A Boot Camp is a short, intensive and rigorous training with strict discipline, and that’s exactly what you’ll get out of our On Hold Marketing Boot Camp! Finally, the information needed to learn how to create more sales and generate more revenues with on hold marketing. Plus we’ll debunk a few common myths, as well as expose a few industry dirty little secrets.
This is part 1 of a 4 part blog series.
Here’s what we’ll cover in part 1:
1. Caller Abandonment Is Costing You Money (and You May Not Even Know It’s Happening!)
2. A 101 Excuses Not To Use On Hold Marketing
3. Cold Hard Facts About Callers On Hold
When it comes to marketing, we’re all looking for that magic bullet. In a time when every marketing dollar is stretched thin, coupled with consumer spending being down and less opportunities in play, many companies are wondering what they need to do to improve their outreach to prospects and customers. Many traditional marketing methods like print advertising seem to have fallen flat, social media is beyond reach for many small businesses, plus that landscape is dominated by masters of the twitter-sphere. The internet, well this seems like the one place that shows some positive return on investment, but as every business knows, successful online marketing can be complex; there are many choices, lots of variables to consider, and fierce competition fighting over a shrinking group of customers.
In everyone’s quest to find that magic marketing bullet, it appears that many have forgotten about a key inbound marketing strategy that has been around for many years: marketing to callers waiting on hold. Let me be absolutely 100% clear on this. If you’re thinking you don’t place callers on hold, well then – Congratulations! You’ve somehow figured out what no other business has ever been able to do in the history of business – ever! Or, you’re just not being honest with yourself about hold time at your business.
Even with advancements in technology between social media, live chat functions, mobile apps, etc. the #1 preferred method of contacting a business is still the telephone. Inbound callers to your business present an untapped, invaluable marketing machine sitting right in front of your eyes, or well in this case – ears! Best of all, it’s very inexpensive and extremely efficient. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable and most underrated marketing strategies available.
1. Caller Abandonment Is Costing Your Business Money (and You May Not Even Know It’s Happening!)
First you must understand what a caller abandonment is. An abandoned call, is a caller who initiated contact to a business, and the call ended before any conversation occurs. When inbound calls are abandoned, it is often because the caller is frustrated with the time on hold.
It’s probably safe to say that at some point, you’ve abandoned a call when faced with an excessive hold time – I certainly have. Customers dislike waiting, especially when it is in invisible queues. The dislike can be attributed to feelings such as anxiety, ambiguity and a sense of wasted time.
A natural consequence of such feelings is that some customers lose their patience and abandon the call before receiving service. The worst part is, caller abandonment usually occurs without us even ever knowing it. Caller abandonment also speaks directly to customer dissatisfaction and the negative impact it has on customer loyalty.
Now, just imagine the costs of marketing, branding, advertising, and lead-generation activities at your company. Chances are – it’s pretty high. And, all of that expensive activity done just to get the phone to ring at your business, and the caller hangs-up, never even giving you the chance to serve them. Reports show that 45% of people who abandon calls, never call back!
This means, wasted marketing dollars, lost potential revenues, and just a lose-lose situation, as abandoned callers also equate to “money left on the table” for your competitors to gain. Reducing the number of abandoned calls at your business is an absolute must to increase your bottom-line profitability. Remember, it’s not just a caller – it’s a customer.
2. 101 Excuses Not to Utilize On hold Marketing
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else” – Benjamin Franklin
In life, and in business, there are two types of people – action takers, and excuse makers! When you take positive action, something is going to happen. Action takers produce results and create opportunity. No one has ever accomplished anything just waiting around for things to change.
While you may be expecting 101 excuses for not utilizing this tremendous marketing tool at your business, the reality is, there’s not a single valid reason “not” to use on hold messaging at your business! And truth be told, we certainly can come up with many more benefits of implementing an on hold marketing stratgey, than excuses not to.
However, for a few chuckles, I’ll give you some of the top excuses we hear, and if you’re a professional marketer, we think that you’ll find these excuses for missed opportunity to be, well a bit silly to you too.
a. Our Customers Know Everything We Offer
Often times we hear from business owners, “we don’t need on-hold messaging services, because our customers know everything we do.” Really? … Customers know everything you can offer them? Stop reading if at some point in your business life you’ve never heard from customers: “Gee, I didn’t know you also did this or that?”
The truth is, they forget! They haven’t got time to study your business inside and out, and it’s your job to keep waiting customers focused on your business. Callers are one of your hottest prospects, and more times than not they’re ready to buy with their credit card in hand, and order book open ready to make a purchase. An on hold marketing message is the perfect way to remind them of all the great reason why they do business with you, and add value to customer interaction.
b. We Don’t Place Callers On hold
This is a real doozy If you’re not placing callers on hold at your business, then only 2 things can really be happening.
1) Congratulations! You’ve somehow figured out what no other business has ever been able to do in the history of business.
2) You’re not being honest with yourself about hold time at your business.
c. Our Callers Aren’t On hold For Very Long
And I have a super fantastic deal on a bridge I can sell you! The length of time callers on hold has no bearing on whether or not you can take advantage of that invaluable marketing opportunity. 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 50 seconds – who cares! Most radio and TV commercial ads are 15 to 30 seconds long, and that’s already been proven time again to be more than enough time to interest and engage prospective customers.
Better yet, Could your business use an extra $10,000 in less than 30 seconds? All it takes sometimes is a mere few seconds and snippets of information a caller may be unaware of about your business, and Viola – sale made! A national automotive parts chain store generated an additional $10,000 sale in less than 30 seconds with on hold marketing, and you can too!
d. We Train Our Staff To Answer The Phone On the First Ring?
What? You train your staff to answer the phone on the first ring? Well Kudos to you if you could win an award for answering the phone the fastest, but there’s no such award, and last time I checked, answering the phone fast doesn’t generate revenue. For kicks and giggles, we’ll entertain this one for a brief moment. Ok, you answer incoming calls quickly, and then what happens when the caller needs to be directed to the right person/dept? Or you have check an order status or inventory? Or you have more than one waiting caller? – How in the world does answering the phone quickly help your business, market your brand, create a positive image, or generate one cent of revenue?
d. We Play a Radio On hold and That Seems Good Enough
Ok. While we commend you for recognizing that dead-silence can be fatal for your business with waiting callers on hold. I do pose this question to you. How Much Money Do Advertisers Pay You To Advertise Their Business To “Your” Callers? I’m thinking a big fat ZERO! – How about you? Does the local car dealer, or pizza place send you a check each month for advertising their business to your waiting callers, which by the way, you’ve spent marketing dollars getting them to call in the first place? Approximately every 15 minutes, radio station play advertisements in which trust me – your callers are hearing. And you get no benefit what so ever to advertise their business rather than your own! And of course radio on hold is like Russian Roulette. How would like for “your” caller hearing a “competitor’s” radio ad, while on hold at your business! Good enough? Maybe you should think again!
Besides the obvious of adding no benefit or value for the caller nor your brand, did you know that playing radio, Pandora or some other music without the proper license to do so is illegal? Music is protected by copyright law, which provides exclusive rights to copyright owners to perform or play their songs. If someone plays music without permission, they are infringing on the copyright, and copyright law allows the owner to recover damages.
Business owners are often caught off-guard when they are held liable for copyright infringement. Performance Rights Organizations are the watchdog of the industry such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. These PROs hire investigators that visit businesses to see whether songs are played without a license. When they sue, they usually don’t lose!
Last year, in Range Road Music, Inc. v. East Coast Foods, Inc., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found a California business violated copyright laws when it played music without a license. The court awarded the Performing Rights Organization (PRO) nearly $200,000 in damages and attorney’s fees.
3. Cold Hard Facts About Callers On hold
Statistics are created by “crunching” and analyzing large clusters of numerical data -when stats are used in the corporate realm, they provide business people with the tools they need to implement short and long-term processes, plans, and marketing initiatives. Without the proper use of statistics, a business owner or manager may not have a full grasp of essential information necessary to make an informed decision. So buckle up, and here we go with all the supporting stats and facts about on hold time, the alternatives and the benefits associates with music on hold and messages.
HOLD TIME STATISTICS:
NORTH AMERICAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION:
US WEST COMMUNICATIONS:
MORE FACTS ABOUT MESSAGE ON HOLD FINDINGS:
A recent survey by the On Hold Messaging Association spotlights the real value of using on-hold marketing for you business. In the national survey, 85% of companies that responded called on-hold messaging a useful marketing tool that added value to their business. And 24% credited on-hold messages for adding real revenue to the bottom line. (source: OHMA)
So, as you have discovered by facts and statistics, callers get placed on hold, and caller hang-ups can be costly. You’ve also discovered that when compared to canned music, radio or dead-silence, on hold message is the solution that outperforms the alternatives, and keeps callers’ remaining holding the longest – giving you time to serve them. And lastly, the bottom line is, on hold marketing is good for business, and has huge potential in generating revenues.
A sneak peek for part 2 of our “On Hold Marketing Boot Camp” includes:
– The #1 Mistake to Avoid
– Creating A Positive Audio Brand Image
– Why You Need to Improve the Caller Experience or Else!