A few months back after reading an article at ehotelier.com “Why On hold Messages Hurt Your Hotel Business”, I fired off a rebuttal to this article, which has seemed to initiate a recent debate from this author, and his personal opinion about how on hold messages have a negative impact at your hospitality establishment.
In his response to our post, Mr. Mogelonsky states: “writing opinion editorials over the years has gained me a few fans as well as a few detractors.” I would like to point out the following key phrase here folks – “writing opinion editorials.” Don’t get confused, as his article is simply that, one person’s personal opinion! He also says, “the scorn came, logically, from those who make a living proffering on hold advertisements to hotels. Um – doctors make a living profiting off healthcare, so does that mean shouldn’t see a healthcare professional? Of course not, they’re experts in their field, just like we’re experts in the audio branding and marketing industry.
Sure, I’m a firm believer that everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion (some people like vanilla and some like chocolate – that’s perfectly fine). Maybe the author has had his very own personal, sub-par on hold experience, which has caused him to forward the argument that voice messages while a person is on hold are damaging because they undermine a basic psychological expectation. Like in any good debate, there’s two sides to every story. There’s personal opinion, and then there’s fact. Much like Mr. Mogelonsky writes in his article, when it comes to good debate and/or rebuttal, I’m not one to back down. So, buckle up your chin strap, and here it goes.
The sky is purple! Is this fact, or my personal opinion? While I may be entitled to my opinion, there’s simply no debating the facts of which, as long as I have walked this earth, the sky has always been blue. There’s simply no disputing this fact. When it comes to music on hold and messages, and whether or not they have a positive or negative impact for a brand, I’m clearly going to stick with the cold hard facts. 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.
Respondents listed several reasons for buying on-hold messaging. Among the most popular reasons:
Building image an professionalism (74%)
Promoting the sale of products and services (72%)
Avoiding silence on hold (58%)
Providing callers w/ entertainment or information (56%)
Preventing caller hang-ups (31%)
In Mr Mogelonsky’s rebuttal, he writes: “it feels like the property is taking advantage of us as we wait. We have no choice but to listen to the used car salesman speech lest we disconnect the call and lose our place in line. Not a good way to start building rapport and certainly not service-oriented! At least with background music or beeping at regular intervals a person can multitask instead of idling.”
Wow! This argument is really lack luster, and once again I point to the facts.
“More than 70% of business calls are placed on hold for an average of 45 to 60 seconds. 60% of the callers placed on hold hang up, and 30% of those that that hang up never call back.” – AT&T
“Callers with silence on hold will abandon their calls in less than one minute, 90% hang up within 40 seconds. Callers with information on hold will stay on the line for up to three minutes longer.” – North American Telecom
“Callers stay on hold longer, more likely to exhibit interest in the product advertised, and they were less agitated.” – Jefferson Denneandrus Research Firm
These are the facts, plain and simple. You can’t ignore them, and the bottom line is on hold marketing is a proven strategy to keep callers on the line, provide a better caller experience and increase sales, versus canned music or dead-silence on hold.
The one area I happen to agree with Mr Mogelonsky’s opinion is where he writes: “I find it hard to believe that people actually respond to these boilerplate scripts. They’re canned and nonspecific to our momentary needs”. While on hold messages are the stepping stone to providing a better on hold experience for callers, if you choose a message on hold provider using canned scripts, or let content become stale then this may defeat the purpose of implementing an on hold system. On hold time doesn’t have to bring customers to the boiling point. The Original On hold, Inc. develops strategic messaging and music which can help can offer callers a perfect feast of valuable information – and keep them on the line.