Contact centers have the power to create value on multiple levels – efficiency, customer satisfaction, and strategic impact on sales, retention, and branding.
However, many contact centers pursue all of the above via IVR and the live agents their callers connect with. There is another option to support these value-focused goals, one that’s often unrecognized or underutilized – call queue messages and music on hold.
Here’s how you can extract more value using messages and music on hold.
#1: Recognize the Importance of Queue Time
Your callers’ hold time is a highly underutilized free marketing tool. You have a captive audience on the line, one that has contacted your brand for a reason.
It’s long been known that playing music and messages while on hold can shorten a caller’s perceived hold time. It encourages them to stay on the line longer, giving agents an opportunity to serve them and reduce call abandonment rates.
However, queue messages can also reduce a caller’s actual hold time. Messages can provide information to callers that address the reason for their call. This eliminates their need to speak to an agent. With their problem solved, they’ll have a better impression of your brand because they didn’t waste their precious waiting on hold for the same resolution.
To create value for your customers and your brand using hold time, be forward thinking about your callers’ needs. Consider the reasons your customers are calling, then ask yourself: Can I answer that question using a queue message just as effectively as a live agent? If so, this can reduce the demand on your agents without reducing the caller's experience or outcome.
#2: Prioritize Consistent Quality and Sound
Using hold messages and music on hold is just the first part of this process. To create real value in your contact center call queue, your recordings should sound clear and professional.
Sound quality can be a factor in call abandonment and brand perceptions. When messages are garbled, distorted, or staticky, the quality of your message suffers. Callers tune them out, which defeats the purpose of using music and messages on hold in the first place. And in some cases where the sound quality is so poor that it can’t be tuned out, callers are likely to hang up altogether.
Clear, professionally recorded messages allow callers to understand and act on your messages.
Using a consistent voice and music throughout your call queue messaging can support the caller experience, leading to a more professional brand image.
For many contact centers, achieving these fine details is easier said than done. For example, if you’re swapping out one message for another, you might not be able to access the same voice. This could mean having to re-record all of your messages to achieve consistency, or you might have to use two different voices in your messaging.
Contact centers often lack sophisticated recording equipment that will create studio-quality recordings for their call queue announcements. They have to resort to other methods, such as having their office staff record messages using their desk phones or robotic-sounding text-to-speech tools.
We designed Studio A.I. to address inefficiencies like these and give contact centers a better, faster, more cost-effective way to create, deploy, and update their messages on hold.
With Studio A.I., users can order new messages from more than 100 industry-leading voice talents. Or for faster turnaround and cost savings, record new messages in minutes using one of our natural-sounding AI voice options.
In the production editor, easily swap one message for another without having to rerecord all of your messages or build an entirely new production. Just remove the message you no longer want, drag the new message into the editor, reorder your messages if necessary, then click a button to expertly mix your music and messages in minutes.
Studio A.I. Message On-Old Mixer
All of the messages and productions you create in Studio A.I. are accessible from a single interface. See at a glance what music track you’re using, which voice talents you’ve worked with, and other details about your music and messages. Spending less time perfecting your call queue messaging delivers instant value to your contact center.
#3: Build Brand Equity
Call queues serve a dual purpose as a customer support line and a marketing channel. Hold messages allow you to take advantage of both while reinforcing your brand image.
For customer support, queue messages can take a self-service approach. Callers may get answers to their questions or be directed to other resources that can help them. This reflects positively on your brand, as it demonstrates that you understand your callers’ needs and provide efficient ways to serve them.
As for marketing, hold time is a great way to infuse your brand and make the experience unique. You can use this time to talk about your products or services, incorporate your tagline, and share helpful information that your customers will care about. Choose music that mirrors how you want others to perceive your brand. For example, luxury brands may choose classical or elegant music, while a hotel in Hawaii might choose a tropical theme.
Subtle details can alter the caller’s psyche in a positive way. Consumer scientists call this the “halo effect,” which is a form of cognitive bias. The halo effect states that a person’s opinion of one area will affect their opinions in other areas.
Customers are forming impressions of your brand every time they interact with you – even while on hold. When applied to contact centers, things like poor audio quality, long hold times, or inefficient call flows can have a negative impact on your brand image.
But the opposite is true, too. Brands that prioritize the customer experience, use professional voice recordings, play hold music that reinforces the brand, anticipate their callers’ needs, or shorten the total resolution time with hold messages can create a more positive brand image. Small details and actions add up, allowing you to build brand equity with every caller.
#4: Deploy Different Music and Messages for Different Call Queues
Today's contact centers enable brands to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and make the caller experience more targeted. Callers’ needs can vary, and brands can customize their experiences by adapting their music and messaging to individual call queues.
We often see this strategy in play with hotels. Callers are usually routed to contact centers instead of the hotel’s front desk. Brands can adapt their music and messaging to suit each hotel’s location (e.g., island music for beach locations, country music for hotels in Texas, etc.).
Snap Recordings's music library, over 1200 music tracks available!
You can apply this same strategy with your messages on hold. For example, a person calling with a product issue isn’t likely to respond to messages trying to sell them another product. But someone who is calling a reservation or a sales line bill might be interested in upgrading or switching their service. Presenting different callers with different messages based on the purpose of their call gives brands a way to add more value to the customer experience and turn every call into an opportunity.
Studio A.I. streamlines this process by allowing users to create multiple music and message productions in minutes. All of your audio files are saved in the Studio A.I. library. Quickly swap out background music tracks and re-arrange announcements, instantly hear any change you make, then click a button to upload it to your call queue. Studio A.I.’s smart mixing technology automatically mixes voice and music and uses all the same processes that professional sound engineers use to ensure the highest quality output.
Studio A.I. makes it easy to stay organized and save time, and takes the difficulty out of creating and managing multiple call queues.
#5: Support the Functional Teams Managing Call Queues
It’s easier to create great customer experiences when the teams updating the call queues have the proper support. When on-hold messages become outdated or new offers or information become available, updating multiple call queues shouldn’t have to be a time-consuming chore.
Studio AI streamlines call queue updates for IT and marketing teams.
Marketing can write custom greetings, prompts or on-hold messages and have them recorded by their choice of professional voice talents. Or, have the scripts instantly recorded by our ultra realistic AI voices. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to add, rearrange or remove announcements and music tracks, then play them back in real-time.
With all of your call queue on-hold productions in one place, you can see at a glance what’s playing in each of your queues at all times. From there, it’s a matter of sending the audio file to IT or a contact center manager for uploading.
Create More Value with Every Call
Contact centers can add value to the bottom line, and it starts with understanding how to connect with customers based on why they called – and beyond.
We designed Studio A.I. to help contact centers extract this value by easing the chore of creating and updating your call queue messages. Customize the music and message for each call queue in minutes, stay organized with a central source for all of your audio, and embrace consistent, professional quality messages that support your brand image and creates the greatest caller experience.