We say it time and time again—to create interesting, effective audio marketing, you have to know your audience. For IVR announcements and Messages On Hold to be effective, it’s important to know your callers. If you don’t already, how can you figure them out?
- Estimate how long your average hold time is. Don’t lie to yourself—be accurate. This will impact the length of your Message On Hold program, which can be crucial to keeping callers on the line.
- Create personas for your average callers. Their age, where they’re from, what they do, why they call—all of these things are factors you should consider. You should be able to envision a few types of callers that your on hold marketing will speak to effectively.
- Match regional speech patterns. If your callers have a southern accent, don’t seek a voice over talent who only speaks like he’s from Brooklyn. In general, a voice over should have a neutral accent that incorporates regional pronunciations.
- Keep track of what callers ask when you take them off hold. Do you see any trends? These questions can be incorporated into your hold messages.
- Don’t force your own tastes on your callers. Even if you absolutely love classical music, your listeners might not. They might find it so irritating that they hang up—and don’t call back. Choose music that is appealing to your callers and complimentary to your message, voice talent, and your business.
- Don’t present too much information. Callers on hold have a tolerance level, and you should be sensitive to it. At some point, they will “shut off” because your IVR menu is too long or your marketing messages are overwhelming. Keep your IVR options short and remember: less is more.
If you’re really not sure if your telephone experience is right for your callers, ask them. There are a number of customer service survey techniques that will help you decide if you’re on the right track, or headed in the wrong direction.