Ok, so the title is a bit extreme, but it is a reality! If you’re not using hold-time as productive, profitable, and highly-targeted marketing tool for your brand, then you simply have no idea about marketing. There I said it. And, sometimes… the truth hurts.
While you may be expecting me to post 101 excuses for not utilizing this tremendous marketing tool at your business, the reality is, there’s no real valid reason “not” to use on hold messages at your business! And truth be told, I certainly can come up with many more benefits of having a music on hold marketing service, than excuses not to. However, for a few chuckles, we’ll give you some of the top excuses we hear, and if you’re a professional marketer, see if you find these excuses for missed opportunity to be, well a bit silly to you too.
1. We Don’t Place Callers On hold
This is a real doozy If you’re not placing callers on hold at your business, then only 2 things can really be happening.
a) Congratulations! You’ve somehow figured out what no other business has ever been able to do in the history of business.
b) You’re not being honest with yourself about hold time at your business.
2. Callers Aren’t On hold For Very Long
And I have a super fantastic deal on a bridge I can sell you! The length of time callers on hold has no bearing on whether or not you can take advantage of that invaluable marketing opportunity. 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 50 seconds – who cares! Most radio and TV commercial ads are 15 to 30 seconds long, and that’s already been proven time again to be more than enough time to interest and engage prospective customers. Better yet, Could your business use an extra $10,000 in less than 30 seconds? All it takes sometimes is a mere few seconds and snippets of information a caller may be unaware of about your business, and Viola – sale made! A NAPA Auto Parts store generated an additional $10,000 sale in less than 30 seconds with on hold marketing, and you can too! (see http://bit.ly/15JapGc)
3. We Train Our Staff To Answer The Phone On the First Ring?
What? You train your staff to answer the phone on the first ring? Well Kudos to you if you could win an award for fastest phone answerer, but there’s no such award, and last time I checked, answering the phone fast doesn’t generate revenue. For kicks and giggles, I’ll entertain this one for a brief moment. Ok, you answer incoming calls quickly, and then what happens when the caller needs to be directed to the right person/dept? Or you have check an order status or inventory? Or you have more than one waiting caller? – How in the world does answering the phone quickly help your business, market your brand, create a positive image, or generate one cent of revenue?
4. We Play a Radio On hold and That Seems Good Enough
Ok. While I commend you for recognizing that dead-silence can be fatal for your business with waiting callers on hold. I do pose this question to you. How Much Money Do Advertisers Pay You To Advertise Their Business To “Your” Callers? I’m thinking a big fat 0 – How about you? Does the local car dealer, or pizza place send you a check each month for advertising their business to your waiting callers, which by the way, you’ve spent marketing dollars getting them to call in the first place? Approximately every 15 minutes, radio station play advertisements in which trust me – your callers are hearing. And you get no benefit what so ever to advertise their business rather than your own! And of course radio on hold is like Russian Roulette. How would like for “your” caller hearing a “competitor’s” radio ad, while on hold at your business! Good enough? Maybe you should think again!
Think of waiting callers like this…If you have a retail store-front, showroom, or perhaps a professional or medical office, when a prospective customer, client or patient enters your establishment, do you ignore them and give them the cold shoulder, letting them walk-around aimlessly and leave within minutes or perhaps seconds, or even worse, perhaps leave without ever making a purchase or an appointment? Of course not! Businesses spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing to their in-store/at-location/waiting room audience with everything from digital signage, to Point of Purchase ads/displays, etc.
And why do they do this? It’s simple. Well, first you’ve already spent marketing dollars to get them to your business, and the goal is to keep them there as long as possible and make a purchase. Secondly, any good marketer knows, there’s simply no better opportunity than to market to a targeted, interested audience. And guess who that is? The customer who is already at your business, let’s face it, they have some interest in your product/service offering – otherwise they wouldn’t be there in the first place. And last but certainly not least is “impulse buying!”…Great impulse marketing meets consumer impulse buying. How many times have you wandered around at the supermarket and purchased an item you may not have originally intended to purchase simple because of the ad you had seen while in the store? Or, maybe that extra shirt, blouse or accessory item you purchased at a clothing store, when you simply when in for a pair of pants?
Marketing isn’t for the weak or timid. It is a critical business function for attracting customers, and more so, every business needs it to make a profit. So I will end this post with the following: Rather than 101 excuses not to have on hold messages – I’d much rather write a post titled 101 Valid Reasons Why Your Business Must Have Messages On hold.