When callers are waiting to hear from a customer service representative at your business, they’re usually waiting on hold. What your company chooses to do during this hold time has a major impact on how the rest of the call will go, and how well appreciated your customer will feel. If you haven’t given your Message On Hold program much thought or aren’t sure what your callers think about it, here are 8 things to look out for:
1- You have no content. Really—if you’re not playing a hold program, you’re definitely making your customers angry. If they’re waiting for you in silence, they actually have no idea if they’re still on the line or if you’ve hung up on them. Nothing says, “I don’t actually care about your feelings as a customer” more than silence.
2- Your message only says, “Your call is important to us.” I’m sure that you do feel your callers are important, but saying it can be really annoying. Callers might not feel very important. By telling them they’re important, you’re actually making them feel LESS important.
3- You play your favorite music on hold. Unless you and your callers are very much alike, with identical taste preferences, they probably don’t like your favorite recording artist. Instead, choose music that’s appealing to your customers, even if it’s not your favorite.
4- You play the same message year-round. If you have frequent repeat callers, they’re going to be frustrated if they hear the same message, on loop, every time they call. Vary your content by season to make time spent on hold more enjoyable.
5- Your marketing is a series of advertisements with a yelling announcer. Trust me, that tactic gets old fast. Talk to your callers, not at them.
6- You don’t give callers alternate opportunities for receiving support. An increasing number of customers are welcoming new methods of contact from businesses. Popular strategies include call backs from a representative, email support, live chat, or directing callers to online FAQs and help articles. When you give callers a way to get off the phone and still receive assistance, it’s a win-win: they get the aid they’re looking for, and your phone lines are left free for more intensive issues.
7- You include how long callers will wait …but lie about it. If you’re anticipated hold time is 45 minutes, but your program says it will be 15 minutes, your rep won’t be dealing with a happy customer. Be honest, and see the previous tip for ways to reduce overall hold time.
8- Your audio is poor quality. If your hold program doesn’t sound good, you might as well not have it. Make sure your messages are professionally produced, your equipment is properly installed, and you are aware of what’s playing to callers.
Keeping your hold content productive, informative, and engaging is the best way to keep callers happy. Appropriate hold messages can help you go a long way in improving customer satisfaction.