Music On Hold Message Tips

Script ideas to impress callers and build your brand.

Make The Most Of Every Phone On Hold Opportunity

Waiting on hold is a fact of life, and part of doing business. It's safe to say that just about everyone has been on hold and just about no one likes it! It is up to you, the business owner or manager to do something about this fact. Music on hold or messages on hold is an affordable solution to the problem, but can be more than just "filler".

What is music on hold?

Basically, when we refer to "music on hold" we're talking about a licensed music background or music mixed with voiced announcements that playing 24/7 into your phone system. The only time music on hold is heard is when a hold button is depressed somewhere in your office.

Music on hold and auto-attendant: what's the difference?

Music on hold and auto-attendant are separate telephone system functions. When callers reach an automated attendant at your office, they're hearing announcements that are typically recorded into the phone system itself, and functions as part of the voice mail module of the phone system. This is part of the phone system is separate from the music on hold function. Auto attendant announcements are also referred to as IVR, ACR, call routing, call tree, phone tree or phone prompts.

Music on hold is increasingly necessary and desirable

Many surveys have shown that music on hold and on hold messaging are increasingly necessary and helpful to business callers. These surveys are often quoted by message on hold companies and are used liberally throughout the web to make the case for music on hold services. The best reason to use music on hold is that you may lose a caller who believes that silence indicates a dropped call or hang-ups due to unpleasant, unprofessional or irrelevant on hold content (as is the case with a radio station played on hold). Callers prefer to hear relevant information while they're holding.

  • Silence causes confusion (did they hang up on me?).
  • Radio allows other companies, including your competitors, to advertise to your client (not to mention it's illegal).
  • An outdated message puts your long-time customers on notice that things just aren't very fresh and new around your place.

Think about the message you want to send. Talk to the music on hold experts about easy solutions for keeping callers on the line with custom, professional messaging and great sounding music.

5 Ideas For Better On Hold Messages

Here are 5 solid ideas for putting on hold messages to work. That means callers are more engaged and more likely to respond, because you followed these key tips for successful on hold content.

There are 3 main avenues of commerce into just about every business: Your front door, the Internet and your phones. All are important, but the telephone is possibly the most overlooked gateway to your success. Phone time presents an ideal opportunity to escalate sales. Effective messages on hold improve business by communicating the latest and greatest to a captive audience already interested in doing business with you. Here are 5 vital tips for best practices in developing on hold messages the work.

woman reads script on microphone

Get To The Point

So if your message on hold script looks good on paper, or a website, then it's fine, right? Nope. Print copy is a much different beast than audio copy. Obviously, print copy appeals to the eye and can be read and re-read over and over again while skipping "non-essential" details. On Hold copy has to be approached differently. Callers don't have the advantage to self-edit. Say what needs to be said, and in a way that works for the EAR. Here's an example from a message on hold for a pest removal company:

"Moles. They can cause a lot of damage. You don't like moles, and neither do we. Let's get rid of 'em. We'll be right back to tell you how."

Know Your Average Hold Time

You should know, or at least have an educated guess, about the average length of hold time your callers experience. It could be 10 seconds; it could be six minutes. If callers stay on hold for a minute or longer, don't bombard them with a non-stop recitation of all you do. There's only so much a caller can absorb. Talk to your music and message on hold company about spacing out the voiced messages in a way that gives the caller some musical breaks between topics. Short hold times call for short, single-idea paragraphs. Longer hold times give you more options.

Update, Update, Update

You have a lot to deal with when it comes to marketing. Have Messages-on-Hold productions fallen down the priority list? You want your messages to be relevant and up-to-date, rather than bland and generic. Think about putting your current promotions and most important announcements in the spotlight. Plan ahead.

Call to Action!

If you are already changing and refreshing your audio regularly, you may sometimes hit a bit of a dry spell. If this happens, ask yourself, "What do I want my caller to do?" That will prompt a call to action that can not only spice up your on hold messages, but spark callers to do more business with you.

Have Fun!

Who says on hold messages have to be dull? Try one of these techniques to bring a little cheerfulness to your patient callers:

  • Play off the current season. Spring cleaning. Summer vacation. Fall sports. Holiday and New Year's Day. In content marketing it's called an editorial calendar. What's coming with the change of seasons?
  • What callers don't know. Introduce a really cool fact about your company that might raise an eyebrow (or two). You'll boost your hold message's entertainment value while making the audio more memorable.
  • Voices and sounds. Mix male and female voices in a conversation. Easy On Hold client Multipet International has a fun product to begin with: dog toys! It lends itself naturally to an entertaining twist:

After years of experience in the phone on hold industry, we can tell you that creating effective Messages on Hold audio presents its own unique challenges. Smart marketing calls for collaboration with professionals, so let's work together to "make the wait great"!