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On Hold messaging works great as a means to up-sell, cross-sell, and keep your existing customer base coming back for more. It presents you as a professional business who invests real time and energy in your customers and their experience. This isn’t news – we’ve said it dozens of times, and we’re not alone.
On hold messaging can do so much more for you when it’s part of a broader marketing strategy – in fact, it provides you with a foundation that you can use to build your marketing. If you run a small business, you usually don’t have a huge marketing team, and you can’t hire consultants – so use your on hold messaging as the place to start!
Here are 5 things your business can offer to increase customer loyalty and turn greater profits, just by advertising them on hold:
1. Be the Only Company that Does What You Do
To succeed in business, you have to knock out your competition. If you’re a big international chain, you can just move into a town and then drive all the local shops out of business. Most businesses can’t do that, though – and most business owners don’t want to. Fortunately, there’s a way to eliminate your competition without being a pirate, and that’s to have no competition to begin with.
Your brand is your business. It’s who you are, and, as we’ve said before, who your customers identify with. If your customers can only find what you have to offer at your business, they won’t look to your competitors, because you won’t have any. Take a look at your current competition: the usual way of thinking is to ask what they do that you don’t do. Instead, ask what they aren’t doing.
That’s your key to becoming one-of-a-kind: from custom service packages and unique product/service combinations to customer environment and company culture… anything that only you can offer moves you out of a market flooded with competition and into a league of your own – and the way you make that move is making sure of this features prominently when callers are waiting for your regular services.
2. Turn Your Messaging into Conversation
You’re already using on hold messaging to improve your professional image and tell your customers that their experience matters to you. This is just a matter of taking your messaging to the next level: you’re speaking to them, give them a chance to respond.
The internet is flooded with websites allowing consumers to rate and review products, services, and businesses. Everyone has a 5-star, 10-point, 3-degree, or some other rating. Do you? The best way to guarantee results, of course, is to offer a way for customers to give you feedback on your website – but since you probably already appear on Google or Facebook, even if you didn’t ask to be listed, and people have probably already rated your business there. Why not take control of that situation?
Monitoring your performance on just one or two review sites like Yelp or Google allows you to craft a response – and on hold messaging can make your life easier by drawing attention to the site you want to monitor. Callers might already be planning to leave you a review; letting them know you are aware of that by mentioning one review site in particular means they are more likely to go and leave you a review on that site.
In addition to boosting (and better controlling) your company image, this kind of on hold message also sends a clear message to your customers that you care what they think of you and want to hear about their experience as much as you want them to hear about your products and services.
3. Offer Long-Term Agreement Options
Business owners love contracts for the same reason most consumers are uneasy about them – they obligate a customer to stick around, and, if presented in the wrong way, limit freedom of movement. Why else would “no contract!” be such a huge selling point for mobile phone plans? That means a customer who cannot help but continue to consume your marketing – meaning a customer who is more likely to willingly stay around long after his contract expires.
What if you’re in a line of business that can’t offer contracts? After all, if you’re selling products, whether it’s corrugated pipe or Christmas trees, once the transaction is over, that’s it – the satisfied customer has no reason to stick around.
This is where extra services and payment plans come in. Do any of your products have a shelf-life? Offer a replacement plan (no, it doesn’t have to be free). Do you have big ticket items? Even a small business can offer a lay-away plan or payment system. The possibilities are limited by your imagination, and your on hold messaging is the place to plant the idea of a long-term relationship in your customers’ minds.
4. Establish a Loyalty Program
Repeat customers are great—regular customers are better. You want the best possible kind of customer – one who comes to you whenever they need something. A simple way to do this is, once again, through good branding as part of your marketing strategy. People want to identify with your business, they want to belong to something. Every big box store and national chain has some kind of “member club” – which is great for their customers who travel, and can use the rewards anywhere in the country.
Don’t let that limit you, though – there’s more to a loyalty program than convenience. In fact, for those big businesses, convenience isn’t the goal, it’s the means to their real end. Making it convenient to use their brand guarantees that given the choice between their store or restaurant and another, perhaps even a local, option, the consumer will choose theirs because of the loyalty program.
Maybe you can’t offer national convenience – so what will make your customers choose you when they have multiple options? Whether it’s discounts for two visits in a certain time frame (think of the gas rewards points), the punch-hole system (“buy 5 get a free x!”), or a system entirely your own, a loyalty program will draw people in again and again.
5. Sell it!
None of this will be as effective if you don’t make an effort to sell it. No matter what you do, selling your brand, your customer service, your plans, and your loyalty program requires high-grade professional marketing on hold. Don’t leave the success of your new marketing strategy up to chance: find an on-hold provider who does more than just audio work. Hire a team who is marketing-minded, so you can work together to turn your on hold messaging into energizing force behind your overall strategy.
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