It is inevitable that at one time or another, you have no alternative but to put your client on hold; however, make this your opportunity to demonstrate to them how professional your company is. This may be the only opportunity you have to do business with them so you can’t afford to get their on hold experience wrong. It is worth investing a little bit of time to get this right.
The on hold messages and background music needs to engage the caller, to defuse potential frustration. Make this an opportunity to educate and create a good impression of your company and products.
First and foremost, tell the caller where they are and thank them for calling. “Thank you for calling [Company Name], please hold, an advisor will be with you shortly” is a good start.
Don’t bombard them with all of your information at the start of your script, keep it segmented and concise. If you have 8 pieces of information to communicate, provide 8 short paragraphs so that your audio engineer(s) can spread it out over your chosen music. It will be received better in smaller chunks and combined more effectively with music.
After the initial greeting, make the first three on hold segments the most salient. These should be points that the caller will be interested in and ensure that they stay on the line.
For example, if your company is holding an annual event, has a special offer, a free magazine etc. make sure that this information is communicated in the few first messages.
You may say something like…
“Stay on the line and request your free magazine when you are connected”
“Stay on the line and get your 15% discount code when you are connected”
Always try to tell them about things that may be of interest to them. Give them an incentive to stay on hold. Telling your caller that you offer a 15% discount at the weekends is much more helpful to them than continuously thanking them for holding.
Build confidence in your brand and provide your caller with good information. Here are a few ideas for this:
- Has you or you company won any awards?
- Do you / your company hold any relevant qualifications?
- What charitable foundation do you support?
- Do you attend / exhibit at any industry trade events?
- Do you have a useful blog or article archive?
- What do you do that is unique / not been done by your competitors?
Prolonged On Hold
After may be 1.5 – 2 minutes, it is always a good idea to say something like, “Thank you for continuing to hold, your patience is appreciated.”
It is also good at this stage to maybe offer some alternatives, for example… “Thank you for your patience, please continue to hold and we will be with you shortly. Alternatively, you can send an email to email@example.com”
“Thank you for your patience, please continue to hold and we will be with you shortly. Alternatively, you can order online at www.mycomapny.com”
“Thank you for your patience, please continue to hold and we will be with you shortly. Alternatively, you can leave a message by pressing 0 and we will call you back”
How often will your customers call and be put on hold? If this is infrequent, having a single section of on hold audio created will probably be sufficient
If your customers call frequently, it may be worth getting your on hold section updated several times a year or have several on hold sections created in one go. You can rotate these on a regular basis to offer variety. This will give your regular callers the impression that you care about their on hold experience and the change can be very obvious to them, especially if the music is changed as well as the voice-over.
Also, don’t be afraid to mix and match voices, a variety of male and female voices can be used to create interest and variety for the caller.
If you are considering having an on hold package created, please feel free to see what Media Music Now has to offer. http://www.mediamusicnow.co.uk/telephone_audio/