It’s common to be placed on hold when you’re trying to get in touch with a business. We’ve all been there, clutching the phone and listening to some dreadful on hold music with an unconvincing voice telling you how important you are. It can be really frustrating and more often than not it feels like you are definitely not a valued customer.
Let’s make on hold sound profesional
People expect to be put on hold, it’s the norm, but what you hear during that time can have a significant impact on a customer’s relationship with a brand. Luckily for businesses, many phone services offer a great deal of flexibility in how you handle on-hold customers and there is a lot you can do to keep your customers waiting more comfortably whilst you get to them.
Here are a few ideas for you to think about…
Speak to you target audience
This may seem really obvious, but many firms don’t get it right and their customers can’t relate to what they hear when the on hold messages fire up. For example, if you run a bar that caters to an upmarket, stylish clientele, you wouldn’t want the same kind of music or messages as the local leisure centre or gym.
Have a good think about who your audience is. This will be completely different for every business, but you might consider: age, interests, values, income, and culture. Make sure your messages are in keeping with your target customers – it will have far greater impact and meaning than a bland or generic message to an unimpressed and unresponsive audience.
Use on hold time well
It’s likely that when a customer is on hold, there will be very little other advertiser noise. You have a unique opportunity to speak to a captive audience and share highly targeted messages with information that is useful to your caller.
It’s a great opportunity to share information that will strengthen your brand. You can give facts about the company, for example initiatives that are important or awards that might be of interest to the customer. This can help customers to understand your brand values and give it a more personal feel, thus improving customer relations.
It’s a good time to mention new products or services. You could offer tips on solving common problems and answering frequently asked questions. The information might be useful and appreciated, and this goes a long way to help increase levels of satisfaction.
Keep your messages relevant and fresh
Be it the music or messages, hearing the same thing time and time again might start to get on your callers nerves. It is important to think about how long your caller might be on hold, then plan enough music and messages to fill that time without looping back. Repetition can be irritating and make wait times seem longer than they are.
Make sure your voice over is a pro
Don’t try this at home. Professional voice overs are exactly that, professionals. They will get the message across exactly as it is intended, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
Bear in mind that your customer might only be half listening, so scripts should be written and delivered to achieve maximum impact. Read your scripts out loud, and make sure every sentence is easy to understand. If you stumble over anything, reword it.
Have a bit of fun!
Unless you have a business where humour would be inappropriate, consider having some fun with your messages (this might go a long way in lightening a caller’s mood).
Share a few facts and stats, something relevant to your industry but a bit more light hearted…. A vet, for example, could share some facts about the most common household pets, the reason that most animals visit the vet, or the most unusual animal they’ve had to treat. A mechanic might give advice on winter driving. If you do this however, use information that’s not common knowledge, people enjoy learning something new.