Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

On Hold Experiment


Holdcom was recently involved in a fantastic customer service experiment. One of our long time clients hadn’t updated their message on hold program in over a year. Since the majority of their callers were return customers, they were curious whether their customers listened to the message or “tuned out” while waiting on hold.

We designed a program that sounded similar to the original, but included a short, quiet prompt describing a limited-offer discount if the caller met certain qualifications. After re-recording the prompt with the same voice talent, we loaded the program and waited.

Several days later we received a flustered call from the client. Her client relations department was being inundated with customers asking if they were qualified for the discount! Even after a year of hearing the same message, customers still paid enough attention to distinguish a minute change in the program!

She learned a tried and true lesson that the customer is always listening. Once a business establishes brand loyalty with a customer, it is as if the customer becomes an “unofficial” employee, advocating the brand through word of mouth or self-advertisement [for example, wearing a specific brand of shoe]. In this case, the callers were paying attention to the message on hold program as the “bulletin board” of their favorite business.

By establishing a dialogue with customers, businesses tap into a community of fans whose feedback is highly valuable – that can lead to a mutual development of a product, produced by a business, molded by customers.

Tags: audio marketing, customer service, on hold communication