Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Customer Feedback Affects Telephone Hold Messages

Have you ever heard the Muppets sing Mahna Mahna? If not, watch the video below before reading the rest of this post. You’ll want the perspective going forward. It’s a delightful little tune… for a few seconds. When it’s the hold music for your software company’s tech support line, though, it might not be very effective.

This is a true story: A tech support line for a software solution we use in our offices really had Mahna Mahna—and ONLY that song—on hold. I caught a few seconds of it during a brief hold one day, but never called tech support often enough for it to be a problem. Then, when I was in the company’s forum, I noticed that someone posted about this very irritating hold music. And he asked, “Is This Company’s Hold Music Intentional? Are they trying to get people to hang up?"

Big Problem. It turns out, tech support thought it was fun and their average hold time is under a minute, so it can’t be that irritating, right? Wrong. Responses flooded in—no one liked this hold music.

So what’s a software company to do? Although representatives from the company stopped responding in the forum, when I called tech support a few weeks later, I noticed a change in the on hold programming. Instead of incessant Muppet singing, the company’s customer podcast was playing. I have to say, when I heard it I was surprised—and relieved.

The Lesson:

Listen to your customers. Just because you or your staff thinks your on hold marketing is working, it doesn’t mean you’re actually making the right decision. Listening to your customers is key. If you’re hearing customer service complaints, be sure to respond appropriately and fix any problems you see. If your hold music seems to be the problem (and if Twitter is any indication, it often is), consider changing your music and replacing it with useful content—special promotions, seasonal events, company history, hours of operation. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to deliver marketing messages to a captive audience.


Download our Guide To Effective Scriptwriting for Message On Hold and Telephony Applications to learn more about crafting on hold messages that keep callers engaged.

Tags: Message On hold, audio marketing, Music On hold