last thing businesses think about, if at all. Feel free to share a direct link to a page at your business where people can get more information. This is an important options for businesses to consider.

  3. Angy Ford says:

    I think our hold/call in music needs upgraded for improved “hearing” experience. Thanks for the idea!

    • Dave Crenshaw says:

      Great idea, Angy. Often businesses just kind of use whatever on-hold music is available. However, carefully chosen music has a significant impact on the total package experience for your customers.

      If you have a hard time figuring out what kind of music to use, I suggest starting with ruling out the OPPOSITE genres. For instance, I’m assuming death metal and hard rap aren’t a fit, right? 😉