Sound Advice To Enhance Customer Experience

Have you ever walked into a store and the music blaring through the speakers was so bad you turned around and walked out? Twice, in recent months, I had my blood pressure taken at a lab inside my doctor's office. I mentioned that the numbers were probably high due to the annoying hard rock music…

Have you ever walked into a store and the music blaring through the speakers was so bad you turned around and walked out?

Twice, in recent months, I had my blood pressure taken at a lab inside my doctor's office. I mentioned that the numbers were probably high due to the annoying hard rock music blaring from the tinny-sounding radio. She laughed and said she does not even hear it anymore. I mentioned spa-like music might make patients relax, especially the elderly patients waiting in the next room. The next time I went in, the same horrible sounds were coming from the same horrible radio.

For many people, noise is nuisance. It can be a significant source of productivity loss at work – or, if you get it right, you can increase sales by up to 39%. Play music that creates the appropriate ambiance for your customers.

At a local Thai restaurant recently, I noticed a news program was airing through the overhead speakers. The restaurant was playing a local radio station so diners' conversations had to compete with loud commercials. I suggested to the owner that she play traditional Thai music to match the beautiful ambience they had created with the décor … she was astounded that anyone would want to listen to it but was really happy with the recommendation.

If you operate a spa with quick services so customers can get a fast manicure or pedicure and be back to work on their lunch hour, you want to have faster, and perhaps louder, music. If it's a relaxing space to unwind, you want ambient sounds to soothe the soul. Think of the tranquil sounds playing in the background as you ignore the daily stresses during a massage.

In-store music can even affect product choice. According to Jordan Stevens, a study conducted in a liquor store, two identical displays of wine were set up. One display carried French wine and another cared German wine. Each display was designed to be identical in every way except for the region the wine was from. The results of the study found that when French music was played, the French wine would outsell the German wine by 77%. When the music was switched to German music, the German wine would outsell the French wine by 73%.

Remember, music needs to fit the brand you want present – and that may not be the type of music you prefer.