Keepin’ Them Happy On Hold

Why do companies advertise? According to a recent study, 93% of the average marketing/advertising budget is spent to entice potential customers to call. The mindset is this: consumer is interested, consumer calls, salesperson answers, and salesperson sells. Unfortunately this simplistic view ignores a critical step; the consumer goes on hold.

Now consider this: 70% of all business callers are placed on-hold at some point in this critical interaction with a company. So before your sales team ever gets to speak with a potential customer, the caller has been introduced to the company via on-hold messaging. This messaging is critical in three ways: retention, information and branding.

On-hold messaging is used to keep callers on the line. In fact, callers stay on the line 25% longer when listening to on-hold messaging vs. silence or background music. That additional time could be the difference between making a sale and losing a customer permanently. The same study indicates that one out of every three people who hang up while on hold never call back.

It’s obviously important to retain customers, but high quality on-hold messaging not only keeps the caller’s attention but also informs them. On-hold messaging can deliver product information directly to the ear of the consumer. It seems counterintuitive, but most consumers actually prefer to hear product information as opposed to other hold options. By mentioning a product in on-hold messaging, businesses experience a 20% increase in requests for additional information regarding that product. Clearly, consumers want to be informed and on-hold messaging is an ideal outlet for the information.

Certainly, on-hold messaging improves the quality of consumer phone calls, but it can have much greater consequence. To the first time caller, on-hold messaging is their introduction to the brand. It is a golden opportunity to demonstrate a company’s humorous side or commitment to high quality. Whatever the brand, on-hold messaging can effectively differentiate it from the competition.

On-hold messaging is more than a simple suggestion; it is vital to creating customers out of callers.