How You Can Add Value To Callers On Hold Wait Time And Improve Customer Service At Your Business

Customer service departments across all industries experience a common dilemma knowing that customers must be placed on hold from time to time, and that experience rarely makes a customer happy. In fact, a 2013 poll published in PR Newswire showed that 80% percent of callers are put on hold every time they call a company.

Take an angry customer with a complaint, add to the mix a lengthy wait time on hold for service, and you only make matters worse. However, there is a bit of good news. Believe it or not, you actually have a unique opportunity with this interaction to create a positive customer experience.

Today, we live in such a fast-paced world everyone is trying to squeeze more out of every single minute. Since time is one of our most precious commodities, people really have no time to waste. Professional audio branding using the right mix of music on hold and messaging has shown to be the only solution for putting customers on hold without frustrating them or losing their business.

While on hold messages have shown in numerous studies to increase sales, it’s not just about sales messages all the time! As mentioned above it takes the right mix of messages on hold and music to enhance the customer on hold experience. You can’t just include just anything in your message on hold content and expect it to be effective.  At The Original On Hold, we’re embarking upon our 25th year in the audio branding industry. We’ve produced over 500,000 audio productions for all types of businesses – everyone from famous brands to small businesses. We certainly know a thing or two about what works, and what doesn’t!

Here are some tips on how to use your music on-hold recording to best serve your callers and customer service experience.

#1 Save The Apology

First off, don’t apologize. Studies have shown that these apology statements actually increase customer frustration, and a recorded apology is even worse because it’s impersonal.

#2 Help Answer Frequently Asked Questions To Save Time

Every business has certain calls that come in constantly – inquiries about service hours, location, etc. No matter what your most common questions are, there’s one thing that’s universal: customers with common and easy to answer questions make your on-hold queue much longer than necessary. Answering these common questions can help reduce on hold time at your business.

#3 Additional Ways To Get Support or Service

Another way you can add value to caller’s wait time is by dedicating a portion of your messages for additional/alternative service and support options: direct callers to a customer forums page, live chat support options, return policies and procedures on your website, etc. Once again a caller may be able to find these alternatives helpful and also aid in reducing caller on-hold que wait times.

#4 Don’t Sell, Tell.

Callers are a captive audience, as long as they stay on hold. It can be very tempting to fire a barrage of advertising messages at them. “Buy Now”, “Don’t Miss Out”, “Once In A Lifetime Chance” – while an effective on hold message communicates sales information, and does include a call to action – too much can cause callers to tune out or be turned off.

Remember, you want to add value. So, include valuable information that isn’t a hard sell, but rather educates and informs the caller. For instance, if you offer an add-on service that extends the value of a product and enhances productivity in the customer’s environment, then share that information. If you’re planning to launch a new line that compliments your most popular products, this too is information callers will find valuable.

#5 Cutesie Doesn’t Work. Skip The Trivia and Cut The Comedy

Some on-hold providers like to think that you, the client, perceive a higher value for their service when they talk about including comedy and trivia into your message on hold content. The truth is – there’s no value at all. It’s nothing more than filler and fluff. Let’s go back to the scenario of an already angry caller, who now is asked to wait on you for service. Do you really think that statements like: “Do you know who the 32nd President Of The United States Was?” — is going to have that upset caller on the other end jumping for joy? Probably not! Callers want value, not jokes. If they want jokes, there’s always the cat pictures they can check out on facebook.

The goal of any successful inbound call is to keep the caller on the phone until he or she is satisfied. By implementing hold messaging that makes the wait time seem shorter, and improve the customer service experience companies can go a long way towards meeting that goal. In fact according to a recent survey by On Hold Messaging Association found that 85% percent of businesses that use on-hold marketing said it was a useful tool that added real value to their business. Take every opportunity you can to show customers that you care about them by adding value to a caller’s on-hold time. They are far more likely to stay on the line, be less agitated, have a positive brand experience and reward you with their loyalty.

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