For those readers who see the value in the question, but don’t yet
have an On Hold message program, here’s what On Hold is all about.
customers call and are momentarily put On Hold, you lose control of the
customer. Since you’re not tending directly to them, their behavior can take
some undesirable turns. For
instance, some will hang-up…and many will hang on for a bit, all the while
growing just a little more frustrated in their, albeit incorrect, perception
that you’re ignoring them.
and professionally voiced message on hold program, if properly created, will
occupy the customer until you can take their call. This reduces the ill
effects of silence or radio On Hold. The fun part is that we can use
topics about your business to inform and entertain them, while also making hold
time more enjoyable.
What questions should be
asked when considering how often to make content changes?
expectations do I have for my On Hold
noise?, inform?, entertain?, branding?, image building?)
often does my typical customer/client call?
they call several times weekly, or only a couple of times during the year)
sports, health, etc)
external changes during the year have an impact on the needs of my target
(every planned content change will mean we’ll be working with you
to select new topics and have our scripts approved)
often does my internal product or service offering change during the year?
much time am I willing to spend thinking of new
Raising Expectations – If your expectation is to only have some kind of noise on hold,
there is little reason to change the content. At least callers will know they
haven’t been disconnected. However,
an unplanned and out of date message On Hold program can influence your callers
to hang up or at least cause them to be in a less-than-friendly mood once their
call is taken. A
little planning and use of proven On Hold messages studies can turn a potential
hang-up into a loyal and long term customer. Raising expectations to include
current, accurate, and engaging content will bring results in the form of
improved branding, awareness of your breadth of product and service offerings,
and simply a better caller experience.
Typical Caller- Let’s
use a visual analogy of your callers On Hold experience. Think of any roadside billboard that
you pass in your daily travels…and now think of yourself as the owner of that
billboard and the drivers as your typical callers On Hold. If the drivers see your billboard
daily, then it makes sense for you to change the billboard content frequently, say monthly or quarterly. However,
if they only see your billboard several times a year, then changing it annually
can be just as effective, not to mention more economical in terms of your time
To use a concrete example,
think of someone you call a lot. A good example may be a distributor of
something you consume or resell in quantity. You’ll likely experience hold
time frequently and things that would cause you to become impatient (or even
hang up) could be silence On Hold, an On Hold message that repeats often, or On
Hold messages that you’ve heard repeatedly over several calling
experiences. Since the
typical caller is On Hold more often with a distributor, frequent content
changes should be considered.
On the other hand, think
of someone you call infrequently. A good example may be your tailor or dry
cleaners. Since you call infrequently, this kind of business can change their
content once or twice a year without the caller noticing, and the business can
still realize their higher expectations for their On Hold messages.
External Influences – The needs of your target
market have a significant impact on what you inventory and promote…and these
needs can change due to lots of forces. Even
physicians see changes in what tests and treatments are needed due to seasonal
sports injuries. The social
event-filled holidays can make dental patients think about tooth
whitening. Businesses of
every kind can see their inventory change due to seasonal and weather changes.
Consider how your market changes during the year and see these changes as
opportunities to make your On Hold message more current, more relevant,
prompting callers to ask for more information.
Internal Offering Changes - Consider how your
inventory and promotions change during the year due to supply-side changes in
availability, model changes…even changes in your staff can have an impact on
your offering. New people bring new talents and skills.
Your Time- Using the above mentioned criteria for selecting a content update
frequency is legitimate. However,
if one hasn’t the time to think of new topics and approve our written scripts,
then planned updates may not be completed. It may be better to select a less
ambitious plan and order content changes as time allows, than to fall short of
a structured plan.
It’s your call.
Ok, surely it’s your call,
it’s your business and you call the shots. Beyond that, it’s “your call” in the
sense that your advertising dollars paid for that inbound call. I like to say that the “ringing” noise
your telephone makes is the sound of your marketing dollars trying to get back
into your wallet!
Just as walk-in customers
get an impression about you by their experience in your lobby or reception
area, they also get an impression of you from how their telephone call is
treated. Keeping a current
and engaging On Hold message reduces hang ups and makes hold time seems shorter
while enhancing your professional image. And speaking of professional image,
the benefits of fewer hang-ups and improved customer service alone justifies
the relatively low cost. Any
direct sales activity can be considered as gravy.
Ask us to help you
evaluate the right update plan. We'll
help you maintain the right image while maximizing the results of your On Hold