Let’s get right down to it: no one likes being put on hold. Unfortunately, waiting on hold is a part of doing business, and the abandoned rate for these callers is very high. An estimated 70% of business callers are put on hold. When left on hold with silence, approximately 60% of those callers will hang up, and of those an estimated 30% don’t call back. But, thankfully when using an on hold messaging solution, the on-hold stats aren’t all doom and gloom.
On-hold messages allow a company to “market” to the caller with engaging messages, while keeping them on the line. Businesses can use on-hold messaging to tell customers about a new service or feature; when the caller reaches a live person, the caller has an immediate opportunity to ask about a feature mentioned in the message.
In fact, according to Teleconnect Magazine, businesses which include on hold messages as a part of their overall marketing strategy experience an increase of nearly 25% in offers mentioned in their on hold ads.
Whatever your industry, your business’ on-hold marketing program can help you build your brand, educate callers and increase your bottom line by tapping into your phone system’s marketing potential. But where do you start? We give you all the answers below….
Understanding Your Required On-Hold System Type: Traditional vs Cloud
In order to design a great on-hold program, you need to know how your phone system’s on-hold message feature works. There are two types of on-hold messaging systems: traditional and cloud-based.
Traditional Phone System
Traditional or legacy phone systems require an external on hold media player to be installed on-site, and its what plays the on hold audio in a continuous loop.
Cloud Based (VOIP) Phone System
Unlike older legacy systems, newer, cloud-based systems do not require the installation of an on-hold audio player, and instead either require uploading of the audio file through your portal (or the provider may have to upload for you depending on your set-up and provider) or in some cases, may also be able to utilize streaming on hold audio.
Cloud-based systems require on hold audio file to be in proper specs and formats. If you’re not an audio recording professional then you should check out our blog article here.
What Content Should You Include in Your On Hold Message?
On hold marketing programs vary from industry to industry. A doctor may tell you about appointment hours or what insurance coverage they accept, while an auto body shop may want to share directions for after-hours drop-off information. Regardless of your industry, there are a few things all businesses should consider including in their on-hold program:
● Tagline or mission statement
● Website URL
● Product/Service and Benefits
● Hours and location
● Social media pages
● Experience or years in business
● Awards and/or accreditations
● Request for referrals
● What sets your business apart from the competition
Aside from sharing the basics, your on-hold messages can also be a powerful marketing tool if you cross-market and brand appropriately. Looking for fresh ideas? Review some of our on hold message samples .
Selecting the Voice and Background Music
When choosing a voice for your recordings, your target audience should be the most important factor. Who would one of your prospective clients take advice from? Who would they find the most captivating and trustworthy? Whether they’d prefer a conversation with a friend, command from an authority figure or advice from their mom, keep your audience’s needs at the forefront when listening to voice samples.
The background music you select should also reflect the tone of your business and the sentiment you wish to portray to your callers. If you are an Italian restaurant, go for the tarantella; a doctor’s office should stick to light easy listening; a gym might choose an electronica track. If you’re self-recording, stay away from licensed music to avoid a potential fine.
How Often Should On-Hold Marketing Content Be Updated?
There’s lots of reasons to update your messages on hold such as: Seasonal changes. Calendar events (tradeshows, etc.) New products, special promotional offers, new product and service announcements and more.
With anyone of our flexible, budget-friendly message update plans, you the opportunity to better target your audience, it also means you will want to update your announcements regularly, so callers aren’t hearing the same repetitive message each time they are placed on hold.
By having your on-hold messages match your latest marketing initiatives and product offers, you’re creating brand consistency. This builds a trust with customers and in turn leads to lasting relationships and future sales.
Most companies turn to professional agencies, like Original On Hold to produce their on-hold messages. Agencies that specialize in custom branded phone recordings will give you access to professional voiceovers, pre-licensed music libraries and many other resources that make it easy to have high quality brand voice messaging for your business.
Now that you understand your on-hold system, and if follow the best practices outlined here, implementing a great hold program is an easy and effective way to directly market to your audience and create a positive caller experience.
People want information and taking advantage of that with a custom on-hold message allows you to turn those “please hold” lemons into lemonade.