Telephone On Hold Messages - A Great Marketing Opportunity

On Hold Messages - Introduction

Like most businesses the telephone will be a key method for your customers to contact you.

In an ideal world you will be able to answer the phone call straight away, speak directly with your customer, answering any question they have having all necessary information to hand and without experiencing any interruptions.  Unfortunately things don't always work out like that.

In the course of the business day it may be necessary to place a call on hold.  Maybe all call operatives are busy, perhaps you need to seek advice or further information for the caller - whatever the reason the customers will need to placed on hold.

So what is your customer experience when they are placed on hold?

This hub contains information why you should consider utilising On hold Messages and using a professional voice talent to record a high quality message on hold.

Telephone Greetings - What should I Include in an On Hold Script?

If you're reading this,than you've taken a wise decision to use on hold messages as part of your marketing campaign.
No longer will your callers be left holding the line wondering whether their call has been disconnected or abandoned. Instead you can use this opportunity to inform, educate and entertain your callers by using an on hold message.
When preparing your message on hold, here are some ideas that you may like to include:

1. Tell callers about your new products and services.
2. Call attention to other divisions or related business areas and use the opportunity to cross-sell related services
3. Mention current promotions, price offerings, seasonal specials and any available discounts.
4. Ask your callers to sign up to a newsletter or email to receive free information
5. Tell your callers about your business opening & closing times
6. Answer any frequently asked questions - doing this can help save your customer service team time and resources.
7. Share some expert tips and advice with your callers.



How can my business benefit from a message on hold?

If you’re a small business owner, than every single marketing penny or cent has to count.  Your marketing budget has to work as hard as you do.  So one easy, cost-effective marketing strategy that you can implement now is to use On hold messages.  If you have to place your callers on hold at any point, what do you force your callers to listen to while they wait?  Background music, or worse still NOTHING - just silence?  

If your callers are left listening to silence then not only are you missing out on a great advertising opportunity, but you are risking frustrating your callers and causing them to hang up.  An abandoned call is possibly a lost sale - how many companies can afford to do that in this economic climate?  

Therefore, a primary benefit of using on hold messages is keeping your caller on the line until they reach the necessary person who can answer their queries and hopefully close the sale.  An on hold message can also reassure the caller that they have not been disconnected, that their  call is being directed to the appropriate person and that they are valued by the company they are calling.  

An on hold message is not only used to restore confidence in callers that their call is being dealt with, but is also an important ‘infomercial’ for your business.  Use this time to inform callers about the products and services you offer.  Let them know if you have any current promotions or discounts available.  Tell callers about the benefits that your products can bring and the solutions they can provide.  You have their undivided attention so use this valuable time to inform, educated and entertain your callers.

It also worth considering the benefit of using a professional voice to record your on hold message.  A professional voice talent is probably not as expensive as you may think, and they can bring all their experience of reading a persuasive sales message.

What COULD Happen If I Dont Use This Marketing Opportunity?

If you have to put any of your callers on hold at any time, what does your caller hear?
Soft background music, silence, or a well crafted sales message that promotes your products and services while they wait? If you’re not taking full advantage of a message on hold then not only are you missing out on a great marketing opportunity but you are subjecting your callers to the alternatives of background music or worse SILENCE. Don’t your callers deserve more?

Callers never appreciate the silent treatment. How does a caller know if their call has been disconnected or abandoned if all they have is silence on the other end of the line? Your callers won’t wait very long before they will hang up, and 30 % of them will never call you back. A lost call could be a lost sale, and how many businesses can afford to lose any sales these days? Even if you think that your callers aren’t on hold for long then remember this: studies have shown that 93% of callers placed on silent hold estimate their on hold time to be longer than it actually is. If your callers feel they’ve been left on hold for a long time than by the time you reach them they may not be in the most positive and favourable frame of mind making it harder to make that sale. Even if you don’t wish to use the on hold time to market and promote your products and services, wouldn’t it be polite to reassure your caller that assistance is only moments away and that you value their call and their business.

An on hold message can also be used to answer frequently asked questions like general opening and closing times, location of your business premises and directions to find you. An on hold message is an opportunity to speak to your customer directly - you have their undivided attention. Why not take advantage and use this time to inform, educate and entertain your callers.

10 Things To Tell Your Customers While They Are ON Hold

Consider using a on hold message as part of your marketing plan. It’s a simple, effective form of infomercial to promote your business activities. When you’re creating your message on hold for your company, consider including some or all of these items:

1. Announce industry awards and recognitions
2. Mention professional associations, designations and memberships
3. Let your customers know you value them and that you appreciate their call and their business
4. Answer frequently asked questions saving your customer service team time and resources. Give them general information about your business opening and closing times, website addresses and your business location address and directions to find your premises.
5. Inform callers of your companies competitive advantage - especially important when the economy is weaker.
6. Make sure your caller knows why doing business with you is the best decision they can make - speed of delivery, ease of ordering etc..
7. Don’t assume that you customers know all the products and services you offer. Many of your callers may only know a fraction of what you do. It may be likely that once they are made aware of what you can offer they may also purchase these additional products or services.
8. Pass on any expert tips and advice -your callers will appreciate it!
9. Let callers know of any current promotions, seasonal specials or discounts available.
10. Why not tell your callers about any employment opportunities available at your company - maybe you can save on recruitment costs at the same time!



3 key Areas to include on your On Hold Message

So how should the message on hold be structured and what are the key areas to include?

The first area is Educational: Tell your callers about any new products or services you have introduced. Also let them know of any improvements you may have made to existing products and services. Consider using this opportunity to cross-sell related products and services by calling attention to other related business areas. Point them in the direction of your website or catalogue to show the full range available. Impress on your callers the benefits of using your products and the flexible solutions your services provide.


The second area is Informational: This area can really help your customer services department. Use the on hold message to answer frequently asked questions, inform callers of your business opening and closing times. Let them know of any changes of business hours during holiday periods. Give you callers directions to your business premises and the full business address. These standard queries can save your customer service team time and resources and make them more efficient.

The third area is image and brand builders: Tell your callers about your companies acheivements. Mention any award or endorsements your business has recently received. Now is the time to blow your own trumpet - don’t be shy in coming forward. Make sure your clients know what they are becoming a part of when they purchase from your company. Use the opportunity to tell your clients your commitment to quality and standards and give them evidence. This information can really help build trust and credibility. The voice you choose to use to present your on hold message can be as important as the message itself. Choose a professional voice artist to prove your commitment to professional standards and a reflection of your company image and brand.

How to choose a voice talent for your message on hold recordings

Once you have decided that an on hold message is a simple, cost-efficient method of marketing your products and services, and a message on hold is far better at preventing call abandonment than silence.  Your thoughts will turn to the voice that you would like to record your message on hold.

Why not consider using a professional voice talent to provide you with a top quality recording and may not be as expensive as you may think.  With the advent of the internet, your choice is no longer limited to using local talent, now you have a whole world of voice artists to choose from.  But unlimited choice doesn’t make your decision any easier, so what are key areas you should consider before making your casting choice?

Firstly, automatically narrow the options by 50 per cent by selecting either a male or female voice.  A female voice is more usual for telephone system recordings, but you may feel your product or service would benefit from a male voice –perhaps your main client base is male orientated?

Secondly, consider which accent you would like to hear.  Would your message benefit from an international feel – choose a UK, US  or perhaps Australian accent.  Or would your customers expect to hear a more local or regional voice?

Thirdly, choose a voice artist who has experience in providing telephone system recordings.  Are they able to provide the audio in the format required by your phone system?  Its worth confirming with your telephone supplier what audio formats are acceptable to your system, so you have this information to hand when you approach a voiceover artist.

There are many other factors that will come into play when making your casting decision, but remember to choose a voice that reflects your company’s image and brand.

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