Into the vast lexicon of business and marketing acronyms, I now humbly offer... HTO, Hold Time Optimization. I understand it's not as shiny, sexy and relatively new as what you will see in it's sister phrase (maybe step-sister), SEO (that's Search Engine Optimization for those that might not yet traveled to the Land of Doing Business on the Internet), but it's every bit as relevant.
Over simplified, SEO shows you how to make your website relevant so it will attract relevant visitors that ultimately will grow the organization which it represents. Website SEO means offering content on your website that will interest your target audience, or people that might know or do business with your target audience. It means being informative, entertaining and up to date. It means continually providing your website visitors with something of value, so they stay and come back often. Well you get the point, if you hadn't already.
So what's HTO? Hold Time Optimization shows you how to make your telephone hold time RELEVANT so it will, ultimately, help grow your business or organization. However, unlike the website visitor experience where someone may click and stay or go at will, the hold time visitor is generally a captive audience. Assuming waiting a few moments on hold to reach their intended callee is worth it to them, they will wait and listen. But listen to what?
Just as it's no longer enough to have a flashy website that says nothing or never changes, it's not enough to just plug in a radio tuner or CD player for your hold time callers to hear. Content is also king when it comes to Hold Time Optimization. Like SEO you want to start with what your organization offers: products, services, support information, general background, but that's the beginning. Like current effective SEO, HTO needs to be authentic and current. Here's a chance to tell, briefly, the story of your organization, background information, key personnel, new programs, related industry information, and whatever makes your organization unique. And keep it current and keep it up to date.
Like SEO, you can do it yourself. At Holdcom, we did it ourselves for years, but eventually to do it right we needed help. If you're ready for HTO, and by that I mean are you ready to truly leverage the time your callers spend on hold instead of annoying them with silence or irrelevant music, talk to a company that specializes in making your telephone hold time work for your business.