Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Message On Hold Wisdom from Panel Experts

SOCAP, holdcom 2004 socap panel discussion, on hold panel discussion, socap conferenceIn 2004 at the New York SOCAP Annual Conference, Holdcom put together a panel represented by some of our major clients – Verizon Wireless, Metropolitan Opera Association, Dannon Company. Each panelist responded to the central question – how their organization handles placing customers on hold.

Recently discovered in our digital archives, Holdcom is in the process of remastering this valuable panel discussion and making it available to you.

Here are learned insights from the first speaker, Mike Roby, VP of Customer Care of Customer First Call Centers (and former SOCAP president):

  • Message on hold has a number of applications, but centers around two main points: how you are putting people on hold and what message you want to give them.
  • If using a sales approach, on hold messages are the perfect opportunity for cross sale.
  • The quality of a company’s on hold message is a direct reflection on the company itself, especially for conveying professionalism.
  • The general mindset of business is just to let anyone answer the phone, regardless of voice or training. The same lackadaisical attitude is applied to queue lines, where callers must hear the same god awful music, or hear the same reporting – I’m sure all of you can come up with any number of horrid examples of waiting on hold and having to hear the same, boring message over and over.

Another speaker was Sam Cerami, Customer Care Supervisor at JVC headquarters, who shared personal anecdotes about the benefits of customer care on hold.

“When we started using this type of system the parts department was using it for promos…[the] data from last year [showed that] we sold 927 [headphones] just from playing [our] message on hold. Most of the time [our customers] were calling for tech support: let’s say they were calling in for assistance [for] their camcorder, possibly they would need to purchase video tapes, and they would buy the tapes because of [the message].”

There's a whole lot more, we don’t want to give it away just yet! Holdcom is making the entire audio from the conference available as a podcast, as well as a verbatim transcript of the event.

Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open!

Tags: message on hold, marketing