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My Customers Are On Hold. What Should I Leave Them With?

Posted on: June 17th, 2015

VoIP technology is a marvel for businesses who are looking for a quality way to connect. Most often, the cost-efficiency of VoIP compared to old phone systems is what brings customers to VoIP. However, VoIP’s productivity features are just as important as your phone system savings. One of these important VoIP features includes “on hold” messages that you can upload and customize to give your business that extra edge.

It’s estimated that the average person spends around 10 to 20 minutes on hold every week. That’s a lot of time you can utilize to help market or enhance your business! Silence, on the other hand, is a killer. According to On Hold Marketing, callers are likely to hang up in as quick as 40 seconds if all they hear is silence.

So what do you do to keep your callers on the phone? The old-fashioned “We are receiving a high volume of calls” isn’t going to cut it. Different situations warrant different types of on hold messages. Two of the most popular “on hold” scenarios to be prepared for are:

A customer is waiting to do business with you.

If a customer is placing an order, or is an individual you’re about to discuss business with, inserting a marketing message or two while they are on hold can be a good idea.

For example:

  • If they’re placing an order, you could announce an on-going promo that they might want to participate in.

  • If they’re calling a sales rep, some quick facts about your products can save time in the sales meeting.

  • You could tell them more about your sales process so that things will go more smoothly.

Marketing tactics like these help to prep interested buyers and keeps your business fresh in their minds as they wait for someone to answer their call.

A customer is looking for help.

When a customer is looking for some assistance, marketing messages on hold are not effective. If a customer is having some trouble, it’s better to help them stay calm. This can include music, but it can also include some instructions on what the caller could do while waiting for customer service. For example, your “on hold” messages could give the customer troubleshooting techniques so you can better assess their issue. Always make sure the message is as short and as helpful as possible to avoid delaying the call any further.

Don’t always assume that an on-hold message is strictly a one-on-one, one-way message for inbound callers. What if your VoIP provider offers a Call Queue (like Vonage)? Call Queue is a VoIP feature that automatically answers callers and then places them in a queue, oftentimes informing customers of their wait time or number of callers in front of them. That’s not a case of just talking to one person anymore. Instead, you’re sending a message to an entire audience.

To customize your on hold messages, you can simply record the voice of a nice-sounding employee. There are also contract companies like Digium who provide professional voice recordings. Furthermore, there are organizations who go all out and make use of a voice recording studio (like Edge Studio) if you want to present an enterprise-quality telecom interface to your callers.

In the end, don’t skip out on those on-hold features in your VoIP dashboard. Try to utilize them to make for a good caller experience. Be sure to think about what kind of message you want to send to your customers besides telling them that they’re “on hold”.

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