A customer calls your business. A busy staff member answers the phone and quickly places the caller on hold while they get the information, person, or time the caller needs. This scenario is a common situation… but it can quickly go wrong. Business owners, and even marketing professionals often don’t pay attention to the customer calling experience, so this scenario has the potential to end in one of two ways:
It has the potential to end in one of two ways.
- The staff member puts the caller on hold — and keeps the customer.
- The staff member puts the caller on hold — and loses the customer.
The difference between these two scenarios often boils down to one thing — leaving callers on hold in silence versus using professional, custom on hold messages.
Why Leaving Callers On Hold In Silence Is a Costly Problem?
The use of custom on hold messaging is more valuable than most business owners realize.
Messages on hold and music provides many benefits for both businesses and their callers. But its most important role is to keep waiting callers on the line.
The difference between the staff member who kept the customer versus the staff member who lost the customer could rely solely on the presence of hold messaging or music. That’s because customer calling experience stats show:
- 60% of callers hang up if left on hold in silence
- 30% of those callers won’t call back
The scenario with no on-hold message strategy to entertain or engage the caller is far more likely to have the caller hang up and not call back. Leaving callers on hold in silence is a quick way to lose potential business. It’s a costly mistake that could have been prevented with a very affordable and simple solution.
How to Solve This Problem (and Stop Losing Customers)?
It’s been estimated that caller abandonment (lost calls) costs businesses billions of dollars each year! In order to keep callers on the line (as well as engaged and motivated to making a purchase), all a business needs to do is implement an on hold messaging strategy. The number don’t lie! On hold messages has proven to be the only effective solution to keep callers on the line, and prevent businesses from losing potential customers and revenue.
Callers were presented with On Hold Messaging versus silence or a radio commercial they would stay on hold longer, they were more likely to exhibit interest in the product advertised, they were more likely to retain information, and they were less agitated. – Jefferson Denneandrus research firm.
Callers stay on the line up to 3 minutes or longer longer when provided with On Hold Messaging versus “dead air” . – United Call Center Association.
Don’t Let Misconceptions About On Hold — Hold You Back!
With such a simple solution to such an expensive problem, you would think that most businesses would quickly embrace on hold messages as a marketing and customer acquisition strategy and stop leaving callers on hold in silence. But still, many businesses overlook hold messaging because misconceptions hold them back from seeing its full value.
Misconception #1) We don’t keep our callers on hold very long.
You may think that this information doesn’t apply to your business because you rarely put your customers on hold. But, take some time to actually measure your calls to see if that is true or just want you believe to be true.
According to USA Today, executives spend about 15 minutes on hold every day — that’s 60 hours a year waiting on hold.
And, according to AT & T over 70% of businesses’ callers are put on hold.
You may believe your customers aren’t being placed on hold, but it’s likely that they are waiting longer and more often than you think. Spend a week monitoring your customer calling experience to see how long and how often you’re leaving callers on hold. Then, decide if you could benefit from an on hold strategy or not.
Misconception #2) We aren’t missing sale opportunities by not having an on hold strategy.
If you still don’t believe that losing calls can cause you to lose sales, consider a few factors. Someone calling your business is one of the most highly engaged prospects your business can have. The caller knows your business, is interested in what you offer, and actively reached out to you. They are incredibly valuable to your business.
In fact, the caller is so valuable to your business that many brands spend up to 94% of their marketing budgets on efforts to get people to call their business. So, why would you want to risk losing that caller? And, why would you not be using tactics to not just answer the caller, but also sell to the caller?
Maybe you’re thinking everyone knows everything you have to offer, so you’re not missing out on potential sales? Really? Is that the answer you’re sticking with? Look, even your best customers don’t remember every single solitary thing you have to offer them. They’re busy people, and often times they’re only focused on the reason why the called in. It’s your job to keep your business “top of mind” and keep callers “focused” to drive more sales, and there’s simply no better way to do so then with on hold messages.
Misconception #3) On hold messages are expensive.
Now that you understand both the potential losses and the potential gains from using a strong on hold message strategy, it should easily help to clear up misconception number three. Spending money on customer experience is an initial investment that will prevent you from losing money down the road. It’s not too expensive, it’s just good business practice.
Also, a proactive on hold messaging strategy has a lot of options available to fit the needs of a wide variety of businesses and budgets. For less than about a cup of coffee per day, you can improve the caller experience and sales opportunities.
Final Thoughts … Stop Leaving Callers On-Hold In Silence!
You can learn more about how to set up an on-hold strategy that keeps callers on the line and on their journey to do business with you. Check out Original On Hold’s “On Hold Marketing Bootcamp: 30 Seconds to More Sales” , this guide that outlines all of the benefits of hold-messaging, how to write strategic scripts, and how to actually increase revenue using smart, custom hold messages.
Now that you understand the “expensive problem” with leaving callers on hold in dead-silence, take the next steps in improving your customer calling experience. Still not sure? Then take Original On Hold for a test drive and request a risk free custom on hold demo today.