A study by Mood Media and Sacem (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers) has been published examining the power of music in businesses, evaluating the impact that on-site music has on the customer experience across a variety of bricks & mortar locations, including many sectors usually deemed more serious (such as banking). This article is copyright 2017 The Best Customer Guide.

The study measured the difference overhead music made for both customers and employees in five France-based brick & mortar locations that had not played music before - including businesses in the banking, optics, pharmacy, gas station and sports apparel industries.

Highlights from the study included:

  • 70% of customers had a more positive perception of a business' image when the site was playing music; 65% of customers agreed that on site music helped to differentiate the business from its competition.
  • 93% of employees preferred music versus no music at work.
  • When more traditionally serious sectors (banking & pharmacy) were silent, only 33% of customers initially thought adding music would feel appropriate in those establishments.
  • However, once introduced, 76% of customers agreed the overhead music was compatible with and complementary to the purpose of those sectors.
  • The majority of customers, particularly in banking, felt more comfortable having confidential, private conversations when music was playing to somewhat mask their conversations from others.
  • Nearly 8 out of 10 customers within these usually silent locations said they prefer the site when enhanced with music.
  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) - an index measuring the willingness and likelihood of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others - increased by 30% when customized music was playing compared to when the establishment was without music.
  • When music was playing on site, 72% of first-time visitors said they were likely to visit again.
  • When the business had no music playing, only 50% indicated they would likely revisit, a 22-point decline in customer return rankings.
  • 76% of customers felt that their service wait times passed faster when music was playing.
  • The perception of a business as "premium" increased by 20 points, from 36% to 56% when the business played music.
  • 67% of employees perceived customers as being in a better mood when music was playing on site.
  • On a daily basis, music is an important element for business employees. Site associates consider music to be a real motivator
    93% of the employees studied prefer listening to music at work.
  • Once exposed to music in the "serious" business environments such as banking & pharmacy, 76% of customers agreed that the music was compatible with and complementary to the seriousness of the sectors.
  • 56% of customers felt more comfortable having private, confidential conversations when music was playing on premise, as compared to just 26% when no music was playing.

"This study reinforces the idea that properly-designed music can improve the ambience and customer experience in a variety of business environments, even in those industries not part of traditional retail," said Valentina Candeloro, International Marketing Director at Mood Media. "We are designing more and more music programs for places such as auto dealerships, banks and credit unions, healthcare practitioners, wellness providers, pharmacies, apartment and retirement home communities."

The research, both quantitative and qualitative, resulted in feedback from over 1,000 customers and 50 employees, taken both before and after music was playing.