- plus free checklist to get you started
Have you ever wondered by SPAs have such a detailed approach to our 5 senses? Relaxing music calling us to forget daily problems, dimmed lights and aromatic smell enhancing the pleasure of an oily touch and a cup of aromatic tea or water to complete the journey of unwinding?
Five senses are not only important for our survival, but also serves in business. Scientist say that our five senses can help us better memorise things around, meaning, taking advantage of 5 senses can be a powerful way to enhance our guests’ experience. However surprisingly so little hotels or other hospitality establishments are utilising 5 senses throughout guests journey in the property.
Here are things to consider when designing guests’ experience to ensure they are not overlooked and utilised for the better.
Smell has been researched to have the most direct link to memory from all 5 senses. That is the reason why often the smell of fresh cut grass reminds us our childhood or suddenly blown pizza aroma makes us feel hungry. Bad smell, on the contrary, is directly liked to the danger sensors in our brain and calls out negative emotions.
So the first step into ensuring pleasant guest experience is to eliminate any unpleasant smells in their way. Problems such as poor drainage system or broken kitchen evaporators should be the priority to ensure unpleasant or intense smells do not reach the guests. After dealing with such basics we should consider how can we create a pleasant smell experience.
From using a signature scent to make our hotel more memorable to working with more common options, such as certain cleaning products, fresh flowers or home scent - finding what represents our property best and makes it even more unique might win guests’ nose and heart.
Probably one of the main senses we usually focus on. That is everything from our interior design, staff uniforms or food appearance to the look of our garden or the sea view from the room.
Thinking about the sight is important to understand, what message do we want to send to our guests? Do we want them to feel cosier or relaxed or maybe create partyish atmosphere? Based on that we should consider the colours we use in our establishment and what and where we place certain things. Darker shades with warm details will surely create a cosier atmosphere than the bright colourful design with glass deco elements.
Details here are also very important - ensuring that everything serves our concept and contributes to creating guest’s certain mood. From our menus to key cards, table set up or bed pillows - utilising revenant accessories helps us build the visual experience.
In regards to the touch, it is essential to carefully consider everything the guests will have a physical contact with. Items such as bed linen, towels, seats in the lobby or restaurant, room amenities provided and lots more. Used materials should, again, reflect our concept and experience we want to create and, without any exception, always feel fresh and clean.
Even temperature in our establishment can spoil the mood and guest experience. Overheated gym will not impress same way as a warmer SPA could do, and a freezing lobby bar might just stay empty. Optimising temperatures in different spaces is crucial to make guests feel well.
Finally, don’t forget the human touch :) Even though physical touching in not advisable in most of situations, demonstrating genuine care and giving individual attention to the guests goes a long way into their memory.
Like a well known saying teaches - one’s heart might be reached though the stomach. Truly accurate rule for designing better guests experience. Be it fresh baked cookies on arrival, some local specialty treats welcoming in the room or a hotel signature cocktail in the bar - relying on taste to stick into guests’ minds is the right strategy.
Exploiting our restaurant offers to take guests on the taste journeys will surely gain their appreciation. Local or seasonal menus telling the story of destination, different unique concepts, which guests cannot find elsewhere or offerings based on trendy diverse cuisines from vegan fine dining to zero waste eating - we have many options (and concerns!) how to satisfy the guest’s taste.
Sound and, especially, music is a wonderful way to awaken human emotions, memories and shape behaviour. Different sounds can not only influence general guests’ feeling, but also encourage them to take some actions, such as purchasing, for example. Researchers found that, for example, faster music leads to people eating faster while slower music accordingly leads to more time spent dining, which increases how much alcohol the diners purchase. The volume and genre of the music also makes a difference. Loud housekeeping early in the morning will likely not impress the visitor, but a great music library as part of in-room entertainment might. Carefully considering the sounding around the property can benefit both us and the guests.
The more senses we evoke at the same time, the better chance we have to reach people’s feelings and influence mental state. Going through the in-property guests’ journey to investigate current exploitation of 5 senses might reveal new opportunities for enhancing guests’ experience. Download the free cheat sheet to help you in the process.