Starter Guide For On Hold Message Services At Your Business

on hold message services

Ever wonder how to get started with on hold message services at your business? How do they benefit your business? What does an on hold message services cost? Or, how do you add music on hold and messages to your telephones? “Welcome to “The Start Up Guide For On Hold Message Services At Your Business!”  Before covering how to get started, or what on hold messing services cost, first let’s take a look at the reason your business needs this marketing tool.

Why You Should Consider On Hold Messages:  On average, about 70 percent of business calls are placed on hold (survey: AT&T), meaning, 7 out of every 10 callers will probably experience inevitable “hold-time”. No one likes being on hold, because it means waiting, or time wasted. In fact, in a study from Call Center Today showed that 60% of callers who wait in silence or music will hang up in less than 45 seconds. Many businesses do not consider lost potential revenues and wasted marketing dollars due to caller abandonment (calls who hang-up before giving you the chance to serve them!) So, placing callers on hold is risky business!

When adding custom on hold messages to your marketing mix, it’s been proven to increase inquiries by 45% for offerings mentioned on hold, and 2-25% of callers made a purchasing decision based upon information heard in an on hold message. In fact, Sales & Marketing Management says that 88% of callers prefer message on hold versus the alternatives of dead-silence, radio or canned music. This presents a target opportunity for your brand.

Where Do You Start:  So, now that you understand how on hold message services positively affect your business and bottom line, let’s take a look at how you get started! First, you need to determine if your telephone is music and message on hold compatible.

Businesses who use a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) or KSU (Keyless Service Unit) are MOH compatible, and all you need is to connect the on hold media device to your telephone system box/cabinet. In most cases, it’s plug-n-play within a few minutes. However with some systems it does require your telephone equipment provider to do the installation. It’s always best to consult with your on hold message service provider about installation.

Are you a small business or home-based business that uses standard 2-4 line phones purchase from an office supply store? If you’re using a regular phone, they are not MOH compatible as they stand, they can however be accommodated to be able to add on hold services with the use of a music-on-hold-adaptor which acts as an interface, in which you plug your phone lines and the on hold player into, similar to connecting an old school answering machine.

Finally, with the ever growing popularity of VOIP systems, whether hosted or on-site IPBX’s they are also MOH compatible. If you use a hosted VOIP setup (no equipment on-site, 3rd party provider), you are able to upload a custom audio file for your music o on hold feature. If you use an on-site IPBX (onsite equipment/server) some systems also allow the upload of an audio file, while some may still require an external player to be connected much like a traditional telephone system. Also note, in applications where you can upload an audio file, the file type is required to be in specific formats such as PCM, u-LAW, Mu-LAW, a-LAW, etc. Check to see your file type requirements and most on hold message service providers can produce your on hold recording in the required format need.

What Type Of Message Will You Present?:  Now some thought needs to be given as to what you’ll say in your message. You want to craft engaging and compelling content so your listeners take notice, and take action! When you begin to consider what callers on hold should hear while they wait, be sure to focus on your callers and their needs. Why are they calling? What would keep them interested and even inspired? How can you enhance the customer experience? How can you take advantage of up-selling or cross-promotional opportunities? The goal is to accomplish these feats, but also be able to have a conversation with people who have reached out to you, and are in an excellent position to make buying decisions based on what they hear while on hold.

Tip: What Type Of Content To Include In Your On Hold Message Script?

Sure you’ll want to include some basic details that can help be a time saver for common questions such as your hours and location, but you should also include ways in which customers can access additional support such as your website, live chat forums, etc. Plus you want to include relationship building statements to reinforce brand loyalty, and of course, you should mention any special sales, promotional offers, upcoming events, tradeshows, etc. When information is current and relevant, callers stay on the line longer and become more interested in what is being said. And finally, but most importantly you need to include a call to action in your custom on hold message scripts. Tell callers what they can do with the information they’ve just learned. For example, an insurance office can provide tips for all types of situations, but adding the suggestion of going to a website, registering for a newsletter or asking further questions suggest an action the caller can take. Building interactivity with your clients makes them more invested in your organization, and builds relationships.

How Much Do Custom On Hold Message Services Cost?:  Message on hold services usually require a small monthly fee between $59 up to $115. and that can be all it takes to get the professional sound of an established business—which is just what your new business needs to convince callers to choose you and stay with you as a customer for life. It’s best to have the flexibility of services that include future message content updates to keep your marketing fresh and relevant. These plans typically also included the needed media equipment as a part of the fee.

Best Practices:  Often times, businesses that incorporate a message on hold system for their business make the fatal mistake of playing the same on hold content for months or even years. It’s your job to keep callers focused on your business, thus you need to keep them informed of your latest developments to drive more sales. Nobody likes 2 day old bread, so your message on hold announcements should include timely information for callers, and content should be updated on a regular basis. Save yourself the embarrassment of playing messages that are out-of-date. While you may be lured to the attraction of a “one-time” investment, you have to remember, it is after all a marketing investment, and no successful business launches a “once-for-all-of-time” marketing campaign.

That’s our Starter Guide for getting started with on hold message services at your business. View on-hold time as an opportunity, and implement a message on hold system that will deliver marketing messages that connect with customers and build the image of your brand.

Have questions or comments? Let us know below, and an on hold professional will be happy to provide answers.

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