When you’re pulled over for rolling through a stop sign (“I’m sorry, officer; was there a stop sign there?”), you’re asked to produce a driver’s license. It’s standard procedure and expected if you want to drive a car. If you don’t have a license, you can look forward to hefty fines. But did you know the same procedures hold true if you want to play music for your callers when they’re on hold? That’s right, you need a license for on-hold music to be legit.
As a cost-effective (i.e., free) on-hold option, companies may choose to route their phones through a system to play CDs, local radio stations, or satellite or Internet radio. Certainly, something is better than nothing, but if the companies doing this get caught, the fines can be hefty — into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some cases.
You may wonder why you need to a license for on-hold music. Essentially, everyone has to pay to replay that music; that’s one of the ways in which recording artists make their money. To be sure that you’re in compliance, the best option is to go through a company that is a member of the On-hold Messaging Association; they would be in compliance with all licensing agreements.
A company that provides on-hold messages also can do just music, and many companies also provide overhead music for your location (for which you also need licenses). So no matter why or where you’re playing music for your customers, be sure that you are covering your bases and have your licenses. Otherwise, you could be needing an attorney and some deep pockets.
America On Hold is a member of the On-hold Messaging Association and ensures that you have the appropriate licenses to play music. Contact us at 866-800-HOLD to learn more.
If you have or work for a successful company, the likelihood is that customers who call into your office will have to be put on hold, whether that’s for 30 seconds or 15 minutes. On-hold messages for business can make a big difference in the grand scheme of customer service and marketing, and help customers think highly of your business.
For too many companies, when callers are put on hold, they hear either silence or bland music interspersed with, “Your message is important to us; we’ll be on the line as soon as possible.” If your customers are on hold for a matter of seconds, this could be fine, but if they’re on hold long enough to take a stake in the music or message droning in their ear, you might want to consider upping the stakes with on-hold messages for business.
On-hold messages for business offer an alternative to just music or that monotonous voice that shares the length of time callers have been waiting. And the alternative they provide is the golden goose: marketing. Marketing on the phone is painless; you have a captive audience who is waiting to speak with you, so why not talk to those people? Instead of leaving them to their own thoughts about what’s for dinner or what they’re going to wear tomorrow, give them juicy information about your business, your latest offers, or what they should talk to the representative about when she comes back on the phone.
One major concern many companies have about incorporating on-hold messages for business is the cost. If you get this much value on the phone, it must be astronomically expensive, right? Wrong. In fact, on-hold messages may be the most cost-effective component of your integrated marketing efforts! And it may also be your most effective, given that the messages are targeted and already reaching people who want to learn more about your company.
So offer your callers an alternative to the silence and the loud elevator music that may be causing them to hang up the phone. Try marketing to them instead. Call America On Hold at 866-800-HOLD to get started.
The Super Bowl… the Winter Olympic Games… March Madness… the Stanley Cup…. All of these events are big sporting competitions, but they are also huge opportunities for companies to spend millions of dollars on advertising to reach their target markets. Every year, from diehard fans to those who rarely follow sports, people are gathered in front of their televisions to watch the big games. And they have become a captive audience for advertisers who vie for the biggest and best eye-catching commercials. But what if you don’t have a million-dollar advertising budget? With on-hold messaging, you can have as big an impact — possibly bigger! — as Coke, Pepsi, and Budweiser.
On-hold Messages Are Targeted to YOUR Audience
The joy of on-hold messages is that they are only heard by people who are calling your business. That means those callers are already interested in what you offer, and once you put them on hold, they are captive, much like sports enthusiasts waiting for the next big play. Callers don’t want to hear silence, and while a string of top-40 hits may have them singing along while waiting for you to return to the line, on-hold messages are created to answer questions or push callers to ask about special products or services.
On-hold Messages Cost a Fraction of TV Advertising
Each year, we wait to see how much a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl costs. For the 2014 game, it was $4 million. Unless you are a global conglomerate, it’s unlikely you have that many pennies in your coffers. Instead of throwing everything you have at what might or might not turn into a significant ROI (and they often don’t), on-hold messages are guaranteed to reach the right people. And the cost starts in the hundreds per month instead of the millions.
Updating On-hold Messages Is Easy and Painless
After you’ve seen that multimillion-dollar spot a couple of times, well, you’ve seen it. It’s no longer fall-over funny, nor does it elicit any tears like it did the first time you saw it. So the companies have to go back to the drawing board to create new material, hire actors, film the cars making hairpin turns, and then buy air time … all of which adds up to millions yet again. On-hold messages, on the other hand, require little more than an idea of your message, talented scriptwriters, voice actors, and a good editing team to update what callers hear. All of this can happen as frequently or infrequently as you choose, and most of the time it’s included in your monthly cost.
Capture Your Market with On-hold Messages
Curious how you can make a huge impact by adding on-hold messages to your marketing mix? Call America On Hold at 866-800-HOLD for more information. And use those millions for a nice house in the Hamptons. We’d love to get away this summer.
It’s been proven again and again that on-hold marketing messages work. This method of reaching out to prospective and existing customers is likely one of the most cost-effective integrated-marketing methods companies use. But just knowing this fact isn’t enough; you need to make on-hold messages work for you and your industry.
There’s a saying in marketing: “Content is king.” While that’s true, that refers to written content, which is a far cry from content that one hears on the phone. When it’s written — on a website, brochure, or sales letter — the reader has time to digest it and even go back and reread if needed. But when it’s heard while waiting for a customer service representative to come back to the line, it may slip away before the customer even tunes in. The best way to approach on-hold messages is to be straightforward and repeat salient points, or even words. For example:
“Termites. They can cause a lot of damage. You don’t like termites, and neither do we. Ask us how to schedule your termite inspection when we come back on the line.”
The word “termite” was mentioned three times in a short little bit. While written copy may use a word often like this to rank in search engines, it can be overwhelming to repeat the same word over and over when reading. However, when listening, a caller may not tune in until she hears the word “damage” (a pain point); when she’s captured, she’ll be listening for what causes that damage.
Remember that customers who are on hold are considering what they want to say to the person who picks up and may have a host of emotions circulating in their heads — taking them away from listening to your on-hold message. So to make on-hold messages work, they need to be concise, targeted, and repetitive. You’ll soon find that your callers are tuning in more and more.
Questions about how to create great on-hold messages? Our team of talented scriptwriters has the answers. Contact us now to learn more: 866-800-HOLD.
Ready or not, we’ve entered the holidays. Whether you already have your closets full of presents and your shopping list complete or you’re just hoping to ignore the hype for as long as possible, remember to make your on-hold messages double as your storefront. This doesn’t necessarily mean your messages need to sound like a holiday soundtrack (unless that’s a fit for your business), but you should be maximizing this retail opportunity.
Here’s how playing up the holiday season is a win-win for you and your on-hold customers:
Reward your callers: Mention an exclusive holiday promo code that they can use online or over the phone, or run a special on a particularly hot item. Either way, make it exclusive to customers who hear it while on hold.
Keep it easy: It’s already a busy time, so if you can remind a customer about your services while they’re on the phone with you, you’ve not only saved them time, but you’ve also prevented them from looking somewhere else. Ultimately, you’re reminding them that your company could help them cross something off their holiday to-do list.
Plan ahead: This end-of-year shopping frenzy isn’t limited to retail stores with holiday items. Household and business services can be packaged as gift cards and certificates, or you can plant the seed for customers to start planning for 2013 budgets. For example, a business might not be looking to sign up for an outside coffee service for their employees right now, but you can benefit by mentioning that now is a great time to start thinking about 2013 and even offer discounts for signing up prior to the start of the new year.
If your on-hold messages could use a little holiday spirit, let the experts at America On Hold help you craft the right on-hold messages for the season. We’ll make sure that you are capitalizing on year-end shopping and preparation.
In today’s age of immediate gratification, customers expect to be taken care of NOW. So when they call a company and are asked, “May I put you on hold?” or—worse—go straight into the hold system, their patience starts to wear thin. While callers may understand that a company is busy, they want to be acknowledged and cared for as if they’re the only person in the queue. Somehow, there has to be a happy medium.
One way to make sure that your customers feel valued when they work themselves into your hold system is with on-hold messages. You or your automated system may be telling them “Thank you for holding,” but if you don’t give them anything to hold onto, your words are meaningless. Instead of sending them into the phone abyss with silence or bad music, why not give them something a little more “meaty” by sharing with them a bit about your company’s services or alternative ways to reach your company?
Another way to increase your customer satisfaction while customers sit on the phone awaiting a representative is to be honest with them. Some companies have started telling callers their number in the queue (“There are three people ahead of you waiting to speak to a customer service representative. We appreciate your patience.”) or how long the wait will be (“We experience higher volumes of calls on Mondays and Fridays. You can expect your wait time to be 20–25 minutes.”). And then, most importantly, follow through! If you tell a caller on hold he can expect to speak to a real person in 20 minutes, be sure it doesn’t take 30.
Savvy customers will understand that good companies are going to take care of their callers, so just acknowledge them and provide value while they’re waiting. The rest will take care of itself.
Imagine walking into what you think is a whimsical frozen yogurt shop. Its name is fanciful and the exterior is bright and vibrant. But upon entering, you are greeted in formal language, muted colors surround you, and classical music plays overhead. There’s nothing wrong with these elements on their own or in another setting, but combined, they don’t effectively match the desired mood of the frozen yogurt shop.
Marketing is an integral part of brand creation and management, and you can set the mood with on-hold messages so that your callers mentally visualize your brand. A call to the company could even be the first experience a caller has with the brand, so this is your chance to combine the right mix of components that connects with them.
Here are a few tips to set the mood with on-hold messages:
Remember your target audience
A pediatrician’s office could set a formal mood if their callers are primarily other doctors. But if their callers are typically worried moms, creating an empathetic, soothing mood might be more effective.
What’s a match for your business?
Just because your industry is usually perceived as serious doesn’t mean that you’re locked into a mood. For example, an orthodontist could put the importance of flossing while wearing braces in perspective by using a lighthearted or humorous mood that might resonate better with patients: “Who wants spinach from their breakfast omelet showing up on their date?”
Mix up the mood
The overall message you’re trying to relay determines the mood. A sushi hotspot may normally feature upbeat promos about happy-hour specials, but if they’re advertising that a portion of next month’s proceeds will benefit a local family, a serious, urgent approach could work better.
What this really shows is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to set the mood with on-hold messages. American On Hold can help you take your industry-specific factors into consideration and craft the on-hold messaging that fits your business. Contact us to learn how our script writers create customized messages that maintain your brand focus.
Fall flavors of the season are everywhere: pumpkin-spice lattes, apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg…but the real question is: What is the flavor of your on-hold messages? Do they represent the season, or do they still taste like ice cream, cotton candy, and summer?
As we move into a new season, it’s important that your targeted marketing changes to reflect what’s happening in the world. Consumers expect to go into a brick-and-mortar store and see Halloween items in October, Thanksgiving items in November, and trees and menorahs in December; what they don’t expect to see in those months are pool toys and swimsuits. Likewise, when consumers call your business, they expect to hear messages that are in tune with the season.
Even if you don’t have seasonal messages in your on-hold queue, the change of seasons (and expectations) offers the perfect opportunity to update what you’re sharing with your callers. If customers are calling you regularly, they’ll soon grow tired of hearing the same information over and over. Give them something new to fill their ears and keep them tuned in!
As you prepare for all of the fun upcoming holidays, take a moment to see what you’re telling your customers. It should be regular practice to call in to your business and listen to your on-hold messages monthly to make sure everything is current. Sometimes, we just forget about what we have in our messages because we get caught up in the daily life of the business. Make it someone’s role to check what you’re sharing — in your on-hold messages, social media, blogs, website, and print materials. Too often, it can get out of date and no longer be relevant.
So tap into the flavors of the season. After all, who doesn’t love a good pumpkin-spice on-hold message?
No matter where you are in the country, you can feel that the weather is cooling down and know that a new season is upon us: fall. If you are currently using on-hold messaging as part of your marketing mix, a seasonal marketing message is a great reason to update your message and generate new interest.
In the fall, we start to look toward the upcoming holiday season: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and even the New Year. Many companies offer season-specific specials, and this is a great time to start planning for them. Perhaps winter is a slower time for you; this would be an opportunity to get customers excited about your brand and what you’re doing.
Fall is a great time to remind those people who started working with you in the summer how you can continue to provide service through the fall. For instance, if you provide heating and air-conditioning support, many may have only thought of you for their AC needs in July and need a reminder that you can help them with their heating issues in October and November. Or car dealerships may run specials to clear out this year’s inventory to make room for newer models.
America On Hold offers a variety of options for updating your on-hold messaging. Perhaps you’re only updating a few times a year; if so, consider creating a seasonal marketing message. Your audience’s mindset will have also changed with the difference on the thermometer, so this is a great time to reconnect. Contact us to get started on your new message.
Ah, fall. It’s a time when kids head back to school, the temperatures begin to cool, and Mother Nature awes us with her show of color. It’s also a great time to get focused on your business goals so that you can slide into the end of year on a high note. There are many things you can do to end the year with solid marketing habits, and one thing you can start with is to create great on-hold messages.
What is going on in your business that you can share with your callers this fall? For instance, car dealerships are looking to empty out their 2012 inventory to make room for the 2013 models. Many other companies also strive to clear inventory by the end of the year, so consider featuring a different product weekly to develop great on-hold messages.
Of course, there are a number of holidays coming up in the next few months, and this is a great time to tie into holiday preparations. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and winter holidays seem to come earlier each year, so get your customers ready by offering them specials or bringing attention to these events.
If you don’t have anything about autumn, winter, or end-of-year events to share in your business, a change of season is still a great time to update your on-hold message. How about an educational tidbit? An answer to frequently asked questions? When we turn the page on a season, it’s always a good reminder to test your smoke detectors, replace the batteries in your emergency flashlights, and update your on-hold messages.
Still not sure what to say to create great on-hold messages this fall? Our team of scriptwriters will create compelling copy that our talent will record and our editing team will put together so your customers will WANT to be on hold!