Photo by C D-X
We have a lot to say about good writing and salesmanship in your On Hold Marketing – after all, the messages are the real meat-and-potatoes of the On Hold stew. Don’t get lazy about what those ingredients are swimming in, though.
Music is the original placeholder of the On Hold world: even the clunkiest old phone systems have some kind of music built-in. By itself it’s just that – a placeholder. It doesn’t accomplish much, but it means your callers aren’t sitting in silence. That might give you the idea that the messages laid over the music are more important – but here you’d be mistaken, because the messages don’t work so great by themselves either.
You need the whole package to succeed, and here’s why:
1. Good On Hold Music Grabs Attention
In a landmark study on the effects of music on advertising, researchers found that “music… may be the single most stimulating component in a commercial”. This is mostly because music grabs attention, and that makes it a very important component of any advertisement, especially any “viewed as having an audience of potentially uninvolved, non-decision-making consumers”. Have you ever sat on hold and really listened closely?
Good music is the way to take on hold messaging out of the realm of mere background noise. This means finding music that stands out, that grabs attention, that isn’t like the rest, and, above all, music that your callers might potentially enjoy hearing.
2. Great On Hold Music Sets the Mood
People don’t really ever want to spend money. They want whatever spending their money will get them, but it’s a rare bird indeed that just looks for ways to empty their wallet. It requires the right frame of mind. Fortunately, you have one of the most powerful mood-altering and mood-enhancing substances at your disposal to make them more open to the idea of spending money on you!
When studying the use of music in retail, several studies all showed the same results: loud, fast-paced music tended to make shoppers move more quickly. Your callers aren’t shoppers… yet. Getting them to feel restless on hold won’t hold their attention, and certainly won’t put them in the mood to spend more time on the phone with you.
So watch your tempo – if you have very short hold times, you can get away with a fast, upbeat tune, but for the most part, you want to look for less aggressive sounds, to make your callers feel like you aren’t keeping them waiting so long.
3. The Best On Hold Music Brands Your Business
Sometimes, people like surprises, but more often they like to have their expectations met. Music is your way of both setting expectations and meeting them. Playing a modern, largely synthetic or pop-sounding tune should accompany a voice and messaging that send a similarly modern, youthful message. You know your clientele: cater to their age and demographics.
Just like you know who your customers are, they know who you are as well. Don’t try to project an image you can’t fit with your own appearance and business image. Your music is a means for you to own the image your physical location creates.
If you’ve got a brand-new building with high ceilings, immaculate walls, and lots of light, terrific, grab a music background that gives a modern feel. If you’ve been in the same building since the 1920s, and stuck with the decorative tastes of the 1980s, how likely are you to spend time and energy updating your storefront to reflect your On Hold image? Work with what you have: find music that conveys you.
Not sure what that is? Hire professionals who can work with you to incorporate your on hold messaging and musical background into a wider marketing strategy. Get someone who knows how music and messaging work on your customers, and will get to know you. Then, you’ll have the best messaging and the best music on hold.
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