Your customer has a busy day. One of his kids was sick this morning, a tire was flat on the car, work at the office is piled up after a holiday, and the office fridge isn't working so he had to go out for lunch. On top of all that, he must call your company today and he's likely to have to spend some time on hold.
This man is on a journey and he's traveling a hundred miles per hour trying to get everything done in one day. Does his phone call to your business play into this journey? Will the customer be able to reach the correct department directly using your voice prompt menus? Will the customer's experience on hold be beneficial to him in any way, will it be an irritant under his skin, or will it be an educational experience providing him with other contact options or even answering his question using the Message On Hold program?
Know who your customers are. Knowing who your callers are enable you to build a customer journey that demonstrates respect for who he is and what's going on in his world. If callers call for five main reasons, your voice prompt menu should direct them to the appropriate person or department. Customers shouldn't be funneled through several different voice prompt menus before they end up with a company representative who has no idea what they are talking about. Make the time he spends beneficial to him as well as to your business journey. The Message On Hold program should answer FAQ's, it should provide secondary contact information, and it should represent your brand image and personality to callers.
What does your customer hear while on hold? Is there professionally prepared music with a good tone? Or is there silence? Or worse, music with poor quality that grates on the nerves? Or music chosen based on your employee's style choices which may or may not be aligned with the preferences of the person on hold? Do you have the rights to use the music playing on hold? Music affects listeners' emotions and mindset before you even get to talk to them and serve their specific needs.
Brief informational messages recorded by professional voices are one way to directly benefit your business as well as your customer's journey. All phone experiences should answer frequently asked questions, offer interesting information about your business that peaks your caller's interest, suggest services or products, or reinforce choosing your brand.
Forming a positive step in your customer's journey is essential to reducing hang-up rates and developing positive customer relations. Customers left on hold with inadequate or uninteresting stimulus are liable to feel like they've been deflected into deep space and are more likely to end the call prematurely or feel disgruntled when a live person answers the phone.