It’s time to modernize. After crunching the numbers, you’ve determined that it is time for a brand-new phone system. No more relics of the past! You call your most trusted service provider (if you don’t have one, Smart Link provides the most updated system on the market) and they install a phone system that’s easy to use. Uploading a new message on hold, auto attendant, or voicemail? A Breeze!
But … your phone system provider told you that you don’t need Message on Hold anymore, so uploading new messages targeted to your customers, with the information they need to hear, is a thing of the past. Or is it?
Not so fast! You spend so much money and work so hard to drive inbound inquires to your phone. Don’t lose on that captive market. Your message on hold is still a critical part of your marketing strategy and is probably finding and keeping more business for you than you realize. Although you can technically upload the music from your new phone system, it won’t have the same effect as message on hold. In fact, statistics show it’s worse. Here are all the reasons why you should keep your message on hold – even if your phone system provider says it’s unnecessary.
Stats still back it up
Tons of studies have shown how effective message on hold is. Premier Companies outlines a ton of observations made by AT&T, CNN, and more that show how effective on-hold marketing is. First, the majority of business callers are placed on hold for about 45 seconds according to AT&T. Most hang up, and half the people who hang up never call back.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. AT&T’s finding reveal that message on hold is an untapped market; only 6% of ad dollars are spent trying to retain customers when they’re already calling you. Plus, two studies outlined by Premier show that the vast majority of customers prefer message on hold to silence and simple music. Also, 1 in 5 people on hold made a purchase based on what they heard.
Also, message on hold isn’t just for customers. Another survey revealed that executives spend 17 minutes per day on hold, so if you’re reaching out to business owners, making their time easier with a message on hold would obviously benefit you. Plus, Spectrio details that an effective message on hold improves your brand appearance and recognition, legitimizing you in the eyes of your C-suite callers.
What to do when you’re upgrading your phone system
- Ask your technician how long your message on hold can be. Some newer systems only allow for a 2-minute message. This isn’t a dealbreaker, as we covered in a previous blog here.
- Ask what kind of file you need to upload. Most can upload an mp3, but others still need a special .wav file.
- Contact your message on hold provider about a new production. If you need a new file format or a shorter script, contact them ASAP for a new production. Also, take stock of your old production and see if anything’s changed. From store hours to key employees coming and going, now is the perfect time to update any information you have in your production. You can even choose new music and voice talent to keep your message fresh.
- Let your message on hold provider know about your new phone system. Often, they coordinate with recording personnel to mix the file the way you need it. Plus, they can let whoever’s recording know about time limits, new formats, and more.
- Thinking of switching phone systems and haven’t flipped the switch yet? Your message on hold provider can make recommendations, especially if you’re local. They can point you to affordable solutions that will make your life easier all around. We carry a wide range of phone systems and technologies to meet your needs. Feel free to reach out for a no cost consultation.
It’s common sense
We’ve outlined this before. Being on hold is the last thing you want to have happen. However, we don’t live in a perfect world. Whether you’re closed for the night or someone isn’t available to answer the phone due to a busy day, customers who call you should receive some kind of message rather than background music or static. It shows you care!
Because, no, they don’t just email or use your virtual chat app. People still call, and they still hate being put on hold, even if the reason for their being put on hold is understandable.
And while they’re on hold, why not tell them about deals and offers you’re running, upcoming hour changes, or if you’re moving or building a new website? They may have missed the post on your social media page. While you have their attention, while they’re waiting to talk to someone, it’s common sense to use the time to pass on tidbits your customers should know about.
So then, why do some phone companies discourage message on hold?
Phone technicians aren’t marketers, so they might not understand the importance of getting in front of your audience whenever you can. Plus, many phone companies only allow a shorter message to play, so they may see your old 4-minute message, and not understanding the purpose, just inform you that it won’t play in your new system.
Rather than taking your phone tech at their word, reach out to your message on hold provider and see what they can do for you. They should be able to pare your message down to a more concise script, or change the format so you can play different messages at a time. Alternatively, they can set up an auto attendant greeting so you can still reap some benefits of on-hold marketing.