Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

How Much Can I Say On Hold? (Part 2)

Ball of NumbersPart 1 of this article discussed what kind of content you can fit into Messages On Hold of certain lengths, based on words per minute. A complete Message On Hold program will include music and marketing messages. On average, our clients request 4-minute-long Message On Hold programs. In part 1, I divided the 4 minute program into messages of 15, 30, or 60 seconds in length. How do you decide how long a section of narration should be?

  1. Consider your average hold time. If your callers are on hold under a minute, it’s probably a good idea to write a script with short bits of content that will last 15 – 30 seconds. If you have a longer holdtime, you can incorporate some longer spoken sections.
  2. Take caller preferences into account. Your customers know what they want to hear on hold. And often, they’re pretty vocal about it. If you hear that callers love your hold music, consider using shorter messages and playing more music in between. If your callers say your long paragraphs of voice are boring, spruce up the copy or switch to shorter paragraphs. Demographics can matter, too. If your client is a young, on-the-go professional, he might prefer short, specific messages while a retiree could be more intrigued by messages that provide denser information.
  3. Examine your objectives. You can't have a successful on hold marketing program if you don't have objectives. Maybe you will direct callers to self-service areas, drive traffic to your website, or encourage callers to connect with you on social media. Some questions to ask yourself: Do you want to tell many stories about your business, or would you like to focus on a few detailed offerings?  Will you be taking a soft or hard sales approach? What specific information do you want your callers to hear the most on hold? If you start writing your script with clear objectives in mind, it will be easy to organize your content into paragraphs of appropriate length.

Not every paragraph of your script has to be the same length. In fact, it can be more interesting if you vary the amount of information you deliver. You’ll still want to keep the other factors in mind, especially average hold time, but it’s okay to mix different lengths of speech. Combining short and long paragraphs creates a dynamic on hold experience for your callers.

Free Download:  Guide to Effective Scriptwriting for Message On Hold and Telephony

Tags: resources, message on hold, tips