When callers call in to your company to reach a customer-service professional, they may only have a quick question to ask, one which may already have an answer somewhere else. How about directing those customers to different ways to connect with you and find out those simple answers?
If your customers’ calls are important to you—and, of course, they are—you want to resolve the reason for their call faster rather than slower. What if the answer is on your website in the FAQ section? Or they can reach an associate via social media during your high-traffic phone times? You can utilize your on-hold messaging to provide those alternative ways to reach you to give them even better customer service.
Some businesses may find that a message on their on-hold system can be a great way to answer those common questions. For instance, an electricity provider may let callers know which areas don’t have service while they’re waiting to call in the outage. If you receive questions that frequently, incorporating them into your phone system is one solution.
Remember that your on-hold messages are just one component of an integrated marketing campaign, which may include social media, direct marketing, website, and advertising. The more closely you can link all of those—and create a reason for customers to interact with you on multiple levels—the faster your efforts will pay off.
So, when you script your new on-hold message, consider adding the different ways your customers can reach you quickly to find out the answers to their questions. You’ll see that your customer service level and the customer experience will get better and better!
Have a question about creating your new on-hold message campaign? Contact America On Hold at 866-800-HOLD.
Successful companies understand how to take advantage of every point of contact with consumers. Many companies focus on making their websites and physical locations friendly and inviting to customers, but few extend those to all points of contact. Are your other points of contact with customers equally helpful and inviting? Instead of thinking of your phone as just another means of communication, consider your phone as an electric lobby.
Your phone is the first point of contact when customers call your business. Obviously, you should ensure the person representing your business is professional, courteous, and helpful. What happens when all your company representatives are on the phone with customers and incoming calls must be placed on hold? If you’re still thinking of your phone as an “electronic lobby,” how inviting is your company to on-hold customers?
If the answer isn’t “Very!” you are missing out on good impressions and valuable sales. How do you make your electronic lobby more inviting to consumers? Take advantage of on-hold messages! Sure, playing music while on hold is a step up from total silence, but surely, you can be more creative. When customers are on hold, they are a captive audience. Engage with your audience!
Use on-hold messages to share information about your company, current specials, other points of contact (email, social media, etc.), and so much more! On-hold messages are easy to change, so you have the option of testing different messages to see which garner a better response (for more information on testing different messages, click here).
On-hold messages are customized for every business. When customers call your business and receive a customized on-hold message, they view your business as more reliable. Many customers associate customized on-hold messages with larger corporations, so smaller businesses utilizing hold messaging have the added advantage of those associations.
On-hold messages allow you to connect and engage with customers in a customized way. Turn your dead on-hold air into an inviting “electronic lobby” and watch your sales increase!
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 heavy fines. The same is true when you use music on hold or overhead in your store without proper music licensing. That’s right: you can look forward to heavy fines.
Companies that are looking to save money may choose to route their phones through a system to play CDs, local radio stations, or satellite or Internet radio. This option may seem free now, but the truth is that the fines you can incur by not paying for music licensing can be into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You may wonder why you need to pay licensing fees for sharing music with your customers. 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, who will be in compliance with all licensing agreements.
A company that creates on-hold messages also can provide music-only service for your customers on hold. In addition, many companies also play overhead music at a retail 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.
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.
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 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 it. Therefore, the best way to make on-hold messages work for you 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, one 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. To make on-hold messages work for you, be sure it is concise, targeted, and repetitive, and you’ll find customers 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.
How long will you stay on the phone when you’re put on hold and forced to listen to silence? How long will your customers? If you are regularly placing your callers on hold and offering them no value during that time, they will start to feel unappreciated and resentful, thereby leaving a negative view of your company in their minds. However, there is an alternative. On-hold messages replace dead air effectively and easily.
Whether your customers are on hold for 10 seconds while transferring the call or for 15 minutes while waiting in the queue, you can provide them with valuable information to keep them engaged with your company. For instance, how about sharing your latest offerings or specials? FAQs about the business and your operating procedures? Even fun trivia will keep listeners on the line.
America On Hold creates on-hold commercials. These brief, value-laden messages are written by dedicated scriptwriters who know your brand and work with you to share exactly what your customers want and need to know while they’re on hold. It’s 100% true that on-hold messages replace dead air—and create a call to action for your callers.
But there is an effective way to share commercials and a not-so-effective way.
As human beings, we cannot process too much information at one time. So if you’re bombarding your callers with multiple messages one right after the other, they’re likely to tune out pretty quickly. Instead, try a different method: intersperse your commercials with some music to allow them to digest and transition. Then they’ll be ready to hear your next offering and stay engaged with your brand while on hold.
Or you could just stick with silence.
As the year winds down, it’s a great time to look at project lists and consider what hasn’t been crossed off. Sometimes it’s even worth revisiting a goal list to see what has been accomplished this year to gauge productivity and help shape the next year. For many companies—especially small businesses—some projects seem too time intensive or too expensive. Marketing may fall into that category, and it may have been something you’ve neglected to create or integrate in 2012. But it’s not too late to integrate your marketing with on-hold messages before the year ends.
Increase Your Bottom Line
One of the great things to remember about the team at America On Hold is that we can help you cross that item off your to-do list and start 2013 with a new tool in your sales and marketing kit. By taking advantage of customizing your customers’ on-hold experience, you increase your brand awareness, retain more customers, and capitalize on another advertising opportunity. All of these factors combine to increase your sales.
Make It Easy for Yourself
Without help, this process can be overwhelming or even seem impossible. What messages do you share? How do you manage the technology? By handing this task over to America On Hold, all of the steps needed to create your on-hold messages are thoroughly handled by our team, from competitive market research to learning more about your company. Our team then uses all of that information to craft an appropriate messaging experience for your clients, with your expert help determining the correct components. The entire America On Hold process from start to finish only takes five business days, and that’s without any disruption to your current phone system for set up.
It’s really as easy as that to quickly and effectively cross a project off your list before the year is even over. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get integrate your marketing with on-hold messages. If you sign up by December 31, we’ll even give you two months free! The only question now is: What are you waiting for?
There’s no question that customer feedback is a great way to improve and better shape the consumer experience. What better time than the approach of a new year to measure how your customers are responding to their on-hold messaging experience and make changes to your strategy?
What are your customers saying?
This is a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your current message components, including content, offers, and music. There are many ways to go about measuring this that are as basic as having your customer service team ask about your customers’ on-hold experience during their call. If your company conducts any kind of survey program—whether it’s specific to your on-hold messaging or just a quick question at the end of an overall customer service survey—that’s a great way to gather feedback. It can also be as upfront as taking to your social media channels and asking your fans if there was anything that struck them about their on-hold experience.
What are your customers doing?
Evaluate and track how your customers are responding to content in your current on-hold messages. Are they excited about anything in particular that they then ask about on the call? Are they redeeming any specific on-hold offers?
Don’t take it personally
If you’re noticing a trend in the responses, see it as an opportunity to improve and get more out of your on-hold messages. Many components, including your customers’ demographics and their preferences could play a big part in their feedback. It may also boil down to simplifying your content or any industry jargon used.
All of these components may leave you wondering which direction to turn to craft an appropriate on-hold messaging experience. The team at America On Hold can help you assess your current messages and assist in developing marketing efforts that better addresses your customers’ needs.