How to Create an On Hold Message Strategy in Four Easy Steps


On-Hold Messaging is an essential communication tool for your business that is easy to overlook.

As a business owner or manager, it’s not something you regularly experience for yourself. You don't call your business on a regular basis, so the customer experience when they call is usually out of sight, out of mind.

But it’s lack of visibility does not mean that on-hold messaging is a customer experience and marketing tool that you can overlook, neglect, or forget.

An on-hold message strategy can directly impact a business as it:

  • improves customer experience and satisfaction

  • increases caller retention

  • generates new sales

  • decreases the strain on human resources

  • improves the professional appearance of a brand

If your company is unaware of these benefits or has been overlooking the power of a strong on-hold messaging strategy -- it’s time to launch an on-hold message strategy with these four simple steps.

1. Identify Your Main Messages

As you get started, don’t think about scripts, production, or hardware.

Keep it simple and think about the benefits that on-hold messaging will bring to your business.  Brainstorm ways that you can us your message to promote your business.

  • Why do customers call your businesses?

  • What information can you provide to them immediately so they don’t have to wait for an attendant? Are customers regularly requesting information (such as directions, hours, etc.) that you can provide through your hold message?

  • What other properties or resources are available to provide information? Can you direct callers to a website that will provide additional information?

  • Do you have a new product or service you would like to promote?

  • Are you running a special promotion that would interest your callers?

  • Do you have products or services that customers are often unaware of, but interested in once they learn about them?

Starting with a list of what you want to promote will help set the stage for the rest of the process, and it will keep you motivated to follow through. When you have the benefits and goals in front of you, it will be easier to complete the remaining tasks.  

2. Write the Script

Once you have a list of main messages, begin to write a script for your on-hold message.

Since this spoken copy, write the way you talk. Don’t overthink it. Be conversational and read it out loud to make sure it reads clearly.

Limit each point of your message to one or two spoken sentences. Remember that the message could be cut off at any minute, so keep each message short and sweet.

3. Create a Production Plan

Now, you can prepare for production, which includes the actual recording and delivery of the message.

Assign the voice for your message. Decide who in your company will speak the message or if you need to hire voice talent.

Talk with your telecommunications team to identify what hardware or tools you need to implement your message.

Plan for the future. As you finalize your messaging strategy, don’t forget to think about future management. Create a plan that identifies when and who will update your scripts so that your messages are always timely and relevant.

4. Explain to Your CEO Why You Need On-Hold Messaging

If you are not the decision maker at your company, you may have the final task of seeking approval from a C-level executive or manager.

Getting approval for this project should be easy when you deliver facts about customer calling experience to your CEO or decision maker.

Use these facts to show the value of on-hold messaging.

  • 70% of callers to a business are put on hold

  • 88% of callers prefer to hear messages on hold instead of music or silence

  • 60% of callers will hang up when left in silence on hold and 30% won’t call back

  • 16-20% of callers made a purchasing decision based on information they heard while on-hold

  • 56% of incoming callers received the information they needed via the on-hold message versus speaking with a live employee

Still not sure if you can convince them?

Use this formula to find out how much your business may be losing by failing to use hold messaging.

  1. Review the data on how many callers are placed on hold at your business per day. If you don’t have this data, measure it for three days and take the average.

  2. Multiple that number by the number of days your business is open per year.

The number you get will represent the number of times you missed an opportunity to present a message to a customer who is already interested in your business.

If only ten people are placed on hold a day -- your company could be missing over 2,500 opportunities a year to connect with that highly engaged customer.

BONUS: Or Set Up an On-Hold Message Strategy In One Step

If producing an on-hold message still feels like too much work -- take a short-cut.

Spectrio can set up and manage your entire on-hold message strategy for you. That way, you get all of the benefits of a strategic and professional on-hold message plan without the tasks of installation, content creation, and management.

On-hold messaging services with Spectio include:

  • an on-hold message player

  • professional production of the message

  • licensed use of the recorded message

  • script consultation services

  • access to Spectrio’s pre-recorded content library

  • access to dozens of professional voice talent

  • installation and full warranty on hardware

  • continual management

If you are ready to reap the full benefits of a strategic on-hold strategy, contact Spectrio today

Tags: on-hold messaging

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