How to Keep Your On Hold Messages Sounding Irresistible!

How to Keep Your On Hold Messages Sounding Irresistible!

How to Keep Your On Hold Messages Sounding Irresistible


When callers are placed on-hold at your brand, what impression do they get? Do you give them the cold shoulder with the silent treatment? Do they get annoying radio station static or perhaps vulgar content from radio dj’s? How about irritating funeral parlor music? When was the last time you called into your business to see for yourself  first hand what the telephone customer experience is like?

Even if your company uses an on hold message program rather than forcing callers to wait in dead-silence or radio station babble, we pose the same question: when was the last time you called in and actively listened to every phrase, every word with fresh ears, just like a first time caller would? … A month ago?  Six months ago? A year or longer? Perhaps never at all?

Every advertising or marketing dollar you spend has to produce results. Results are dependent upon reaching a qualified audience with the right message. Callers are your best prospects and your most qualified audience, so if you’re playing boring, or even worse outdated marketing content – then you’re doing your brand a serious injustice.


Below are our top 3 ways to keep callers engage and focused on your business with routine content update, so that you always sound irresistible to callers.


1. Create a Content Update Calendar

For those brands (eg. retail) who have monthly sales items, then it only makes sense to update your on-hold messages each month in order to keep callers in the know. If your work is seasonal or the services you provide are influenced by external factors, you’re best served by updating content on a quarterly basis. Finally, if your business is such that you only hear from customers a couple of times per year (eg. a dentist) then at a minimum you should be updating bi-annually. Once you determine the number of times you need to update, the next step is to design a content update calendar which allows you to plan ahead, and also make any on the fly adjustments if needed.

Now that you’ve had a look at recommendations for the frequency of message content updates, below we’ll dig a little deeper into each aspect of what callers hear.


2. Review Script Content

Once you’ve planned out your updates by establishing a content update calendar, the next step is to take a look at exactly what callers will hear, what information needs to be updated, and what is the goal or desired result of the message update? Be flexible with your scripting!  Remember that the copy you write today has a shelf life. Some scripts last longer than others, but all companies need to update their on-hold messages every now and then.

As an example, we’ll take a look at businesses with seasonal fluctuations and how they might approach updating script content. For this purpose, let’s say the company is a heating and air-conditioning contractor. We’ve included 2 examples below. The first example promotes “pre-season” offers, and the second is designed to increase foot traffic at an upcoming trade show event.

Example 1:

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over! Before you know it, old man winter will be here in full swing. ABC Heating & Air wants you to be ready for the heating season with our pre-season tune-up special offer. We’ll conduct a 16 point system inspection to assure your system is operating at peak efficiency, and to also spot small problems before they become major headaches. Ask about our pre-season tune-up special when we return to your call momentarily.

Example 2:

Save the date!!! On September 15th ABC Heating & Air will be exhibiting at the annual Home & Remodeling Expo. Come see us at booth #1440 for some fantastic food and prizes. Stop by and grab a fresh, mouthwatering deli sandwich from the famous Wharton’s Deli. Or better yet, spin the “wheel of chance” to win valuable cash and prizes such as:  A free hvac system – perfect for those looking to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of their home. Or, how about 1 year free membership to our comfort maintenance club? Plus you can also win a chance at an all-inclusive cruise for two. Everyone’s a winner when you stop by and visit us at booth #1440…..


3. Change Voice and Music

We hear lots of times from prospective clients who say: “but my business doesn’t change that often”. Sure, we get it. You might not have constant changes, but even if not much has changed, you still need to give callers the appearance of change. Otherwise, your marketing not only loses its effectiveness, but even your most loyal clients will feel as though you’re not staying on top of trends. And they may also be thinking that if you don’t care enough about looking after your brand’s best interest, how can you look after theirs.

One of the easiest things you can do to give your message the appearance of a makeover is to change the voice and music. Think of it like this. Have you ever had a room in your home that you felt has become plain and boring? It’s amazing what a new color paint, new window treatments or new floor-coverings can do to create the effect of something “new” and the same is true of your on hold messaging when you periodically change the voice and music. Even if the core of your message hasn’t changed all that much, your callers are more likely to pay attention because they recognize that the message sounds different than it did before.


Final Thoughts

The most popular rationale for developing an on hold message program is a desire to provide callers with relevant information regarding the nature of their call. The key word is relevant. Your message on hold program can be a sales message, customer service message, an informational message — or any combination you choose. However the one thing it can’t be is “outdated”. On hold marketing is designed to turn telephone ‘hold time’ into a vital public relations tool, and you need to remain proactive in  providing fresh and engaging content to callers, which is critical to your success.

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