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An 'On-Hold Recording' refers to a prerecorded message a prospect hears when they are on a phone line, and placed on hold.

The primary goal of an on-hold recording is to ensure the customer know they have not been disconnected! Most surveys that show calls that drop-off point to the fact that the the majority of calls that drop off are due to callers thinking they were disconnected. Lost calls are lost sales.

So, before we build your recording, let's first take a look at how long it should be.

When I was fresh out of the Army, and needed to call Veterans Affairs, I would be on-hold for up to 3-4 hours. While this is unprecedented in the business world, it is important for you to have a general idea of how long people are normally on-hold to build your recording around that target duration.

For example, if the average is 30 seconds, you want to be sure your entire message is delivered under that time threshold.

Music versus Message

Generally you want to play music if your hold times normally exceed 5-10 minutes. This is because a redundant message played over-and-over again can easily drive people to hang up, which is the LAST thing you want your recording to do.

So, if your hold times are a bit longer, be sure to just use music that is appropriate for your sales process.

For example, if you anticipate customer service complaints, I'd use upbeat music. A 2013 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that people who listened to upbeat music improved their moods and boosted their happiness.

If on the other hand you're a pool installation company, I'd use up-beat tropical music.

So again, if your on-hold times are long, I'd use music, and not a reoccurring message that is going to piss people off.

 

Music and Message

I've found the most effective way to minimize call dropping (people that hang up) is a combination of music and messaging.

This is great because you're balancing out your message with smooth hypnotic rhythms that almost puts your customer in a sales-driving trance.

What is the Message?

On-hold recordings give you a great opportunity to build trust in the caller for your company.

While more established companies that spend millions of dollars in advertising may not need to focus their messaging on building trust, a smaller company should.

After all, your sales or customer services rep will go through the process of explaining products, services, warranties, deadlines, etc. Your on-hold recording should do the hard-work of building your brand as professional, and trustworthy.

For example:

Thank you for calling XYZ Imports! We are very glad you called, and a member of our team will be with you shortly.

(Brief pause)

For over 60 years, XYZ Imports has been leading the industry in customer satisfaction according to a 2016 Reuters poll. We value your business, and are committed to your company's success through industry-leading customer service, and innovative solutions that maximize the success of all of your importing needs.

(Music for 10 seconds)

The bottom line is you want to build trust in your brand so that when your rep gets on the phone, the customer is already warmed up to your company, and it's history of providing value.

Don't compete — DOMINATE.

Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.
Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.

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