According to a survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers, 68% of customers are on hold for longer than one minute and 73% would rather hear something other than beeps or a catchy jingle. So that leaves us with every business’s often forgotten secret tool— the on-hold message!
We can all appreciate that customers would rather not be on-hold, but by making your message helpful you can improve your on-hold customer experiences and even inform and promote your business at the same time. All it takes is a simple script and the right voice to connect and resonate with your audience. Here’s how to get started.
Identify your main message
Firstly you might want to think about why your customers are calling. Are there any regular questions your customers ask that you could provide the answer to in an on-hold message? Are you running a special promotion that might create interest and sales?
By starting with your overall goal you can create good quality on-hold messaging that will help keep your customers happy whilst promoting business.
Prepare a script
You don’t want your on-hold message to lack information or sound rushed—so winging the recording probably isn’t the best idea. Instead, once you have a list of the main points you want to address in your message, start to formulate a cohesive and concise script.
Here are some examples of points you may want to address in your on-hold messaging
Greet—Think of the full customer calling experience. Introduce your company when callers reach your on-hold message so that they know they have reached the right line.
Example: “Thank you for calling AB Construction Ltd., our representatives will be with you shortly”
Assist—Often customers are calling because they can’t find the information they require elsewhere. If you are aware of any frequently asked questions then you can address them in your on-hold message or direct them towards the answer. This will help to improve customer satisfaction.
Example: “Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm”
“For service rates or to receive a quote, please visit our website ABConstruction.com”
Promote—Once you have introduced your company, you can deliver promotional content that may be of interest to your customers. You can increase revenue through your on-hold messages by sharing information on current sales or promotions.
Example: “For a limited time, we are offering a 15% discount to all customers who schedule building or renovation work throughout June”
Educate—While you have your customer’s attention, it is a great time to make them aware of other services you offer. Keep it light but helpful to show that you are a company that cares.
Example: “Did you know we offer more than renovation and extension work? At AB Construction we offer everything from new build construction to minor alterations, loft conversions and even paving and servicing of patios and driveways. We’re always on hand to help you achieve the home you’ve always dreamed of.”
Find the voice
Lastly, you should think about giving your on-hold message the right voice. Many of your customers will be engaged with your on-hold message so the voice on the other end needs to represent your brand.
In the UK, there has been an increasing trend for businesses to use regional accents and dialect in their on-hold marketing to best reflect their perceived values. Rather than selecting a neutral voice, companies may instead choose to deploy the regional accent which best resonates with their predominant audience.
Whichever style of voice you choose, your message should sound natural. Remember it is spoken script, so try to write out the script the way you would talk. Don’t overthink it. Be conversational and upbeat, and read it out loud to peers and colleagues to ensure it reads clearly and conveys the right message.