Top 5 Biggest On Hold Marketing Mistakes

Top 5 Biggest On Hold Marketing Mistakes

Avoid These 5 On Hold Marketing Mistakes 1


You’ve purchased an on hold media player, and you’ve even hired someone to create a professional message on-hold for your business. Now all the hard work is done and you can sit back and relax, right?


No doubt, using on hold messages is an effective way to please your callers while waiting on-hold and you can also use this chance to market your products or services. So, it would seem that when it comes to on-hold marketing, there are a few difficulties a business can encounter. While on the surface this may be true, believe it or not most businesses actually fail to use this marketing on-hold technique properly.

If you want to create a world-class customer experience, capitalize on targeted marketing opportunities and generate additional sales, then here are 5 big mistakes you should avoid.


Mistake #1  – Playing Outdated Content

Often times when business owners, especially small businesses, decide to take the leap and add on hold messaging, their first priority is to save money! They think they can make a one-time investment, and simply set it and forget it. However, they ignore the potential negative effect it can have on their business of playing the same messages forever.

Every on hold production starts out great, but it also has a shelf-life. The key is not to let it expire. Lets’ face it, nobody likes 2 day old bread, and playing the same recording over and over again without any updates or changes can be annoying, especially for repeat callers.

No business launches a once for all of time marketing campaign, so you should have a planned strategy for routine message content updates to keep callers informed of the latest happenings about your business.


Mistake #2  – The Script Copy

Here are some common message on hold script mistakes we see.

Too long! A good marketing message doesn’t need to tell whole story, but rather give callers just give enough info to pique their interest. We see people create a single message that’s a minute and half long. Odds are, the caller wouldn’t hear the message in its entirety, so you need to be succinct and to the point. We recommend each message should be approximately 20-25 seconds, and be sure to include a call to action.

We also see scripts that include messages containing industry jargon, that you think is important but may actually be going right over the callers head.  Here’s an example: Recently, an HVAC client wrote their own copy with a heavy emphasis on MERV, SEER and AFUE. These terms actually have to do with various industry efficiency ratings of equipment, but if your target audience is regular, everyday people, would they even know what any of this means? Probably not! So, those precious marketing moments would have now been wasted.

Ditch the laundry list! All too often we see scripts that recite a laundry list of features of a product. Remember, callers want to know how you can solve their problem, and what’s in it for them. People also don’t buy features, they buy “benefits”.  Instead of the laundry list, focus on one or two of the most compelling benefits of the product being mentioned.


Mistake #3  – Selecting the Wrong Voice

Using the wrong voice can communicate the wrong brand image or values, influencing a customer’s thoughts and feelings and create an unwanted lasting perception of your company in the caller’s mind.  This is why careful consideration should be made when choosing a voice for your business.

There are a number of variables to consider. Should the voice Male or female? Should the voice be old or young? Do you require bi-lingual voices? Ultimately, it boils down to what perception each attribute communicates. Consider what your existing branding says about your company and work forward, rather than choosing a voice that doesn’t really match your organization’s brand image.


Mistake #4  – Selecting the Wrong Music

The background music of your on hold message should match your business brand and personality.  Often times business owners make the mistake of choosing the music they like, instead of choosing what the caller wants to hear. You may prefer rock music while your audience may be happier with jazz, easy listening or classical music depending on what your brand is all about. Always consider your audience when selecting your hold music to decide what makes sense.


Mistake #5  – Poor Production Quality

Sometimes doing it yourself doesn’t pay off!

Case in point; recently a prospective client had called inquiring as to the cost of engaging our services. This prospect’s mind-set was why so much for just a recording?  So, in order for the prospect to truly understand the value of their investment, the explanation was set regarding cost. There’s creative copywriters, professional voice actors, licensed music, audio engineers, etc. (there’s much more involved than most people think!).  The prospect declined and said “I have a cheaper way to get it done, and I’ll do it myself.”

Well, it wasn’t more than about 3 weeks later I received a call from this prospect who was now suddenly very ready to get started. I inquired as to why the sudden change in heart? The customer admitted that he made a few messages using garage band, and within a couple of days of putting it on their phone system, he was receiving numerous complaints. The music was too loud, there was microphone static, and he chose a staff member whom clearly had an accent. All of this resulted in not only wasted time, but instead of creating a positive hold experience, was actually having an adverse effect. The moral of this story is, homemade is for cupcakes, not your brand image!

There you have it. Our top 5 on hold marketing mistakes you must avoid.

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