Being on hold has become a run-of-the-mill occurrence – but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad experience. In fact, according to a study by Stan Rapp and Tom Collins of Maximarketing, 88% of callers preferred on hold messages to other hold options, and 16-20% made a purchase based on an on hold offer.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to educate and entertain your callers (bundled with the possibility of making that extra sale, which is always a plus). You can utilize on hold messages in a variety of ways to get engagement from your callers and to ensure they feel in control. All it takes is the right script, the right voice, and habitual updates dashed with a little bit of creativity.
Making the Script Happen
You’ve heard the basic format for on hold messages before: “Thank you for holding. A representative will be with you shortly…” But there’s far more to an on hold message than the same robotic voice over and over.
It’s about engaging your caller and giving them options with your messages. This requires upkeep, and an eye on average hold time (AHT) so you know how much to prerecord for your callers. If you’re not sure where to start, go to your coworkers for some ideas – it’s there you’ll get your script going.
That said, despite having the tools to get it done, you may still be wondering how to actually sit down and create on hold messages. At its essence, your script is the business’s framework and what sets the stage for how callers interact with you. The only other 2 alternatives are your front door (if you have one) and your website.
On Hold Messages Tips
Here are a few things to keep in mind to have a killer script your callers will be receptive to:
- Speak to your audience: When creating a script, make sure you know WHO you’re talking to above anything else. Is it moms, teenagers or middle-aged men who like golf? Appeal to their interests in relation to your business with a captive voice, and they’ll be much more willing to listen (and be patient while doing so).
- Time it appropriately: You know your business better than anyone else, so as such, you’re probably aware of a caller’s average hold times. While this can vary with growth and other factors, make sure you record enough messages to fill the time so a caller isn’t stuck hearing an eternal loop of the same 3 messages. They’ll thank you for it by being far less irritated.
- Stay current: Some companies have seasonal sales and changes, so including this in your script as the year progresses means you remain relevant with the latest and greatest. For example, during the holidays you can say “Seasons greetings from Fletcher’s Flowers...” or something similar. You can also include event notifications, advertisements, and other informational messages so they learn more about your business.
- Be natural: Think about how you’d like to be talked to. Typically, a robot isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Writing for auditory purposes elicits a different approach than writing for digital or print. Make sure whatever your script is that you read it aloud, and test it out on coworkers or friends. If they get bored or disengage, chances are, your callers will too.
- Know their path: What’s your end goal for what you’d like your caller to accomplish? Tailor your messaging to them based on what you come up with. If you’d like to upsell, consider using some on hold time to discuss a company-wide promotion they can take advantage of, or a fun fact about your industry they wouldn’t know.
- Give a call-back option: If your phone system has the feature and a caller doesn’t have time to spend on hold, offer them the option to receive a callback without affecting their position in line, or to leave a message. This can alleviate the stress of waiting.
Oftentimes, having examples can help sprout ideas and fuel a good brainstorming session.
We have a few examples below we’d like to share so you can customize your on hold messages based on your needs and industry:
“At Page, Smith & Douglas, we pride ourselves on both our extensive knowledge of tax law and our dedication to superior customer service. We understand that tax problems can be intimidating, so we have a completely open door policy for our clients to come meet with their attorney in our office or contact them anytime by phone or email…”
Construction Equipment Retail Location
“Thank you for calling Liam’s Ladders – a representative will be with you shortly. Did you know that Liam’s Ladders has been a family business for 3 generations and counting? We offer affordable, high-quality ladders and construction equipment for personal and commercial projects. This week only, if you buy $50 worth of equipment, we’ll give you $10 off! Talk to your representative about getting this promotion for your order today…”
With on hold messages, you can inform your callers in a way that they’ll love and appreciate you for. Want to learn more? Feel free to check out our entire script example library or subscribe to our blog for future updates.