How To Write Annoying Message On Hold Scripts
It’s easy to write a message on hold script that turns people off! If you’re the caller who has been placed on hold, you’re already annoyed. Who likes to hold? Then there’s the drone of awful synthesizer music, layered with a voiceover that is completely focused on making sure you know that the company you called is really, really great. If your message on hold script is a “tell-and-sell” piece all about you and not about the caller, then congratulations. You’ve written an annoying script.
Here we will focus on 5 common mistakes in writing message on hold scripts.
Message On Hold Scripts Must Be Carefully Written
Marketing blogger Doug Rice notes, “People love to buy, but they hate being sold.” When callers are placed on hold at your business, does it sound like you’re making a sales pitch? It makes sense to talk about your business, your promotions, even current sales events. It takes a skillful and experienced writer to come up with message on hold scripts that are meaningful and well-received.
There’s writing that is meant to be read with the eyes, and another kind of writing that is meant to be heard with the ear. If your company brochure or website looks good, it still may not “sound” good when read aloud. Listening involves many variables:
- Voice tone and inflection
- Speaking pace
- Length of sentences
- The listener’s environment
Let’s take a look at a “typical” on hold message script and see if we can make it better!
“Known for our world-class customer service and decades of experience, ABC Company ensures all its customers have the very best grills, patios, landscaping and other amenities perfect for summertime entertaining.”
Here are 5 problems with this script:
- Very few people use words like, ‘ensures’ or ‘amenities’ in everyday language. Non-conversational words can be off-putting.
- Clearly, this script is about ABC Company, not the caller. Keeping the caller’s interest, even during a short on hold message script, is job #1. Ben Franklin said, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” What is the ratio of “my” or “our” to “you” and “yours”? That shows where the focus lies.
- The script doesn’t paint an interesting picture or involve the caller in the scene. Words can be powerfully arranged to ignite the listener’s imagination. The brilliant marketing mind, Roy H. Williams says, “Describe what you want the listener to see, and she will see it. Cause her to imagine taking the action you’d like her to take, and you’ve brought her much closer to taking the action. The secret of persuasion lies in our skillful use of action words.”
- The script uses a “laundry list.” What’s a “laundry list”? A printed form that you filled out when you took clothes to the laundry. Lists are for shopping, chores, and other laborious things. In writing, a “laundry list” is a tiresome list of items the author is trying to cram into a single paragraph or sentence. Making lists effectively groups items into a single, unimportant pile that is most often ignored. Even worse, hearing someone read a list is hard on the ear.
- The script breaks the rule “never bury the lead.” That old newspaper phrase describes the mistake of “hiding” the main point of the story. (“The car, light blue with a small crack in the windshield, drove off the cliff.”) Using complex sentence structure automatically makes it hard for the caller to get the result – which is buried in the 2nd half of the sentence.
Now, let’s rewrite that paragraph:
“Is your backyard ready for prime-time? We’ll help you create the perfect oasis for chillin’, grillin’ and making great memories with your friends and family. With your ideas and our expertise, you’ll love the results. And your guests will too.”
The opening question gets the listener’s attention. The main point is up front (“create the perfect oasis”). The words stimulate the imagination (verbs like chillin’ and grillin’ and making memories). The sentences are quite short and represent little ideas that can be easily picked up by the ear.
Leave It To The Experts
The good news is, you don’t have to be a superb message on hold script writer. That’s what we do.
Latest posts by Tim Brown (see all)
- Unplugged: Digital MOH For Call Center Platforms - August 26, 2020
- Hold Music or Messages On Hold? - August 21, 2020
- Guide To The Best Professional Voicemail Greeting Recordings - April 30, 2020