When you call a business helpline, there is more than a 60% chance you’ll be put on hold. The on-hold period can last a minimum of 40-45 seconds and go up to minutes. This makes it necessary for businesses to have a personalised message. This message will play on repeat while the caller waits to be connected to a representative. It only makes sense to use this time slot as a marketing opportunity.
These messages are a way to upsell a new product or a related service you’re offering. You already have your customer on hold, you might as well put a branding message on repeat. This tells us how important it is for companies to play more than just music. A customised message is an effective tool for any business.
1. Increase Caller Willingness to stay On-Hold
Research has shown that most callers will hang up in the first minute if put on hold with just silence. If your automated response to on-hold callers is music, they won’t stay on for long either. Repeated music can be considered annoying on repeat. To remedy this, you can use a personalised message. This will ensure that your customer doesn’t get bored easily.
Customers will stay on hold when they know that they aren’t being forgotten. Silence may indicate that the line may not be active. Whereas, a message will hold their interest long enough for their call to be transferred to the relevant department. This message will increase the time between each repetitive cycle. This will cause the listener to become less frustrated by the same thing playing over and over.
2. Professional Interaction
This may be the perfect opportunity to set the tone for your business. Use this message to make a good first impression. Customer service is a deciding factor in maintaining customer relations. They may be calling when faced with a problem using your product. This is the time to show that you care about their concerns. The on-hold message can prove to be informative. It can guide us to solve the problem.
This can also be used to inform the customer of alternative ways to get a solution. Many companies will ask for information regarding your concern. Your message can list out the important details a customer will need while talking to the representative. This will make the call shorter as the customer will have the information at hand while they wait.
3. Product promotion
Cash in this call waiting time by promoting a new product or service. You already have the customer’s attention, use it to boost sales. The caller has called your business to inquire or get help. This is the perfect time to increase their interest in the other products you offer. When you inform the caller of all the benefits of your services, they will be inclined to pay attention. This attention will translate into tangible purchases.
4. Captivating Audience
You and I both know how frustrating it is to spend time on hold with poor customer service. Most of us would hang up the call within 2-3 minutes. Companies need to work on their on-hold message systems to try and engage their audience. The messages can be used to keep them on call while you find a representative for them to talk to. One of the major ways to captivate the audience is by making the information worth their time. Talk about upcoming events, achievements of the company, or new deals. This will give them a positive impression of your business.
5. Entertaining Caller
Silence can be the worst thing when a caller is put on hold. They might think their call has been cut off or that they are being ignored. The message can be as small as one telling them that their patience is being valued. This will serve the purpose of keeping them entertained enough to stay on. The tone of the message should comply with that of the business. It should be mellow enough to not irritate the ears if played for longer periods. You can include music, and enticing keywords to grab the caller’s attention.
Depending on the type of company, you can make the message as upbeat as you see fit. The message needs to sound professional as it creates trust with the audience. The sound of the message should communicate sincerity and expertise on your part.
6. Updating Customers
If there is a change in calling hours or helpline availability, inform your callers. They might get frustrated if they have to wait only to find out that your services are closed. There may be seasonal changes in timings which should be a part of your on-hold message. You can also update the customer on any changes in customer service. If there’s a website they can visit to complain if they can dial particular extensions directly for emergencies. In case the company is observing a national holiday or a break. Your message should include information about reopening and availability timings.
7. Customer Loyalty
If your brand is known for poor customer service, your customers may want to switch to other options. One of the main reasons a customer might stay loyal is how their concerns are being handled. Making sure your customer stays on hold with your helpline is key to understanding their problems. This will give you a better chance at solving the issue and maintaining a good rapport.
Difference between Customer Service in the UK vs the USA
Other than the obvious difference in accents, vocabulary, and tone used in both countries, there is minimal difference in their customer service methodology. Most international brands rely on the use of different languages at the start of the call. This will facilitate the multicultural mix of the audience. Companies in both countries make use of highly trained customer service teams. Although there have been researches that show the American audience to be sterner in their interactions. They have a higher tendency to be critical of customer service processes than those living in the UK.