If you think your bank needs background music services, you’re probably right. Commercial subscription services like SiriusXM Music for Business provide a legal music option with enough variety to keep everyone happy. Here are the top 6 reasons to use background music in your bank.

1. Music Licensing and Copyright Compliance

U.S. copyright law requires that businesses playing music in public areas pay public performance licensing. The fees for this musical licensing are collected by three agencies, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, who then pay royalties to the artists and musicians that created the music. These fees can be paid directly to the licensing organizations, or alternatively, a business can subscribe to a commercial music service like SiriusXM whereby the licensing fees are collected as part of a monthly service fee and then paid to the licensing organizations. The latter is the less expensive and more common option.

If you have a network of branches, it’s likely that some of them are playing unlicensed music in the form of FM radio, CDs, or personal playlists, placing the bank at risk of litigation and fines. The musical licensing organizations will not hesitate to take action if such acts are discovered, as they are a litigious bunch, with ASCAP being the most aggressive. ASCAP has a string of six-figure judgements in their favor and they will not hesitate to take action the moment non-compliance is uncovered.

2. Sound Masking, Privacy, and Fraud Protection

Financial firms have a responsibility to safeguard personal financial information. Most institutions have established effective security measures to protect the data stored on their servers, but neglect to fully safeguard client information during its collection and use. This can be challenging in a retail banking environment where personal conversations happen in open floorplan environments, sometimes within only a few feet of each other. Using SiriusXM background music as a sound masking strategy is low-cost way to protect against the unintentional disclosure of private information.

Technically speaking, sound masking is the addition of background music to reduce speech intelligibility. In a retail banking environment, sound masking can reduce the negligent disclosure of client information by using music to conceal verbal transmission of confidential information. Not only will this provide protection against fraud, but sound masking will help patrons feel more confident in their interactions with bank personnel, noting that the bank has taken measures to keep their personal information private.

3. Music Drives Increases in Employee Mood and Productivity

Employee satisfaction is an important element to the success of any business. Satisfied employees are more efficient, productive, and customer oriented. Indicators of employee satisfaction include positive mood and increased work efficiency.
Research has shown that background music increases employee satisfaction by raising their efficiency with repetitive tasks, and by also improving their emotional state as they perform their daily tasks. Other research has shown background music for businesses to have a positive effect on employee mood while increasing their work quality when compared to a non-music environment.

4. Reduction in Perceived Wait Times

Research has shown that music for business use reduces the perceived wait times for clients. This research demonstrates that clients will wait longer and more patiently when music is being played when compared to silence. As an additional benefit, radio for businesses have been shown to improve a client’s perception of service after they have been waiting. The research points to a simple reasoning; the music actually transforms the boredom of waiting time to the engagement of experiential time, which customers find entertaining and positive.

Anyone that has ever waited in line at Disney will understand this concept. Disney has mastered the art of transforming waiting time into experiential time by presenting a constant stream of visual and auditory stimulus to the millions that wait in their lines each year. Hotels do the same by providing free coffee or snacks for guests waiting in line.

The benefits of reducing perceived wait time and increasing the perception of customer service are easily within reach for any bank. By implementing background music to transform waiting time into experiential time, your bank can affect an environment where clients will wait longer and more patiently as they are entertained by SiriusXM versus waiting in silence.

5. Consistency in Brand Image and Client Experience

Multi-location bank networks work very hard to maintain a consistent customer experience and brand interaction across all customer touch points. Bringing the enterprise vision to the local branch requires careful control of all environmental factors. From branch layout to interior design to signage, the environment encompasses everything that clients see, touch, hear, and feel.

With all the attention paid to visual elements, most banks have not invested in the auditory elements of the in-branch experience. Stated another way, while the branches may all look the same, they certainly don’t sound the same. Since there is no music platform, a client may hear anything from silence to FM radio to potentially offensive content from an employee’s iPod as they move from branch to branch. This lack of auditory consistency confuses clients and works to diminish their perception of the bank’s brand credibility.

An enterprise music program will immediately control and correct this problem. Playing consistent music across all locations will bring forth a pleasing auditory environment, affecting a positive brand perception among your beloved client base.

6. Music Improves the Bank Environment

Whether or not we realize it on a conscious level, music directly affects our emotional state. Music helps us learn, music develops rapport, and music helps us focus. Research shows that, when compared to silence, bank music helps to create a welcoming atmosphere and can energize those listening to it. It’s used by all of the world’s largest retail brands to connect with customers and energize employees. It’s an important environmental tool that can have a positive effect on everyone that interacts with your bank.

As you can see, there are many good reasons to implement background music in your bank. Not only might it save you from an unwelcome inquiry from the licensing music agencies, but it might produce a host of happy customers and dedicated employees too!