Easy On Hold | Blog - ucaas-messages-on-hold

UCaaS On Hold Message Files Fall Short


The legacy PBX, that stalwart on-premise business tool, is riding off into the sunset. Copper lines, punch-down blocks, and desk phones are becoming obsolete. We are in the age of UCaaS, Unified Communications as a Service. Of course, there are benefits and opportunities that come with a cloud communications platforms, but let’s get honest about a major feature gap among most platforms: the only way to program hold messages and music is by using UCaaS on hold message files.

Why switch to UCaaS?

The reasons to move away from a legacy system to a cloud service are many.

  • PBX support is going away. Our company, Easy On Hold, serves thousands of companies using hundreds of different communications solutions. When some of our legacy PBX customers have had issues with programming phones and configuration, we’ve searched high and low for techs out in the field who can help. There are few:

Fewer Trained Technicians As the time clock continues, the number of technicians with the knowledge and skill to troubleshoot a legacy system decreases.

No Jitter article
  • Hosted VoIP phone services offer more features:

In terms of features, landlines are no match against VoIP. If you prefer having more control over your calling experience, VoIP telephones are your best bet.

  • Remote working demands a cloud solution. Because a cloud phone platform works on the internet, something most employees have at home, your business can easily set up remote workers:

Due to the global pandemic and sudden office closures, it was a shift that happened almost overnight. By the end of 2020, 71% of employed Americans who could do their jobs remotely were working from home.

Biteable article
  • Cloud communication ties together many avenues customers can use to reach your business:

Cloud communication is complete bundle of communication services. It includes telephony, instant messaging, video conferencing and any other form of communication that is included in the bundle.

Business News Daily

The UCaaS Feature Gap

With your old PBX phone system, a music on hold player (or MOH device) could receive a stream of continuous, programmable music on hold message audio that was simply “plugged in.” However, that new cloud platform is no longer on-premise. There’s no place to plug in your message on hold machine. In its place, most platforms offer the option to upload an audio file for callers to hear while they’re holding. The files-only hold music and message solution is terribly inadequate, though.

New phone platform? You still need messages on hold!

Moving from an on-site phone system to a UCaaS or cloud platform does not eliminate the need for hold music and messages. Professional hold messages improve business. Even when the UCaaS sales team tells you their system reduces hold time, it would be a mistake to abandon meaningful customer experiences during transfer and agent hold. Continue to use customized scripts, music, and voice working in-queue to build caller trust and keep customers from hanging up.

UCaaS On Hold Message Files – Myths, Warnings and Ideas!


MYTH #1: The new UCaaS service “includes hold music” so you don’t need a music service. Be skeptical. Is your service provider a professional message on hold provider? No. Do you want to play the “default” music tracks that come with the phone platform? No. Do they offer licensed content? Who knows?

MYTH #2: The new UCaaS service eliminates hold time. That’s false. Remember, your callers want to talk to a person. A call routing system cannot guarantee that every caller will reach the person they want to talk to. Often, after reaching a human there is additional wait time while the call request is handled.

MYTH #3: The new UCaaS service has a “callback” feature, so no one holds. False again. Please read the blog, Using Queue Callback Feature Won’t Eliminate Hold Time. Not every caller wants a callback. Transfer and wait times on hold are common in systems that use this feature. Know the facts on this one!

MYTH #4: You can load any music you want your callers to hear. In reality, that is not exactly true, since you are responsible for all mechanical and performance rights needed to play music on hold. More tips on using your “own” music are in the article Royalty Free Hold Music: It’s Not What You Think It Is. If you’re playing an mp3 you bought online or ripped from a CD you may be in for a shock. We recommend a licensed business music service as offered by Easy On Hold.

UCaaS On Hold Message Files Warnings

WARNING #1: Most UCaaS on hold message files start from the beginning every time a caller calls in or is placed on hold. You call a business and your call is being transferred. You hear the first 20 seconds of a hold message. The agent puts you on hold, you hear the same 20 seconds again. Your call is transferred elsewhere, and the same message plays again. Frustrating. We wonder, why is it so? If you can use a live streaming message on hold service, you can eliminate the repetition.

WARNING #2: “Generic” messages on hold can do more harm than good. First you discover that the UCaaS on hold message files are going to require your time and attention, you abondon the idea of changing the file often. Therefore you likely decide to play someing “generic,” such as “thank you” greetings and meaningless “your call is important” announcements. In our paper, The On Hold Dilemma: How to Build Brand Loyalty During Customer Wait Times, we quote a study from the Carey School of Business that revealed what your callers don’t want to hear:

The (2015) Arizona State University Annual W.P. Carey School of Business Customer Rage Survey reported that “almost three quarters of customers identify the telephone as their primary channel for solving their most serious problems.” The survey also reported that the number one thing people don’t
want to hear when they call customer service is, “Your call is important to us, please continue to hold.”

NBC News 12/14/2016


IDEA #1: Use multiple caller experiences. An existing customer and a potential customer have different needs. Demonstrate you understand your callers by talking about topics that are important to them. Of course, Easy On Hold may be able to introduce automated streaming messages that do all the work for you.

IDEA #2: Get the facts about the limitations of your UCaaS on hold message files, talk to the music on hold experts™ about the maximum file size, file length, file format and possibility of using multiple files. This information may open up some opportunities for improvement.

IDEA #3: Know your hold times. What is the average hold time? Can you estimate the maximum time callers are holding? Are there peak times? Knowing hold times can be very helpful in designing your UCaas on hold messages files scripts and music, and how the sound elements interact to present the best caller experience.

UCaaS On Hold Message Files are Not Ideal

If you’re reading this, you probably have already concluded that the UCaaS default hold music has got to go! You’re ready to think about your callers’ needs, and the experience you can offer even for short wait times.

Perhaps you have not yet chosen which UCaaS platform to use. Think about the caller experience and reject a platform that forces you to use files. A streaming on hold message solution will free you and your techs of the responsibility of changing files. Just log on to your Easy On Hold customer portal and set the schedule months in advance.

When upgrading to a modern communications platform, don’t take a step back in time with your UCaaS on hold message files. There is a better way!

Get the latest from Easy On Hold

Get free resources, news, and tips to help improve your customer experiences in our monthly newsletter.