What do your customers hear when they are put on hold?
If your on-hold messaging is tuned to a radio station, your customers may hear static (when the tuning isn’t right), programming or ads that are offensive to some customers, or even ads for your competitors.
If you use radio programming, check from time to time to make sure the sound quality is good. Choose a radio station that plays music your customers will like. Avoid controversial programming that will offend or annoy many of your customers.
There are services that can provide custom on-hold programming for your business, designed to promote your products and services.Do a search for “on hold marketing” or “on hold messages” to find them. Or, you may choose to script and record your own messages. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to create your on-hold messaging, make it effective.
Include a few short messages, instead of one long one. You should make an effort to keep customers on hold only a short time, and you want them to get the full effect of the messages they hear.
Keep the language simple. Customers are probably only listening halfway. Don’t use a lot of jargon or numbers that will confuse them. Instead, suggest a few powerful benefits that will grab customers’ attention and get them to listen to the rest of your message.
Some of the information you might want to mention in your message would be your hours, locations, web site URL, credit cards accepted and other payment options, and your slogan. If there are questions your customers often call to ask, answer them in your on-hold messaging.
Find a reason for customers to ask to be put on your mailing list. Remind customers to ask for a catalog or tell them about your free newsletter.
Give tips and advice of interest to your customers. Teaching them how to use your products and services more effectively will increase their satisfaction.
Offer a special available only to callers, such as a discount on a specified product: “Be sure to ask your representative for this special telephone discount.”
Tell a customer success story. This not only is a powerful testimonial, it promotes your customers.
Use customer testimonials. Consider using testimonials in the customers’ own voices. Have customers record brief messages (you can do this over the telephone or in person) about how your business has helped them, then rotate them in your on-hold messaging.
Introduce a staff member. Give a name and brief biographical sketch about one of your employees.
How many times have you heard a message saying, “Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.”? Do you scream back, “If my call is so important, why am I still holding?” If you use such a message, phrase it better. At least let customers know that you understand their time is valuable, and you will be with them as soon as possible to provide the service they need.
Change your message regularly, perhaps monthly, to include mentions of new products, sales and specials, and seasonal information.