Most of us will have experience of hanging on the phone line to reach the right person - in fact, on average 7 out of 10 business callers are placed on-hold at some point during a call. But this doesn't necessarily have to work against you.

Having your customers on hold could be a valuable opportunity your sales and marketing teams are missing out on. Did you know that callers stay on the phone up to 25% longer when they hear messages on hold instead of silence or music? Perhaps it is time to think about whether or not you are engaging this captive audience?

Keep it short

Your customer hopefully won’t have too long to wait, so make sure your messages are short and to the point, this way it will also be easier to remember and they won’t feel they’re on hold forever. When writing your script, remember to read it aloud - it might take more or less time than you expect. It is also worth considering how long your callers generally stay on hold so you can tailor your message to fit this time frame too, you wouldn’t want your message interrupted before you’ve got the point.

Keep it fresh

Make sure your messages are kept up to date, your customers won’t want to hear the same thing every time so take advantage of the chance to say something new. You may have customers who contact you regularly, think about rotating several messages at once to increase their chances of hearing something different. An out-of-date message can do more harm than good, imagine hearing christmas messages in February or summer promotions in October. If you are going to use seasonal on hold messaging set yourself a reminder to change it back at an appropriate time.

Keep it relevant

The key to creating great on hold messaging is to know your audience - understand who is calling you and why so you can tailor your message to their requirements - especially if they are reaching out to you for help. Consider the role your callers are likely to have, a finance officer calling to make a payment will probably not need to hear about your latest products but may be more interested in your opening hours. To help you out, why not build some customer profiles, take note of the demographics, buying behaviours, level of influence etc. of your typical callers.

Keep it purposeful

Every message should have a goal - whether it be to raise awareness of a new product or service or simply to reassure your customer they are important. Consider what it is you are trying to achieve and make sure you can measure it too.

On hold messaging should be considered an element of your sales and marketing strategy, so think about how you tie it in with other marketing messages they may have been exposed to before they picked up the phone.

*Source: Infomax, Inc., Inbound/Outbound.

Tell us how you feel about this post?