A bank or credit union's telephone system is often an integral part of customer service. Clients will use an automated phone system to check account balances and members with more complicated inquiries wait on hold for support. During these critical moments on the phone, businesses in the financial industry have the chance to create brand loyalty, keep clients informed, and promote new products and services.
But these interactions can also cause customer confusion if care isn't taken to write the script appropriately. Common errors in word choice and punctuation can distract callers from your messages and create misunderstandings. Keep an eye out for the following words:
- Financial. The word "financial" has many pronunciations. Based on your location and target demographic, your clients might say "fie NAN shuhl" or "fin AN shuhl". It's a small difference, but if you use the word financial in your Message On Hold program, be sure to choose the right pronunciation or the off-sounding word might confuse callers.
- Prosperity/posterity. This is a mix up that commonly needs clarification. Does anything in the following sentence strike you as incorrect?
“I am taking photos of our house construction for prosperity.”
“Prosperity” is financial well-being, what needs to be said in this sentence is actually “posterity.”Your descendants—those who come after you—are posterity. Just like your posterior comes after your front, your posterity comes after you chronologically. In an on hold program, mixing up the terms posterity and prosperity can completely change the meaning of your messages.
- Currency. Currency means legal tender, but it also means bills (not coin). To further confuse matters, "currency" is an acceptable form of "current" meaning "currentness" (e.g. "Can you check the currency of the interest rates?"). For financial institutions especially, using "currency" with multiple meanings can distract callers.
The best way to decide what's right for your Message On Hold program is to think like your clients. If you write with callers in mind, you'll always be successful.
What other words can be confusing in financial on hold messages?