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How To Employ Sound to Improve Customer Experiences

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Dr. Nadine Greiner, Executive Coach San Francisco

It was the holiday shopping season and my client, the VP of Stores at a large retailer, approached me in a panic. Customer satisfaction ratings had started to decline, and long-time customers were choosing competitors that offered more engaging shopping experiences. I suggested that she invite her CEO to join her on a “mystery shopping” extravaganza to a handful of their stores. The tour was eye-opening. They could see how consistently lackluster the store experience was, thus prompting immediate action. One of the most effective changes they undertook was adding new music into the store experience.

Incorporating music into your customer experience can be a powerful way to enhance it, but it’s important to consider these steps:

1. Brainstorm options

Did you know that 24% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product when music they like is played? Even if you don’t operate physical stores, use pleasant hold music on customer support calls or incorporate it into your website. Get your team together to brainstorm customer touch points that would benefit from music.

2. Constantly review strategy

When it comes to music selection, volume, tempo, genre, and consumers' familiarity with the music can make a difference. Research has shown that slower-paced tunes result in consumers spending longer time periods in stores, while louder music is more likely to appeal to younger demographics. Up-tempo music tends to boost moods, while low tempo music tends to result in higher spending.

3. Align your music choices with your brand

It’s important to align your music selections to your brand personality. For instance, if you sell luxury jewelry, hardcore heavy metal music would create a confusing customer experience.

4. Measure results

Don’t act in a black box when incorporating music into your customer experience. Constantly measure results and tie them to business metrics. Does changing the volume of music result in higher net promoter scores (NPS)? Does switching the genre result in increased purchases of a certain type of product?

Music can have a powerful impact on the customer experience. What's especially fascinating is the fact that consumers are typically unaware of how music impacts purchase behavior. Remember the words of Leo Tolstoy … “Music is the shorthand of emotion.”


Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. provides Executive Coaching and Human Resources solutions. Her mission is to make the executive experience exceptionally enjoyable and effective. She believes that the world needs great leaders, and has dedicated her career to helping them.

As an organization psychologist and former corporate CEO, Dr. Nadine understands the pressures and demands executives face. She offers her clients the high expertise that only comes with three decades of consulting success, and a dual Ph.D. in Organization Development and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Nadine is an in-demand speaker, teaches in doctoral programs, and coaches other consultants. She is the author of two books: ‘The Art of Executive Coaching: Secrets to Unlock Leadership Performance’, and of ‘Stress-less Leadership: How to Lead in Business and in Life’.

Contact Information: Feel free to email Dr. Nadine San Francisco Executive Coaching at or by phone at (415) 861-8383.


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