Do you know what your callers are doing while they’re on hold? If they hear silence, more than half will likely just hang up, and a third will never call back. Unprofessional or poorly scripted on hold messages will have a similar effect. The reality is that you can easily lose customers by not capturing their attention while they’re waiting to speak to you. And this can have a direct impact on your business’ bottom line.
While you don’t want to leave callers holding for lengthy spans of time, a memorable message can help keep customers and prospects both informed and entertained. Here are few ideas for maximizing this opportunity to simultaneously project your brand image and reduce hang-ups.
Reinforce Your Marketing Message
Communicating your marketing message certainly means telling callers about your products or services and their features. However, the brief time that a caller is on hold is also the chance to delve into your business’ unique personality through a brand voice. A professional message delivered in a style and sound that fits your business can be incredibly powerful and can support other marketing initiatives.
Share a Success Story
Another particularly impactful way to add some character to your on hold message is to share a customer success story. A customer’s heartfelt testimonial can establish rapport and build credibility. By delivering it as a brief story, your caller’s attention can be captured long enough to ensure that they won’t hang up.
Upsell a Product or Service
Your customers are probably unaware of everything that you have to offer and will appreciate having the opportunity to learn more. Suggestive selling, even in a 30-second on hold message, can be surprisingly effective.
Announce a Sale or Promotion
Your on hold message is a highly useful tool for announcing any current or upcoming sales or promotions. By giving your callers the details and a call to action on how they can take advantage of the savings, you will dramatically increase your odds of keeping them on the line until you’re able to take the call.
Make Them Laugh
Depending on the type of business you have, adding some humor to your on hold message can differentiate you in the minds of your callers. They’ll appreciate having a good laugh and may even tell others to call just to hear the message!
What’s your on hold message? We’d love to hear about it.
Originally published Jul 19, 2010, updated Aug 12, 2020