Customer Psychology – How to Enhance Experiences and Boost Sales

As a licensed psychologist and customer experience professional, I am reluctant to share psychological insights due to fear that some people will misuse them and manipulate consumers. As such, I offer five psychologically-related questions that will help increase sales AND make your customers’ lives better.

1) Multisensory Immersion – Where can you heighten your customers’ sensory (visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile) experience? Enveloping your customers in a rich sensory experience is a win/win. It enhances the customer experience and drives sales. In his book, Brand Sense, Martin Lindstrom says, “A total sensory symphony creates a domino effect. In the way that impressions are stored in the brain, if you trigger one sense it will lead to another, then another…at which point an entire vista of memories will instantaneously unfold. Succeeding with two elements is only half a story: creating a synergy across the senses is, or should be, the goal of every brand on earth.”

2) Sparking Nostalgia – In keeping with Lindstrom’s prior point about a “vista of memories,” how can you conjure positive customer memories that merge well with your product or brand experience? Positive and nostalgic memories enhance a customer’s perception of safety, joy, and simpler times – thus, resulting in a more pleasant purchasing experience and increased sales.

3) Ease of Payment – How can you make the process of paying for purchases easier? Having worked with Starbucks when they revolutionized mobile payment, I’ve seen firsthand the sales and customer experience benefits of removing pain points at check out.

4) Visual Contrasting – How can you maximize contrast effects when displaying prices? Our brains are wired to look for striking contrasts (size, shape, and color). Presenting an original price in bold (and an unbolded sales price in a different color) creates a visually appealing customer experience and more purchases.

5) Emotional Benefits Over Price – How can you talk less about your price and more about the emotional and lifestyle benefits customers will enjoy from the purchase? Give people the chance to imagine themselves using and enjoying your products rather than focusing on the inexpensiveness of what they buy.

Selling quality products is a noble art – doing so in ways that enhance the human experience takes that art to the next level!

To learn how to refine the use of psychological principles to drive customer experience and sales, please reach out to me at

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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