In case you missed it, part 1 of our “On Hold Marketing Boot Camp” we covered some of the top reasons you need to implement an on hold marketing strategy, as well as the many costly disadvantages of not having one.
In part 2 of our series, we’ll cover important topics such as how to avoid the #1 on hold marketing mistake, designing the proper audio brand image, and how to improve the caller experience. Let’s get started shall we.
1. The #1 Mistake to Avoid in On Hold Marketing
Do you wear the same style clothes in January as you do in July? Isn’t the Halloween candy getting a little stale by Thanksgiving? Customer tastes and preferences change throughout the year, and your company’s on hold messages and promotions should too. If callers on hold hear Christmas carols still playing in January, they’re going to legitimately wonder how reliable and professional your organization really is.
We often say that “your on hold message should be stamped with an expiration date.” Why? The #1 mistake businesses make once they adopt a music on hold and message system is letting the message content grow old and boring. If you run the same message month after month, then you’re not adapting and meeting the needs of your prospects and customers.
That’s why your on hold marketing messages shouldn’t be considered a “one-shot” deal. The secret to successful on hold marketing is to routinely update your on hold message content, which ensures that your business’ callers are kept informed of your latest developments to help you promote your business and drive more sales.
Because the market is always changing, your marketing strategy needs to change with it! Tap into your listening audience by keeping on-hold content fresh, timely and compelling. Having an old, outdated message isn’t going to produce stellar results. In fact, after a period of time, it can have a negative impact when callers can recite your message from memory, or you’re providing out-dated information. How can you expect customers to think of you as new and exciting if you don’t think of yourself as continually responsive to the marketplace? Keeping your on hold content relevant is an important component of your marketing plan.
2. Brand Image You’re Either Doing It Right, or You’re Not!
Most businesses overlook their telephone brand image. And, while you may think it’s not that important, then maybe you should follow the lead of two very well-known and respected brands: Apple and Yahoo!
Apple is not only one of the largest companies, but it’s also famously open to customer suggestions and feedback. A recent Apple Insider article talks about how one Apple customer sent Apple’s CEO Tim Cook an email about the poor quality of music while on hold. “It was super low quality, sounded like pure distortion and really aggravating” the customer noted.
The Apple brand is synonymous with quality, customer satisfaction and the customer experience. So, when its customers’ expressed concerns about the telephone brand experience and satisfaction falling short due to their ugly distorted phone on hold music, CEO Tim Cook tested this himself and agreed that something had to be done. Now, when a company does nearly $250 Billions dollars a year in revenue, you’d think they wouldn’t be too concerned about their hold music, but knowing this is a reflection of its sacred brand.
Another real life example is when before an earnings call, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, well respected for her marketing knowledge and attention to detail was over heard admonishing her team about Yahoo’s hold music, complaining it was “garbage”. Mayer also added, “ We need to change the music on hold to reflect our brand image, so make note of that”. Now, Yahoo is a pretty big company, so it’s easy to see how the issue of hold music was ignored until ‘the boss’ got wind of it. But it does raise some important points about this often overlooked aspect of brand-marketing.
If the CEO’s of these two huge companies understand that the on hold experience is a direct reflection of their brand, than maybe you should consider doing the same. When was the last time you left your office and actually experienced your brand from your callers’ point of view? From the moment the customer thinks of purchasing right through to the final sale, there are opportunities for the business to add brand-value to the process. One of these very real opportunities is by deploying a professional on hold marketing system. So, go ahead, dial up your own business, and you may be surprised at what you learn about your brand image!
3. Improve the Caller Experience (or Your Customers May Go Elsewhere!)
While almost every company claims to offer superior service and a great customer experience, studies show that most company’s customer service is atrocious. Bad customer service and experiences lose valuable customers. Instead of complaining, unhappy customers often simply take their business elsewhere, and angry customers tell at least 12 or more others about their bad experience. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the average business loses 15% of their clients on an annual basis. You can either accept that, or do something about it. One way to do something about it is to “rethink” incoming calls.
Long hold times, coupled with poor caller experiences make customers feel unappreciated. The good news is that there are ways to put customers on hold without frustrating them or losing their business. A well strategized on hold marketing message can give your brand a big boost in customer service and relations at your business.
By implementing a professional on hold music and marketing messages, you’re able to reassure that customers know they are valued, it helps in making them feel significant, and above all cared for. Don’t underestimate the value of providing a great telephone on hold experience! It is a crucial part of your customer service efforts and adds real value to your business. Something many brands have simply forgotten about.The key is to make the customers experience unforgettable, in a great way, consistently in every part of your business, and the bottom line is, if you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will.
A sneak peek into part 3 of our “On Hold Marketing Boot Camp” series includes: What You Need to Get Started With On Hold Marketing, Turning Words Into Dollars, and How to Achieve More Sales in 30 Seconds (or Less!)