Blame it on the Music: How Music affects Consumers’ Trust in the Service Provider

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Many marketeers have already experimented with music, which led to numerous findings on how music affects consumer behavior. While the effects of music on consumer behavior and purchase behavior in retail settings are well understood, less research has been done about how music impacts service encounters. As services are highly intangible, prone to information asymmetry and the perceived risk for the buyer is high, it is important to find out how music can help reduce these uncertainties. One of the most important findings about music is how music affects emotional experience and how music can evoke powerful emotional responses. In this thesis, we will focus on whether and how music can influence consumers’ perceptions of trust in service encounters. Particularly, we want to find out how a consumers’ emotional state mediates this relationship. This emotional state includes the arousal and pleasure model by Russel and Pratt, as well as feeling-of-safety. Ultimately, no significant effect of music on either emotional state or trust was found. However, emotional state was found to be a good predictor of levels of trust. This combined with other results leads to believe that the conceptual model presented in our study could work in other experimental designs.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen