How To Choose a Music On Hold Messages Provider

They're not all alike.

Looking for messages on hold for your business?

It happens to you every day. You call a business and are told to "please hold". Then you hear it: a fuzzy radio station, computer-generated music or the black hole of silence on hold. "This is terrible!" you think to yourself. Then you wonder, "What do people hear on hold when they call MY business"?

So you've decided it's time for a little help from a pro. You start your search online, but soon questions pop up. How much does it cost? How do messages get on my phone? What about the technology? How will I know if I'm being taken advantage of?

86% of us get placed on hold every time we call a business.

You're not alone.

Most businesses have ignored on-hold time most callers endure. A recent poll revealed that 86% of us get placed on hold every time we call a business. Yet most businesses have not decided what should be heard when the hold button is pushed. Do nothing and callers get silence or poor-quality "default music" that came with the phone system.

8 Important Questions

when choosing a message on hold company

  1. Is all content properly licensed? Some providers of "hold music" may refer to the music as "royalty free", but that does not necessarily mean the music is licensed for use on your phones. Ask if you are guaranteed to be defended if you receive a threatening letter from a performance rights organization.
  2. Do you need to know about my phone system? If the music and message on hold company you're interviewing seems uninterested in details about your phone system, think about moving on. Your telecom architecture is very important in determining how you will get the best results from your messages on hold. You might have a 2 or 4 line phone you purchased at an office supply store. These types of phones cannot play music on hold (with an exception we talk about here).
  3. Do I need to buy equipment? Find out if your phone system requires on-hold messages to be entered into an internal memory, in which case you may not need any equipment at all. Most VOIP off-site or hosted VOIP systems allow you to upload a file to the system. Some hosted VOIP systems will accept streaming live audio. Remember, you may not need equipment.
  4. Is this to be used as a marketing tool? A professional message on hold provider will ask you about who is calling your business. Are you taking orders? Answering questions? Taking care of patients? In any case, you've got a captive audience on that hold button. If you have a marketing team, they should get involved with the decisions regarding on hold content. If your strategy is to provide marketing messages on hold, your marketing team and your I.T. department or phone installer should be involved in the final decisions.
  5. Does it matter how long my hold times are? A reliable messages on hold company should ask how long your hold times are. If your company deals with long hold times, consider longer music segments and shorter voiced announcements. If hold times are short, consider keeping all messages brief and to the point.
  6. How are the messages changed and updated? Easy On Hold® allows messages to change by the minute, hour, day, week, etc. because of streaming message on hold technology. The problem with many providers is that the messages on hold are delivered in one long audio file that has to be detroyed and re-made whenever one of the included topics becomes stale. Even without streaming, the Easy On Hold® File Builder approach makes it more convenient to update messages.
  7. Is there a customer portal for requesting and managing messages? If the company you are interviewing to handle your messages on hold requires you to email or call every time you need service, consider moving on. Look for a handy customer online-portal that lets you change play dates, request changes, compose new messages, archive old scripts, re-use scripts, preview and approve scripts and audio, etc. This is all included when you work with Easy On Hold®
  8. Can you hear it before you buy it? Typically, message on hold providers will play an audio sample of messages on hold they've produced for other businesses. That doesn't really show you what your audio will sound. A custom demo, made from scratch and specifically about your business, provides a high level of confidence in moving forward with your message on hold provider. Listen for customized content, how the music works with the voice, and ask about how to go about modifying the script and the music. Did the script speak to the caller, or was it all fluff and corporate-speak? Don't let the script writer get away with using a boring template.Also, consider how the production process was handled. Were deadlines met?

The Difference In Music

Have you ever heard of production music? The term refers to a library of original compositions controlled by music publishers, licensed to individual producers or production companies for limited use. The music used by on hold messages providers is typically from one of these production libraries. Which library is used will make all the difference

As you can imagine, some of these tunes are amateur. Some are "OK" and some are amazing. There has been a proliferation of production music libraries in recent years, including "royalty free" music. Be forewarned that "royalty free" music means that the on hold message company does not pay licensing, which leaves you on the hook for signing up with ASCAP, BMI, and other performance rights organizations.

Easy On Hold® maintains a long-term agreement with the world's largest music producer. Sample hold music tracks from our 100,000 song library. The creative team behind this music also produces music for Muse, The Rolling Stones, Rihanna, Bon Iver, The Gaslight Anthem, Vampire Weekend, Jordan Sparks, Shawn Mullins, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Masterchef, X Factor, Dancing With The Stars, BBC television, Captain America, ESPN, The Good Wife, Fox TV Network... the list goes on and on. If you aren't finding exactly what you want, we will get it for you.

Service and Support

Here are some service and support features to look for when choosing a messages and music on hold company.

  • You will love what you hear. We continue to revise your production until you love it. Some companies will give you two revisions. For example, ours are unlimited. If you're not 100 percent happy with it, we know you won't be at peace and you won't recommend us. Did you really win in that scenario? No, and neither did we if you think about it. So we keep honing it until you say it's perfect.
  • You will be contacted periodically. It's annoying when you sign up for something and feel forgotten. You'll receive personal phone calls from our Account Management Team, dedicated to your ongoing satisfaction. You'll hear about strategies and topics we are created that you might want to use. Our automation will send you timely texts and emails to let you know when a particular message is about to become out-of-date.
  • 24-7 Support. This one separates the professionals from the amateurs. Easy On Hold® provides 24-7, full time technical support. We have been awarded the trademark: The Music On Hold Experts.

What are other customers saying?

Every company is likely to eventually get a bad review right? Well, after 22 years, it hasn't happened yet to Easy On Hold®. Some others in our industry have Google reviews like, "I’ve since called and emailed probably 6 times over the last 3 weeks to follow up and she doesn’t have the ability to even return an email." And, "I am reporting them to the Florida Better Business Bureau and Attorney General of Florida."

Another company has reviews like, "Reps have a very very bad attitude." and "Staff is not trained properly." These are not listed on the Better Business Bureau site, so it's best to check around for different ratings.

Here are some reviews we received here at Easy On Hold®:

"Simply amazing! Seriously, the best service from anyone that I have ever worked with! Thank you so much, please personally thank your team from all of us here at Midwest. The staff loved it and the customers asked us questions because of it! I will undoubtedly recommend your service to anyone that I discuss this topic with. The recordings were perfect and with all this service, and we could not be more satisfied."

Ken Lewis, Midwest Photo Exchange

"Shaw's experience with Easy On Hold has been very positive. Each time we have worked on detailed projects, there has been a strong commitment to meeting our requirements. In addition, Easy On Hold has engaged Shaw to understand our business and while providing leadership and best practices for managing our marketing message. Easy On Hold provides a consistent, brand specific voice. We have been updating messages for several years and the experience for our callers through these changes has remained constant."

Pam Holder, Customer Service/Logistics Business Solutions Shaw Industries Group Inc.

"Spotlight Pages has used many voice over and on hold companies from around the world. Easy on hold is the best if not the best in the world voice over and on hold music we’ve had the pleasure of working with in years. The employees are very patient, diligent and friendly. We can’t find one problem with their service, it’s an impeccable program. If you need voice over or on hold music, I highly recommend them! Our company and it’s 1600+ employees wants to thank Easy On Hold, we ALL trust you with our business."

Amber Hicks and the Spotlight Pages Team