If your business attracts a lot of phone calls from your customers, chances are there will be occasions when they are put on hold. In fact, studies show that consumers spend significant amounts of time being put on hold:
- “Over 70% of business callers are put on-hold.” (Telemarketing Magazine)
- “The average executive spends 17 minutes per day on-hold.” (OfficeTeam Survey)
- “The average person spends 60 hours per year on-hold.” (CNN Survey)
Your business can have the option of letting the caller listen to music, a radio station, or worse, dead air. Any of these options are a missed opportunity to connect with your customers. Playing music require copyrights permission and your state may have licensing requirements to play commercially released music. Worse, there may be situations when radio stations play the ads of your competitors. By failing to control what your callers hear, you may be giving your competitors a chance to snatch your customers!
Benefits of Phone on Hold Marketing
A properly designed phone on hold message is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. You are giving your message to a captive audience, someone who has already made the first step and called you. You can use the on-hold opportunity to inform and educate your customers about your products and services.
By listening to something about your business, customized on hold messages may increase the time a caller will stay on the line, while also triggering interest in response to what they have heard. Look at these statistics:
- Callers who don’t hear anything while on-hold are likely to abandon their calls in less than one minute; 90% hang up within 40 seconds.
- Callers who hear music while on hold will stay on the line 30 seconds longer than with only silence.
- Callers hearing information while on hold are likely to stay on the line for up to 3 minutes longer.
With on-hold marketing, you can:
- Leave a good impression on your customers with the content, professionalism and entertainment value of your message
- Let your customers know about your special promotions
- Highlight some of your products that they may not know about.
- Let customers know of your business practices.
- Advertise your accomplishments
- Inform the customer of your participation in an upcoming trade show or exhibit
- Encourage them to ask your customer service or sales representatives about your products, discounts and specials.
- Plus, you’re making the wait more bearable and thereby minimizing caller hung ups
Studies have found that information-on-hold can result in 40% increase in retention of callers, 15% increase in inquiries, and 12% increase in requests for products and services mentioned on-hold (US West Communications study).
To maximize the returns of your on-hold phone marketing, your message should sound great both in content and aurally. Here are the key features you need to look for in your on-hold system:
- Ability to customize your messages
- Ability to update and add to your messages
- Ability to choose the voice (no grating or irritating voices, please!).
- Assistance in crafting your script
- Using technically advanced equipment (e.g. in cases of power failure, your system should restart without your intervention).
Telephone on-hold systems are relatively inexpensive marketing tools, with outlay ranging from $160 for the basic systems to $500 for the more advanced systems, and the costs spent purchasing your system are fully tax deductible. For less than $1,000, you can have a marketing tool that will serve your business for days.
However, carefully determine the options you need, research the vendors, and compare their prices as well as offerings.