Your on-hold messages should be actively engaging and working on marketing your business. The right messaging allows your callers to get to know your brand, history, and story. Businesses are like people, they are constantly changing and evolving. As a result, your audio brand needs to play a significant and complementary role in branding your website, social media, and marketing materials.
When it comes to creating creative on-hold messages, intentionality is important. What you share with customers in that brief time between when they begin a call and when they reach a customer service agent is essential. It should engage, inform, and even sell. But this will only help if you strategically create a script that connects with your callers.
The next time you update your on-hold messages, which you should do on a regular basis, we recommend you try getting creative with your messages. Below, we will discuss how to get your on-hold messages working harder and examples of 25 creative ways you can improve your on-hold messages.
How to Get Your On-Hold Messages Working Harder
Your on-hold messages play an essential part in your company’s marketing and sales. It works 24/7, and therein lies the problem. Businesses tend to forget about their on-hold messaging until it becomes out-of-date and customers begin commenting on it.
As a result, we recommend you regularly listen to your on-hold messages to see if information needs to be updated. We also recommend you research some on-hold messages online, especially from your industry. You can compare them to your current strategy and find ways to improve and make your messaging more engaging and effective.
How to Craft a Creative On-Hold Message
When people call your business, they hear your on-hold messages. But are they really listening? Crafting an effective, creative on-hold message can be difficult, especially with so much bad advice out there about what you should and shouldn’t say. Unfortunately, phrases like “thanks for calling” and “we’ll be with you shortly” aren’t doing you or your business any favours.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, follow the steps below to craft more effective and creative on-hold messages:
1: Set a Specific Goal for Each On-Hold Message
The best way to tell if your on-hold messaging campaign is working is to evaluate if it is helping you achieve your goals. Consider why you invested in your on-hold messaging system in the first place. Did you want to:
- Build your brand?
- Increase sales?
- Sound professional?
- Prevent/decrease hang-ups?
Your on-hold marketing can do all of these, but you will need to tailor messages to meet each specific goal. Focus on one goal per message in order to convert callers more effectively.
2: Focus on the Caller
Your callers have reached your on-hold messages for a reason – they need something. They don’t care about why you invested in on-hold marketing. Good on-hold messaging strategies should benefit your business and the customer. While your aim is to convert your caller into a customer, you have to give them a reason to convert. So you need to review your on-hold messages and examine if they are:
- Adding value
If your messages don’t pass these basic questions, you need to rework them to ensure you’re catering to your caller’s best interests. By focusing on the caller, you are more likely to convert them into customers, meaning you both win.
3: Know Your Audience
It’s incredibly important to know who your target audience is. If you sell nappies, then your audience is likely to be new parents. So you need to craft your on-hold marketing strategy around what this demographic would want from your company and your product.
By sitting down and clearly defining your target market and identifying their wants and needs, you can create a targeted on-hold messaging service and understand how creative you can get. More serious sectors like law and finance may need to keep their messages brief and to the point. In comparison, more creative sectors, like web design, have wiggle room to create some funny on-hold messages. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, which is why you need to assess your audience and see what will appeal to them most and what will help convert them.
4: Always Add a Call-to-Action to Your On-Hold Messages
What are your callers doing after hearing your message? If they are not sent to a customer service agent, then what? Every on-hold message must have a purpose, and ending with a strong Call-to-Action (CTA) gives you a better chance of converting your callers. It’s important that you make your CTAs clear and specific. Don’t just assume your callers will ask about whatever they heard about while they were on hold.
If callers need to speak to a specific customer service agent, RSVP to an event, ask for a discount, request a specific service, etc., you need to make it easy to take advantage of what you’re offering. Sit back and picture what you want the caller to do after they hear your message, and then craft your on-hold message and CTA around this.
5: Keep Your On-Hold Messages Brief
No matter how long your average on-hold time is, you need to keep your messages short and to the point. We recommend around 45-75 words or 15-25 seconds. This way, you are providing your customers with plenty of information without putting too much into a single message. The more detailed and technical a message, the less your caller will remember. Less is always more.
6: Think Creatively
The aim of this blog is to create creative on-hold messages, which is why we encourage you to think out of the box! Avoid the traditional on-hold message of dull music punctuated with “we’ll be with you shortly”. Modern on-hold messages can be so much more. Do you have helpful tips for clients? Advice? Do you have a new blog you can direct them to read after their call or a new service they might be interested in? These are all fantastic things to play while your customer is on hold. Updating your customer on the weather, the latest news headlines, or playing new commercial music are also easy ways to refresh your on-hold messages.
You can also update your on-hold messages to match seasonal holidays and events. New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Easter, Halloween, Melbourne Cup, and Christmas all give you great options to add a fun little holiday flair to your messages.
7: Ask for Feedback at Every Point
Getting feedback is incredibly important. Without feedback, your business cannot improve or grow. Gather feedback from your callers and clients by giving them a survey while they wait or after they call. This will help you improve your on-hold messaging and improve your conversion rate.
Below are examples of 25 creative ways you can improve your on-hold messaging.
1. At Halloween, you can add some fun, spooky sound effects to your on-hold messages. Or try some fun Halloween music. Who doesn’t love The Monster Mash?
2. Easter is the perfect time to play with words. Exchange “come” with “hop” and “shop” with “hunt” as just an example. Have some fun and play around. Easter is a time to have a lot of fun.
3. Holiday specific greetings are always welcome. Christmas and New Year’s are the perfect time to add holiday-specific greetings. Whether you wish people a “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy Holidays”, adding some seasonal cheer is always welcome. And wishing your callers a “Happy New Year” is always a lovely addition to your on-hold messaging.
4. Holidays are the perfect time to promote your sales. Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year, and EOFY sales can all be added to your on-hold messages and might just be the CTA that will turn your caller into a customer.
5. Does your company work closely with the armed forces? Adding a message on ANZAC day and Remembrance Day in honour of our fallen troops would be a beautiful, respectful sentiment towards your clients.
6. Again, holidays are a great time to change your music. Halloween, Christmas and even Australia Day make for great times to change your on-hold music to suit the season.
7. Refresh your old music in favour of newer commercial music. It might cost a little more, but your callers will appreciate the change. Try to refresh your music regularly, especially if you’re in a service-based industry where customers will call more than once.
News and Events
8. Do you support a local sports team? Congratulate them on a recent win or great season. Or, if it’s the AFL, soccer, cricket, or tennis season, you can update your caller on the latest scores – especially if your staff support one team or player!
9. Do you support a local charity or charities? You can boost community awareness by telling your customers how you give back to the community and how they can help too.
Business Specific Messages
10. While callers are on hold, you can inform them about important trends and other information about your industry. This can be important for both new and old clients as it updates old clients on new industry information while teaching new clients about your industry.
11. Have you added a new product or service? Let your callers know in your on-hold message! You may just convert them into a client or sell your new product.
12. Have your hours of operation changed? Updating your website and Google My Business is essential, but so is your on-hold messaging. Callers might not know your hours have changed until you call, so updating your hours to your on-hold messages is important.
13. Have you opened a new location or have a grand opening announcement? These are fantastic to add to on-hold messages. If callers are looking for brick and mortar locations, they might just find you’ve opened a new location close to them!
14. Have you changed any policies regarding your business, or do you have any specific promotions or limited-time deals? Add these to your on-hold messages as some customers might not visit your website or join your email campaign to find out about this information.
15. You can use your on-hold messaging to highlight a recent blog. After all, you work hard on your blogs, and you want everyone to read them. And blogs provide useful information to your callers that could convert them into clients, so don’t be afraid to direct your callers towards a blog.
16. Has your business or a staff member won a recent award? Don’t be afraid to brag! Awards show potential clients that you are being awarded by your industry and, as a result, can be trusted. This makes them more likely to convert.
17. Do you offer any perks for client referrals? Make sure to mention this in your messages. People love little perks and rewards!
18. Does your business use social media? You can always promote your social media accounts while your customers are on-hold.
19. On-hold messages are a great time to tell clients about your business. You can tell callers about how your business began and how you’ve gotten to where you are. It allows the caller to connect to the people behind the business and make them feel better about working with your business.
Use Voice Talent
20. The voice talent you use is essentially the brand of your business. So when choosing your voice talent for your on-hold messaging, ensure they represent your business. It is also important to review your voice talent to ensure they still represent your business or if you need to have your messaging rerecorded.
21. If your business caters to families or children, such as a paediatrician or dentist, having a child actor voice your on-hold message alone or alongside an adult voice actor can bring a charming aspect to your on-hold messages.
22. Letting callers know what your support channels are can be exceptionally helpful. Often callers are looking for help or support regarding a product or service, and, rather than connecting to a salesperson, they need a support person. By offering a number or email address for a support service can save you from frustrated customers and get them the help they need.
23. Further, letting customers know that you have in store support/repair services/trained engineers can save them from sitting on hold. Instead, they can come in store for support.
24. Thanking callers for holding is important and common courtesy. But there’s no need to do it excessively.
25. When thanking your callers, ensure callers know that they are appreciated and that you will be with them as soon as possible.
Your on-hold messages give you an opportunity to engage with your callers. We hope these suggestions will help you reassess your current messages and how they can better serve you. Image Online offers expert services, including improved caller experience with on-hold messaging services. Contact our team today for more information on how we can help you convert more callers into clients.