We receive lots on inquiries on a daily basis from prospective clients here at The Original On hold, and the most often asked question we hear is: “what is the process of implementing custom on hold messaging at our business?” So, here are the ins and outs of what you need in order get started with professional on hold message marketing at your brand.
The first step in the process is actually the simplest of them all. Stop procrastinating and start realizing that on-hold time happens at your business! That’s right, everyday you go without a custom branded message on hold recording, you’re missing out on a chance at increased sales opportunities, or sales opportunities at all for that matter (you can’t serve a caller who hangs-up before speaking with them). Long or short, or whether your staff answers the phone quickly or not, none of that matters. There’s lots of daily occurrences at your business where a caller is asked to wait. For example, the receptionist needs to transfer a call to the appropriate person or department. Guess what? That caller goes on hold. You or your staff needs to check on available stock for an order or inquiry. You guessed it, that caller goes on-hold. Often times you may not be able to attend to the incoming caller as you’re already serving someone else. Here’s a familiar situation. A prospect or even existing customer rings to speak with you, and they get: “ He’s on another call at the moment.” Yup, that caller is going on-hold too.
Now that we’re past the procrastination stage, and you agree that hold-time happens. Let’s take a look at what is required for you to plan an on hold marketing strategy. You need to determine if your telephone system is music on hold compatible. Traditional PBX or big business telephone systems have an audio input that accepts an external message on-hold player. Many of today’s newer voip, ip and hosted/virtual phone systems allow uploading of a custom audio file for your music on hold. Standard 2-4 line telephones purchased from an office supply store are not music on-hold compatible. Fear not. Most on-hold messaging providers have the necessary equipment to allow small business phones to be music on hold compatible.
Planning your strategy! The time a caller spends on hold is a valuable time for marketing to a captive audience. The script copy or content can make or break your message. Think about your marketing goals and objectives. Do you want to up-sell/cross-sell more goods? Do you want to inform callers of a new product launch? Can you cut wasted time by answering frequently asked questions such as operating hours, location or website address? Once you’re planning is done, then a script can be custom carved out and tailored specifically to your business. The script should be written in a style that accurately reflects the tone and personality of the business.
Speaking of tone, you should always err on the side of caution when it comes to the voice and music of your brand. Even the best-written script will fall flat with the wrong delivery. In many cases, the company president or a local radio DJ are not viable options. Companies should use a professional voice talent with a style that blends into the culture of their business. Choose the right music. It might be called background music, but it is crucial to setting the right tone. Think of it as the décor that perfectly finishes off a room. Your on hold recording should be the perfect blend of script copy, voice and music.
And finally, don’t commit the deadliest on-hold marketing sin of all! A common misconception about on-hold messaging is that it’s a one shot deal. Any successful marketer knows that advertising constantly needs to evolve in order to meet the demanding changes in customers’ preferences. If you’re playing out-dated content that’s not relevant to callers needs today versus let’s say 6 months ago, then you eventually will lose the benefits of on-hold marketing that you once enjoyed. There are a variety of reasons that exist for changing on-hold message content — a promotion, a sale, a change in hours, or seasonal services. If you’re a heating & air-conditioning contractor you certainly don’t want to be playing messages about air-conditioning services when it’s 15 degrees outside with 6 inches of snow on the ground. You should be on a routine schedule for updating message content, keeping callers focused on your business while they wait.