1.How Much Do Custom On Hold Message Services Cost?
While we’re all budget-conscious, before we get into dollars and cents, and how much an on hold message service cost, the better question to ask is: “How much is it costing you by not having an on hold message? Now, this might seem like being a bit evasive about the answer, but it truly is the right question to be asking. What exactly do we mean? Well, let’s first look at the fact that you may be losing out on business, or leaving money on the table, simply because customers and prospects are unaware of the entire range of products/services you offer.
Have you ever had a customer or prospect say: “Gee I didn’t know that you also did this, or that you also carried that?” This means that while they may be doing business with you for one particular product or service offering, they’re going to a competitor for these additional items that they were unaware you could also provide. On hold messaging has proven to show an increase in inquiries in offers mentioned on hold by as much as 20% — would you like an increase in sales by 20%? The answer, a resounding “Yes”
Another question to be asking yourself is: Have you considered how much caller abandonment (callers who hang up before giving you the chance to serve them) is costing your business? You’ve invested marketing dollars to get the phone to ring, you place a caller on hold, and when you come back to the line – they’re gone! Lost callers, means lost business, lost business means lost revenues, and to make matters worse, you’ve also now wasted the marketing dollars you’ve invested to get that person to call you in the first place. Not good!
Now that you have a better understanding of some of the many benefits an on hold marketing system can offer your business, let’s take a look at what you can typically expect to invest. For about the cost of a cup of coffee per day, you can implement an on hold marketing campaign that covers you all year long, allowing you to coordinate your message content with your overall marketing strategies. Is your business worth the cost of a cup of coffee per day?
2. How Does It Work?
While most of us are familiar with what an on hold message is, or have heard one before, most clients aren’t familiar with how it all works- so here’s the answer! First, we determine your telephone’s MOH (music on hold) compatibility. Once we’ve ensured that you are able to have custom on hold messaging, our team then conducts an initial discovery session to learn about your brand, marketing goals and objectives, any areas of concern, profit centers you’re looking to increase, competitors and factors that differentiate you from the competition. Our copywriters then develop your custom on hold script encompassing all of these various aspects for a successful on hold marketing campaign. Once you’ve approved the script copy, you then audition voice talents and background music for your on hold recording.
3. What Type Of Equipment Do I Need?
The type of on hold equipment you require depends on the type of telecom equipment you have. Most PBX/KEY type telephone systems are music on hold ready, and have an RCA audio input on the main telephone system unit. You simply connect our digital media player to the main box, similar to how you connect your dvd player to your tv.
Now, many small or home-based businesses typically use off-the-shelf 2 to 4 line phones RCA, Panasonic, AT&T, etc) purchased from an office supply store, that plug into a wall jack like your landline phone at home. Unlike an expensive PBX/KEY business telephone system that is MOH ready, these phones are not MOH enabled! The good news however is that with the use of a music on hold adaptor, these phones can easily be converted to accept music on hold. The adaptor acts as an interface, allowing your phone lines and media player to be plugged into the adaptor, similar to how you would connect an old-school answering machine that installs between 1 phone and the wall jack.
4. I Use VOIP What Do I Need?
Many businesses have taken the leap to VOIP systems in order to have robust features, while reducing telecom costs. These days, VOIP can mean many things, for example do you use a hosted VOIP services? Hosted VOIP services, means using a 3rd party provider, which doesn’t require you to have equipment on-site. Some of the more popular hosted VOIP providers are Allworx, 8 X8 , and Ring Central just to name a few. Even Comcast and Vonage have entered the host business VOIP arena. When using a hosted VOIP provider, you do not need an external media player, but rather you can upload audio files via your client portal for your music on hold. It’s important to note that many of these hosted providers have specific audio file requirements (not your standard mp3 file) such as ulaw, mulaw, pcm, etc. in order for the file to play. A full service on hold production facility will have the capability to provide you with your on hold recording in the necessary format.
If you’re using an IPBX (on-site server and telecom equipment), in most cases you can simply upload an audio file via your systems admin for your music on hold, much like the hosted systems noted above. However, some systems such as 3CX or XBLUE for example still require an external media player to be connected in order to play music on hold.
5. How Long Is The On Hold Recording?
While we can’t speak for other industry providers, there is a science behind how we create your on hold messages. Numerous studies have been conducted by everyone from Google, Ifbyphone and Call Center Today about on hold times. These studies conclude that the average hold time at a business is 1 minute and 30 seconds (obviously much longer in many situations). So with that in mind, we typically produce a custom 6-minute on hold recording, with each individual message at approximately 20-25 seconds in length. The theory behind this is that, if you have “average” hold time at your business, callers should have the opportunity to hear 3 different messages about your company while on hold, but would have to remain on hold for more than 6 minutes before hearing the same information again. And, since the messages are in a continuous loop, it’s less likely for repeat callers to get the same information every time they call.
6. How Often Should I Update Message Content?
You’ve probably heard the saying, “variety is the spice of life.” There is truth in this old saying, especially when it comes to your on hold marketing. Your callers want to hear something new and fresh, not something they’ve heard many times before. Keeping your productions fresh, not stale, is very important. When you play the same messages month after month, or year after year, your callers know just what to expect, and some dread listening to the same background music or irritating sales pitch.
While there are some factors to consider such as the number of repeat callers vs new callers, do you have monthly sales promotions, or do you sell different things based on seasonal fluctuations? Your message on hold content should be updated in conjunction with changing information at your company. These changes might include marketing efforts, customer service strategies, policies, promotions, or other news. At a minimum, businesses should be updating at least 2 times per year, but will often get a bigger bang for their advertising buck when updating more frequently.
7. How Can I Measure ROI?
Many business owners or marketing managers need cold hard data in order to determine whether or not an investment is worthwhile. Message on hold often provides ROI, but without you even realizing it. Your caller hears an offer mentioned on hold, and when you return to the line they inquire or make the purchase, but if they don’t tell you it’s because of what they heard on hold (or you don’t ask), it’s hard to gauge what the ROI is in your on hold marketing campaign. It’s like gaining a new customer, and not asking if they were responding to an ad, referred by someone, found you by internet search, etc. The simplest way to track ROI is by including promo codes tied to your on hold advertisement, this way callers mention the promo code, thus allowing you to track the ROI of your on hold messages.
So, there you have it. These are the answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive from prospective customers.
Still have questions? Ask away in the comments section below, and we’ll be happy to answer them.