Having an on hold message, which is basically the message your callers hear while waiting to be served, is important because between 16% and 20% of callers make purchases based on the offers they get while on hold (according to Maxi Marketing), because the message brings down the call abandonment rate by as much as 90% and increases hold time by as much as 500% (according to Better Business Marketing), and because you are able to enhance your company’s and your brand’s reputation. Hold message is also important in that you will be able to promote new products/services, to motivate the callers to act, to talk about your strengths and specialties, to highlight achievements and awards, to promote your website, and to thank callers for waiting and to assure them that they will be served soon. You should be careful when choosing your On hold message since some hold messages do not connect with callers.
For answering machine recordings to be effective in connecting with callers, consider using available resources. You need not start from scratch to generate your on hold script. There are many resources that you could get from different sites, from brochures, and from marketing materials. The scriptwriter could get the wording for the script directly from such resources or he/she could get something complementary. You should particularly go for on hold scripts that have led to the success of other businesses.
For your hold music to connect with your callers, choose your tone carefully. You should take this message as your ‘virtual receptionist’, meaning the tone should be friendly. Voice selection is very important and it should be based on the type of business that you are running.
You should highlight your strength if your answering machine recordings are to connect with callers. It is only after you set your company apart from your competitors that the message will have the desired effect. Do not shy away from including recent recognition and awards as well as affiliations with prestigious associations in your answering machine recordings. You should also indicate if you are a member of consumer protection agencies such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This enables customers to see you and your business as being credible and reliable.
Do not overload your callers with information. Cramming too much information on your hold music such as detailing all the products that you have to sell will overwhelm the callers and you will not pass the intended message across. You should also avoid technical jargon. The message should be concise and it should have a memorable and catchy appeal. Do not forget to include a call to action such as telling the callers to buy from you, to visit your website, to ask questions, and to learn more about you.
You could connect with the callers by covering all the bases. Most callers are looking for simple information such as the hours of operation, your physical address, your fax number, and the URL of your website. You will save the caller’s time as well as your employee’s time if you include this information on the on hold message.