How People Feel: What They Hear And What They Touch

In last week’s post, I spoke to you about the five inputs we have at our disposal to make people feel the way they do. I also briefly touched on the sense of sight and how it affects the decision making. Today I’ll talk about the sense of hearing and the sense of touch.

What They Hear Affects How They Feel

The sense of hearing influences our feelings based on what we hear. We hear sounds and noises around us all the time. As I am typing this, I can hear the reassuring hum of my cooling fan, keeping temperatures at an acceptable level.

When I am pulling money out of the ATM (cash machine), the sound of paper ruffling puts my heart at ease. Every time I shut the door of my car, I hear a comforting and soft thud, as opposed to a disturbing clang. When I press the ignition, it starts immediately and I hear the low purr of my engine, which says things are fine. When this happens over time, I am pleased enough to say nice things about my car to anyone who will listen.

What we hear is not just limited to the sounds and noises around us, but also includes what people are telling others about us, our companies, and the products and solutions we offer them. For example, when my car’s various electronics throw up a warning bell, I see it as a sign of something needs to be checked. And when these alarms come up once too often, despite various trips to the mechanic, then my displeasure results in me saying not so nice things about the car, and about the garage.

Now apply this to the customer support calls that you make, for the various products and services to which you subscribe. Does what you hear invoke your pleasure or your displeasure? What does that make you do or how does that make you act?

What They Touch Affects How They Feel

The sense of touch is another important tool at our disposal, which can help evoke the right feelings in people about our products. It’s not just limited to the texture of the surface, but also to whether something feels too heavy or too light or is just not the right shape. A good example of this is, a lot of smart phone makers these days have a feature called ‘one handed mode’. This has happened after realising that they need to balance the ever-increasing screen size, with the need to cater to people with smaller hands. One hand mode essentially compacts the layout of all the apps and controls so that people with smaller hands and shorter fingers can use the phone easily. And this does not compromise on screen size either. The computer mouse that we use is designed with the natural curvature of our palm. The intention being, it feels natural to hold and use one.

Again, with all these examples, I am only skimming over the surface, the intent is to enable you to think about these things differently.

Now, back to my coffee grinder.

My Coffee Grinder

It feels good when I hold it, the handle is positioned ergonomically, and feels natural to use it, and the best bit is, the reassuring sound of the beans being ground is a sign that I am but a few minutes away from my morning coffee!

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