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How to Choose the Best On Hold Music for Your Business

Ring Central Blog


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2 min read

musicnotes Now that you’ve read our Tuesday Tip about setting up music on hold, we’d thought we’d carry on the musical theme with some basics on how to choose on hold music that best promotes your brand image while also keeping your callers entertained. With a variety of new music options available at RingCentral, you’ll definitely find something just right for your business.

If you’ve ever struggled to remain on hold while having to listen to a song you didn’t like, you understand why a business should carefully consider the music it chooses for its phone system. Interestingly, most small business owners invest heavily in developing their brand and improving customer service, yet focus much less on their callers’ experience while on hold. But, when you begin to consider the total amount of time that callers wait on hold, you can see the importance of making sure that this “airtime” is well-thought-out.

Poor choices for on hold music or no music at all can directly relate to increased caller hang-up rates and overall customer dissatisfaction. Music is a key component of your overall brand and should be aligned with your messaging, call flow and business image. So it makes good sense to fill on-hold silence with music that reflects your identity and is consistent with the caller experience you’re trying to achieve.

Align Music with Customer Preferences
If you own a western wear shop, it’s a no-brainer to play country music for your holding customers. But for most businesses, it’s typically not as clear. Music is definitely subjective, and it’s impossible to please everyone, all the time. But the goal with on-hold music should always be to align it with the tastes and preferences of the majority of your customers. Do you sell to a youthful market segment? Reggae or world music will most likely keep them entertained long enough for you to answer their calls. Businesses catering to high-net-worth clients will typically find more success with contemporary jazz or classical. While you might have a fondness for 1970s disco, the key is to choose on-hold music that will keep your customers in a good frame of mind while they wait for their call to be answered.

Tailor Music to the Callers’ Purpose
Beyond considering your brand image, it’s also important to think about what it is that your callers are trying to accomplish. Do you primarily have a sales line where customers call to place orders? The music should be energetic and engaging. Are they calling for technical help or to complain? To minimize their frustrations, you may want to choose something a little more soothing.

Keep It Fresh
To keep regular callers engaged, make sure to update your music selection from time to time. No customer wants to hear the same old song on every call. Changing the selection every month or so will be a welcome relief for those who are frequently calling. And, as your business evolves, you might find that you have to rethink your music choices to stay current with your customers and your industry.

Originally published Aug 25, 2010, updated Aug 12, 2020

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