smith+co on
customer experience
Shaun Smith
  • By Shaun Smith
  • Sep 06 2008

Customer Experience and the primacy of the senses

When Andy Cosslett, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, joined that company, one of the first things he asked is “What does a Holiday Inn smell like?” Nobody in IHG had even thought of that as a question before. We need to be reminded that to design a customer experience you have to design for all the senses.

Earlier this year I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental Landmark in Hong Kong and had the chance to interview some of the executives for my new book. I was blown away by the attention to detail and the way that the hotel have cleverly used design to stimulate the senses.

Some of this thinking is reflected in this slideshare from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Miami, below. It reinforces some of the insights in our book See, Feel, Think, Do. And it helps you realize a great customer experience is felt more than thought about. At its best it becomes a warm memory. There are a couple of interesting facts in the slideshare, too: if you play slow music in a hotel shopping area, people buy more than if you play fast music, for example. Click on the triangular ‘play’ button, under the opening screen, below.

Posted by
Shaun Smith
on behalf of
Smith+co