Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

7 Do's and Dont's for Message on Hold [LIST]


Remember Jean Bave-Kerwin from last Friday's blog, "How Message On Hold Can Increase Call Tolerance"? Buried within his 2001 ICMI whitepaper is a valuable list of several Do's and Dont's for designing an effective "delay message," or message on hold.

message on hold, ivr announcements, cuztomized on hold messages, voice talent

Excerpts from "Craft The Message" [LIST]

~~~~~~~Do~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~Don't~~~~~~~~~~

1. Thank people for hanging on. Just don’t overuse it or it can become irritating.

1. Apologize too much...don't need to emphasize [the wait].
2. Let delay messages be unconscious [subtle]. 2. Brag too much. Sales messages need to be informational in nature rather than a hard sell. You have a captive audience on hold; you need to treat them gently and persuasively
3. Give customers control and information. For instance, allow callers to opt-out to an IVR, give information on when you’re likely to be less busy, offer estimated wait times and details on other contact channels 3. Lie to customers. If you have a permanent delay message that says, “Due to unusually heavy volume…” use it sparingly or, eventually, it will not be believed.
4. Record emergency messages before you need them. This will save you unnecessary panic and frantic activity during times stressful times 4. Use a mass-produced product. Your company is unique, and you need to make sure your customers experience that uniqueness.

5. Use consistent voicing. The exception to this rule is when you inform customers to expect different voices (e.g., when using employees’ recordings).
5. Repeat too often. Make sure that your messages have some “breathing time.” In between messages, you can have silence or play music or some other sound.
6. Create a variety of messages. Change the message tapes every few weeks. If your customers call more often, be sure to change them moreoften 6. Be predictable. Predictable messages include phrases like: “your call is important to us,” “we are experiencing heavy volume, so there will be along wait,” “we’re sorry you’re on hold,” as well as endlessly repeating short messages.
7. Write scripts in conversational style. To check this, read them aloud to yourself and others.  7. Confuse people. Giving complex instructions or information during hold messages doesn’t work. Keep it simple.


By approaching your message on hold with the above techniques in mind, you will find that creating a message on hold program will come effortlessly.

What tips do you use to plan your on hold messages? 

effective script writing guide for message on hold

Tags: resources, message on hold, tips