Let the Music Play - How to improve customer experience.

If you are considering the role background music plays as part of your customer experience it’s worth looking at how current legislation is affecting your customers and thinking twice before you reach for the off button...

Let the Music Play - How to improve customer experience
Music is important to your guests and customers

As you’ll no doubt know, Holyrood passed a law last month requiring all hospitality providers switch their music off to assist in stopping the spread of Covid - based on the assumption that a background soundtrack causes people to shout or lean in to whisper to have a clear conversation. 

Louise McClean from Edinburgh’s Signature Pubs has this to say: “Hospitality denotes warmth, ambience and welcome, not cold, clinical and sterile. Let the (soft) music play! We can do this safely.”

Even with ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Scottish diners and drinkers were more reluctant to return to their favourite venues as no music meant no atmosphere, loud groups upset customers who wanted a quiet night out and for those wanting a private conversation the only choice they had was to break the two metre rule. Now the UK government and regional assemblies have passed a raft of new laws which depend on the alert level and range from limiting diners to groups of six who are limited to table service to total closure.

Hospitality providers are rightly worried that people are shunning bars and restaurants in favour of eating and drinking at home and have pointed out that the ruling also encourages people to have illegal parties with multiple households. 

It’s clear that music plays a really important part in your guests’ restaurant and bar experience - here’s why:

Music makes atmosphere

Playing the right soundtrack at the right volume is key to creating a relaxing mood in a bar or restaurant. It helps ensure that your venue is welcoming, your brand values are reinforced and, most importantly, people feel comfortable. Volume is key at the moment, too loud and people shout - too quiet and they’ll break social distancing rules. Having the right playlist will ensure that your music matches not only your brand, but also the quieter and busy times of day - helping to keep your guests safe. 

Music makes for a stress-free queue 

Now that queues are part of daily life it’s more important than ever to make the wait pleasant. According to research from the University of Burgundy well-chosen music can make a queue less stressful - and although it seems odd, slow music makes time pass quicker than faster tracks. A queue can be your guests’ first impression of your brand - make it count!

The right music can increase spending

Music is a powerful branding tool and a savvy hospitality operator will make the most of this - it’s an inexpensive and easy of way getting your values across.  A considered soundtrack enhances your venue’s ambience, for example, jazz and classical music create a luxurious atmosphere, whereas pop and rock create an upbeat environment - perfect for weekend brunches and family friendly outings. Likewise, the right world music sets the scene in a regional restaurant. 

A well-curated playlist, carefully timed to enhance the environment and time of day can also work wonders for customer retention. Slower music towards the end of an evening can encourage people to linger and consider another drink or a pudding. 

Consistency Counts 

It’s clear that music is an intrinsic part of the hospitality landscape and something your guests expect, however you shouldn’t just let anyone curate a music playlist. No matter how ’into their music’ your staff members may be it’s unlikely that they will share the brand vision or fully understand the customer and their expectations. 

A lacklustre or poorly-selected playlist will quickly result in bored customers, and can even be worse than no music at all when it comes to quashing an atmosphere, especially when the music sounds the same on every visit. Worse still, tracks laden with profanity can creep in and you can lose your guests’ trust.

Call the experts

At Imagesound we’ve been providing the soundtrack to the nation’s nights out and romantic dinners since 1998. Our highly skilled teams check music, plan playlists specifically suited to bar and restaurant background music and help you build your brand’s aural signature. Whether you’re looking for a musical soundtrack for a new brand or your current provider isn’t cutting the mustard give us a call today to see what we can do for you!

 / By Charlotte Brett, UK

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