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Are you using any of these unusual techniques to influence your customer experience?

Alice Withers, Business Consultancy Researcher, People 1st 

Have you ever noticed background music influencing what you buy? While it might seem strange, retailers and restaurants have been using our senses to influence customer behaviour for a long time.

For example, music’s tempo can impact how much time we spend in a restaurant; a fast-service restaurant may use music with a high tempo to encourage diners to eat and leave the restaurant quickly.

In contrast, a supermarket or department store might use slower music to encourage people to slow down and spend more time in the store which, in theory, means they will then buy more!

A study of McDonald’s in Sweden found that using music tailored to your brand can increase customer spending, while Marks and Spencer turned off their background music to suit the preferences of their older client base.

There are a whole host of unexpected influences on customer behaviour; for example, your plate can affect how your food tastes and how much you eat. Serving a strawberry mousse on a white plate can make it taste sweeter, and the size of your plate can influence how much food you eat at a buffet.

Aside from all these factors there is one key element that can have a dramatic influence on customer experience – your staff.

But how much of the customer experience can be accounted for by staff behaviour, and how much from other factors? And crucially, does this influence which areas businesses invest in? How much of your budget goes towards décor and running costs, versus recruiting the right staff and training them?

Excellent customer service can be the defining factor between a ‘good’ and ‘great’ experience. Here at People 1st, we’re currently exploring the concept of the customer experience, with the impact of staff behaviour as one of the key issues.

We’d like to hear your opinions on the importance of staff behaviour in the customer experience, and learn about any improvements you are making in this area.

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