Last updated 8th of February 2018
Author Lisa Hartwell
On Hold Messages Needn’t Be A Hard Sell
One of the main reasons businesses choose not to use a custom on hold message is because they think their callers with feel they’re receiving the “hard sell.” On hold messages can come across as “salesy,” some are akin to radio commercials, but not all on hold marketing needs to be a blatant sales pitch.
Are On Hold Messages Necessary?
People don’t like being put on hold and you don’t like doing it, but if you don’t have a custom-made on hold message you’re missing out on numerous opportunities. Have you ever calculated how long your average caller is on hold? Whether it’s 15 seconds or a full minute, they’ll be much happier having something informative to listen to than boring music or a repetitive, generic, “Your call is important to us. Please hold” message playing every 10 seconds.
The way your telephone system is branded can really affect the caller’s perception of your business. And “custom” means the choice is yours as to what it includes and what you leave out. If you don’t want to sound “salesy” then you don’t have to; in fact, we’d advise against the hard sell. But, this is the perfect opportunity to educate your callers on your business activities, products and services.
What Should My On Hold Say?
Firstly, the style and sound of your on hold is key. Some businesses choose to be humorous, but that doesn’t work for everybody (funeral directors and doctors spring to mind). Choose a voice and background music that will come across as professional yet conversational and informative; match the style to your business while avoiding the trappings of a commercial (no need for heavy pumping music or fast-paced, pushy voiceovers). A good on hold scriptwriter can also tailor the wording of your on hold to match the style you hope to achieve.
Next, consider the content. There are many things you can talk about in your on hold that shouldn't come across as a hard sell and may even have your callers thanking you for keeping them informed:
• New products and services that callers may not be aware of
• Recent awards and accreditations
• Special offers and promotions
• Cross promotion of different areas of your business
• Upcoming events
• Opening times and business location
• Interesting facts about your business
• Social media and website information
How AND What You Say
As you can see, it’s as much about how you deliver the message as what you say. Of course, the other reason businesses avoid using custom on hold messages is because they think they will cost too much. You’d be surprised at what a low-cost marketing solution these messages are, especially compared to other marketing channels. You have a captive audience who have chosen to call your business, why not give them something worth listening to?