5 tips to ensure your on hold messages are music to your customer’s ears.

Prick up your ears, here are our top tips to keep your customers tuned in.


So you’re already using on hold messages to communicate with your customers. Great! The telephone provides an unparalleled opportunity for businesses to talk to a customer and educate them about their brand.

In reality, there’s no fixed rule that says how often companies should change their on hold messages, this depends on a whole range of factors from marketing activity to availability of budget. However, there are certainly a few things that you should keep in mind to get the most out of your on hold.


#1  Don’t let you messages go out of date.


Pretty bloomin’ obvious.

A sure way to give your customers the wrong idea is to let them hear something that’s no longer relevant – it sets a pretty bad first impression. No one wants to know about 20% off in May, when it’s now July. Hello grumpy customer.

Sending out the message that your business is out of date, behind the times, or simply providing the wrong information will lose you sales (and credibility).

It’s surprising how many on hold messages do go out of date, so keep your ear to the ground, there’s no time to lose in getting things sorted.


#2  Seasonality. Shout louder at key times of the year.


It could be a hugely successful decision to consider your on hold messages as part of the wider marketing mix.

So, if you’re planning promotional activity or an advertising campaign that’s focused around key dates, then changing your telephone on hold to tie-in makes perfect sense.


#3 Talk to your target audience.


Forget yourself. Get lost in the mind-set of your customer.

It’s important to take time and consider exactly what your customers want to hear, but don’t stop at just that. Think about ‘how’ it is said, ‘who’ says it and the overall feel of your on hold music and message. Go on, have another listen to your business on hold – and I mean a really good listen. Use a critical ear to judge if the sound is right for your brand.

We say… trust your gut. If something is telling you it’s not quite right, then it’s probably not. Bring in an expert to craft your copy and consider the right voice to deliver you messages and create an updated sound to your brand.


#4  How frequently do your customers call?


If your business relies on customers making contact on a regular basis then changing your on hold messages more frequently could be a pretty good thing to consider.

It’s surprising how quickly messages and sounds can become tired (or even annoying) if you’ve heard them one time too many. The cost implications of refreshing your on hold might be worth it and will keep your regular customers feeling content.


#4  Cross sell your services.


A customer that is already tuned in to your brand is much easier to sell to…

Very often customers don’t know the full breadth of a business’s product portfolio or services they offer. On hold marketing is an incredibly effective way to introduce and cross sell other areas of your business. Customers that are already engaged with your brand are likely to consider buying your other services BUT they will only do it if they know about it, so it makes sense to tell them, right.

On hold marketing doesn’t have to sound pushy or salesy. Delivering a message well and that’s on brand can have a hugely positive impact. It can be helpful, interesting and even fun.


#5  What’s new?


Share your business story.

Successes, achievements and new developments can be music to your customers’ ears. It shows your business is busy and focused on doing a great job. So telling your customers could be a very positive thing to do. It might also help with sales and cross selling, so keep this in mind when considering your latest on hold message.


So go for it. Tweak your on hold.


It’s definitely worth thinking about on hold as part of your ongoing marketing activity so fine tune your ears to make sure your on hold sound delivers what your brand is all about.

Making changes to your on hold music and messages doesn’t need to be a big job. A tweak to the copy and a new piece of music can deliver a subtle and refreshing change.

A lot of businesses struggle to tease out the key aspects of their business in a few simple paragraphs, but when it’s done well, on hold can drive up sales and keep a business sounding ahead of the competition.  


It’s essential to keep your customers tuned in (rather than have them hang up) and hearing something new will do just that.