“May I put you on hold for a moment?”
This is easily every caller's least favorite part when calling a company to buy a product, inquire about a service, or ask for customer support. While it’s acceptable to wait a few minutes as the person at the end of the line tries to resolve your issue or query, what’s most infuriating is listening to hold music that comes along with it. Listening to a muffled instrumental version of film music, droning elevator music, or complete silence is the last thing any customer wants to do, especially if their concern is urgent. This is why it’s not surprising that 60% of customers tend to hang up after waiting on hold for one minute.
With a professional business Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system, it doesn’t have to be this way. Many VoIP service providers now offer users the option to customize the music their callers hear while they wait, which improves the customer’s experience and helps a business appear more professional.
Below are some of the ways you can make your 'on hold' music less annoying and more interesting to ensure callers stay on the line.
Choose music that suits your brand and your customer base
Playing music your callers can relate to is one way to keep them engaged and to encourage them to stay on the line. For example, if your business primarily sells products to younger customers, then classical music isn’t probably a good idea (and certainly won’t match your brand). A better choice would be the latest pop songs your customers would enjoy. Or if you have a dental clinic, rock and roll songs are definitely inappropriate. Instead, it would be wise to go for slow, soothing music that could relax customers to put them in a better mood.
When choosing music, you should also be mindful of music copyrights. Just because you purchased a song from iTunes, for example, doesn’t mean you can legally upload the music to your phone system and broadcast it for your callers. There are plenty of great royalty-free tracks you can use, or you can also turn to paid sources for your music on hold.
Announce special offers and discount
Instead of boring callers with the dreaded elevator music, you can alternate music tracks with messages that convey a special offer, reward, or discount. Your on hold message can be used as an effective marketing strategy. Based on several studies, callers that were presented with special offers while on hold tend to stay on hold longer; and they were more likely to act upon the offer or show interest in the product or service advertised. By using hold times creatively, you can accomplish two goals at once: keep a caller's attention and give them more of a reason to buy from you.
Keep it fresh
The only thing worse than having low quality 'on hold' tracks or elevator music is playing the same tune over and over again. Make sure to keep your music fresh by updating it regularly. Some VoIP service providers make this easy by allowing users to play different on hold music and messages based on time, day, caller ID information, and the extension.
You can also try alternating music and info messages every 30 seconds or so; but remember that keeping customers on hold for a minute or so is highly discouraged. It’s crucial that you get back to your caller as quickly as possible.
No customer likes to be put on hold even for a few seconds. Awkward silences and annoying music can make this experience even worse. By customizing your music on hold, you can create a pleasant and professional wait time experience for your callers. Fortunately, today’s leading VoIP service providers let businesses easily personalize the hold music heard by their callers.