We don’t need to tell you that being put on hold is never fun. You’ve been there before. The second you hear the phrase “please hold,” and the static or the elevator music starts, you groan inside. And if you’re on hold too long, and it’s not urgent, are you going to stay on the phone for very long?

We didn’t think so, and you’re not alone. According to some alarming statistics gathered by Arise, a majority of respondents said they’d only wait on hold for less than two minutes. If customers are put on hold for longer, over 1/3 say they’ll never call back!

While less than two minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time, being on hold is unavoidable; it’s often cited that the average American will spend a collective 43 days on hold over a lifetime. That’s a lot of time on hold!

There’s good news though: waiting on hold doesn’t have to be torture. There are ways you can use the time your customers spend on hold to your advantage.

If you already have Message on Hold with us, you already know about our solution for putting your customers on hold. If you don’t, or if it’s been a while since you refreshed your MOH production, here are our tips to make the most out of your customers’ time.

Educate your customers

Instead of filling your customers’ on-hold time with a big load of nothing or music, craft a script that lets them know what’s new with your business. To hear examples of how it’s done, check out some examples of productions we’ve created.

If you already have a script that informs them about your establishment and what’s new there, is it time for a change?

It’s time to update your on-hold marketing when:

  1. Your store hours change
  2. Your location changes
  3. You hire someone new or a key player resigns and is no longer with the company
  4. Policy changes (for example, rules about masks or waiting in the car for an appointment)
  5. You need to let your customers know about a big event
  6. Your “busy season” is coming up. Not only does this cover the holidays in December, but it also covers tax time for banks, Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day for spas and florists, and the end of the school year for doctors and dentists scheduling back-to-school checkups.

Focus on the intangibles

Like all good advertising, your on-hold marketing should answer the big question: what are you really selling?

You might sell bouquets, beautifully crafted floral arrangements, but why are your customers buying them? Flowers are a way we say “I love you” or “I care.” You’re selling a beautiful, small way to express affection, love, or sympathy.

Another example: say you’re a car mechanic. You may be selling car servicing, but what you’re really selling is safety and reliability. People need their cars to get from Point A to Point B, so they need the piece of mind that they’ll go to and from school, work, or on their next big road trip adventure safely.

A doctor’s office is offering wellness, not just health. A dentist offers beautiful smiles. We could go on and on. The point is to get to the point of why you’re in business with your content.

Keep it conversational

Throw out the rules your high school English teacher handed down! If you’re telling a friend about a really great business, are you going to use stilted, formal language? Are you going to dive into purple prose and hit them with a bunch of alliterations and flowery language? We didn’t think so.

Keep your sentences quippy. Short, sweet, and to the point. Pretend this is what you’re telling a dear friend and you’ll be surprised at how much better your on-hold message sounds to listeners.

Selecting Music and Voice Talent

A Message on Hold is like a broadcast. The script needs to be written to be spoken, and like a commercial, it needs a voice talent and some music to go along with it. The voice talent should match the tone you’re trying to convey, whether it’s warm and relaxed for an assisted living center or excited and upbeat for an entertainment business.

While music on its own is boring and a headache to listen to, the right music with your script can help set the tone. Do you own a sports shop? Rev your customers up with some rock music. Manage a spa? Relax your customers with a soothing selection as they wait.

Need to get started on a Message on Hold? If you already have Message on Hold with us, do you need an updated production? Get started by contacting rmontgomery@smartlinksolutions.com. Meanwhile, take a look at our Music and Voice Talent selections and some samples of our productions to see what we can do for your on-hold messaging!