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.
Excerpts from "Craft The Message" [LIST]
||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?