Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Have Some Chicken Soup While Waiting On Hold

Hospital Waiting RoomChicken soup, toast, and a good night’s rest – these are the treatments prescribed by Mom to cure any fever. Throughout our childhoods, Mom has been a bastion of love and care, always ready with a boiling pot of tea.

But then we grow up, and it’s time for us to leave home for travel, study, or work. Inevitably, the first sign of a cold strikes – maybe a headache or a stuffy nose – and Mom is miles away.

Holdcom Production Team Member Joe Blakely was a freshman at Towson University when he had to tackle the fever – or “plague,” as he called it – on his own for the first time. His only option was the University Medical Center, which could only be reached by trudging across campus through snow and bitter wind. When he arrived, the nurse took his temperature – 104 degrees – and said that the only thing they could do was give him some Advil. With that accomplished, the nurse went back to her office.

After waiting for an hour without anyone following up, he decided that his condition was serious enough that he had to go to the hospital. The doctors there were attentive; they made sure he had fluids, called his parents, and took the time to assist him when he wasn’t sure of his insurance information.

Both the University Medical Center and the Hospital knew that the fever had to pass on its own; however, the latter made sure he was comfortable and walked him through the process, while the former left him to flounder on his own.

Many businesses forget that first time customers need guidance. When calling in or visiting a website, many customers do not know how to navigate the plethora information presented. When waiting in silence, or looking at a webpage filled with text and graphics, their confusion is compounded. The best way to retain first time customers, while encouraging them to ask the right questions, is to be attentive and informative – feats which are accomplished through MOH programs or virtual tours.

For example, Joe did not have experience handling insurance. If he called in, a message on hold could have addressed issues relating to insurance, while listing individuals to ask for / contact for more information. A website could offer suggestions on do-it-yourself “cures for the cold,” such as recipes for chicken soup. All of these above and beyond demonstrate that your company is listening to your clients, instead of treating them like “just another patient in the waiting room.”

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Tags: Message On hold, healthcare, audio marketing