Background music. You hear it in a lot of places from Starbucks to Mervyn's to the mall to the call you are on hold with. You probably take it for granted, but it is extremely important.
My partner and I were at a Farmers Market event yesterday and the person who coordinated the event made sure to have a good speaker system and some good choices of music to play during the event. It was in a small park and I was sitting on a bench and reflecting how pleasant it was. Then I focused on the music. It was so perfect. Just the right volume. Not overpowering, but you can hear it well. Good choices of music--some Jack Jones, some Doobie Bros., a little of this and that. Very pleasant.
The music really set the mood. Sellers were busy selling their vegetables and fruit and hot dogs and flowers and here is the key ingredient: people were hanging around. They didn't just come and buy and go, they felt comfortable and stayed. I stayed almost two hours. I complimented the coordinator on having the music and I told him how important to the event I thought it was.
I sat there and imagined no music. No sounds except that of people chatting a bit and sellers talking to buyers. Boring. I saw everyone leaving quickly. The music is so important because the mood is so important. The mall would be boring without it. I wouldn't shop as long without it. I wouldn't feel as comfortable talking without it. It has great power to smooth and soothe and create a friendly atmosphere.
Next time you hear it in a shop or store. Imagine it without the music. Then notice how much better your experience is with it. Think about that for your own store or office.