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Transforming The Customer Experience

5 Key Elements to Consider When Developing Your On-Hold Messaging

Posted Jun 9, 2015 4:26:00 PM
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In our extremely digital world of flashy technology, it can be easy to overlook tools that have been around for decades.

While attempting to keep up with modern marketing strategies, creating websites, and updating social media profiles, many brands simply forget to pay attention to a less flashy, but extremely important element of their business -- their phones.

But a customer’s experience when calling your business is just as important as a customer’s experience while visiting your website or Facebook page. 

You need to have some sort of on-hold messaging to give your customers a positive brand experience while calling your business.  

On-Hold Messaging can be used to:

  • build trust with your customer
  • reinforce your brand voice
  • reduce perceived wait time
  • allow you to speak directly to a highly-targeted audience
  • maximize the efficiency of your human resources

If those benefits don’t validate the need for on-hold messaging, consider this fact from a CNN survey.

Without some type of on-hold media, 60% of callers will hang up.

That means your business could lose three out of five callers because you decided not to utilize on-hold messaging.

So, when it comes on-hold messaging consideration, there is no question as to whether or not you should use it. But there are a few elements you need to consider when developing your strategy. 

1.  Do I Want Music or Voice-Over Hold Messaging?

If you want to keep it simple, you can use music to engage your callers. This is a good option for businesses just getting started with on-hold messaging as it is fast and easy to set up and requires less preference consideration.

If you choose the music route, you only need to select which style of music best aligns with your audience. You will want to select a sound that sets the tone and drives your branding messages.

For many businesses, easy listening or jazz will be the best option as it is acceptable for a large, varied audience. But if you have a customer base with very particular tastes, you could choose from country, oldies, rock, or even techno. (If you need something more specific, Spectrio can even create a custom blend of music that matches your unique brand.)

If you decide to go the route of voice-over messaging, take your business through the following considerations.

2. How Should My Brand Sound?

Consider which would best fit your brand:Just as you would match your brand to a musical style, you will need to match your brand to a voice and tone style.

  • Friendly or Authoritative?
  • Male or Female?
  • Personal or Announcer-Style?
  • Young or Distinguished?
  • High-energy and Salesy or Laid-back and Casual?

If defining your brand voice through terminology is difficult, fill in the blank of this statement: If I could choose one celebrity or well-known person to represent my brand, it would be [blank].

Then, list that person’s characteristics, and you will have a blueprint for the voice that will best represent your brand. (Not sure what voice would be best? )

3. How Can I Answer Frequently Asked Questions? 

Your hold message is the perfect place to answer your customers’ frequently asked questions.

You can use your messaging as an opportunity to provide information to questions they didn’t know they had, and more importantly, you may be able to answer the question that is the reason for their call.

This saves the customer from waiting on hold and saves your business from providing the human resources required to take their call.

When creating your hold messaging, answer frequently asked questions unique to your business and always provide:

  • Your Business Hours
  • Your Address (& Brief Directions from a Major Highway)
  • Where to Find Additional Information (Website)

Providing value and decreasing wait time will lead to happier, more satisfied customers.

4. What Do I Want to Promote?

As mentioned above, your hold messaging is a perfect time to speak directly to a highly targeted audience.

If a customer is calling your business, they are already interested in your products or services. That makes them a highly engaged, valuable lead.

A telemarketing magazine survey found that 15% to 20% of customers made purchases based on information they heard on hold.

So, don’t miss the opportunity to drive additional sales. Incorporate sales and marketing strategies in your messaging.

Add information about your:

  • Sales/Special Offers
  • A Rundown of Your Products and Service
  • Your Brand’s Mission Statement

And call out:

  • Customer Pain Points
  • Benefits of Your Products and Services
  • Why You Are Superior to Your Competitors

Don’t miss this chance to offer free advertising to a group of interested leads.

5. How Often Will I Update?

The only thing worse than having no on-hold message is having an out-dated on-hold message.

So, as you begin your strategy, create a plan for how often and when you will update your messaging.

Consider the timeliness of the information in your message and then decide how often you will need to schedule your updates.

If you have specials and promotions that frequently change, consider revising your messaging more often. If you have set information that rarely changes, you can update less frequently.

We suggest updating your message along one the following schedules:

  • Monthly (12 updates/year)
  • Bi-Monthly (6 updates/year)
  • Quarterly (4 updates/year)
  • Semi Annual (2 updates/year)
  • Annual (1 update/year)

Even if you choose to update only once per year, don’t just set it and forget it.

Calendar a time once a month, or once a week if you frequently update your script, to call in and listen to the message. Listening for yourself will help you verify that all information is current and may even give you ideas for what to include in your next update.

If your busy schedule makes it difficult to schedule updates and reviews, consider using a provider that will manage your on-hold messaging campaigns for you. (Spectrio can plan your campaign calendar and actively remind you to update so they don’t need to worry about it.)

There are multiple considerations when choosing a program for you on-hold messaging, but factor will always remain constant.

You need on-hold messaging to keep your customers on the line. It could be the difference between of 60% of your customers staying on the line to connect with you or 100%.

Which would you prefer?

Stop wasting time, and see how Spectrio can set up your on-hold messaging to engage, educate, and inspire your customers.