If you’re a business owner or manager, you should leverage the time that customers and potential customers spend on the phone on hold. You have a captive audience, so use it wisely by providing engaging messaging with professional voice overs.  

In this post we’ll explore the importance of on-hold messages for your business, how professional voice overs can help and provide some best practice tips so you can improve your on-hold messaging.

Why are on-hold messages so important?

If you think playing Greensleeves on repeat is an appropriate way of keeping your customers waiting on the phone, you particularly need to read this section. There are many reasons why you should implement an on-hold message using professional voice overs for your business, including:

Tell callers more about your business.

The time that people are on hold can be a great marketing opportunity and if you have silence or only play music you’re missing out. Instead, use voice overs to provide people with key messaging, such as important customer information, frequently asked questions, promotions, and new products or services. You have a captive audience so use this opportunity while you have it.

Keep callers engaged.

Research has shown that around 70 per cent of people who are placed on hold with silence or music will hang up within 60 seconds. Worse still, 35 per cent won’t call back. The same research shows that on hold messages increase the amount of time callers are willing to stay on the phone.

Reinforce your brand.

Everything about your business says something about your brand. A well thought out on hold messaging campaign using professional voice overs will ensure a positive impression.

Create a great initial impression.

It’s also wise to remember that for some people, a phone call may be their first interaction with your business. What does your on hold messaging – or lack of it – say about you?

Provide timely information to callers

On hold messages can be used to help reduce call volume. For example, an energy company could use on hold messaging to inform callers about an outage, while others could point customers to alternative ways to contact their businesses.

Best practice tips for on hold messaging

  • Develop a plan for your on-hold messaging, including a basic outline of what you will include.
  • Write a great script for your on-hold messages, after carefully considering what you want to say to callers. A good script will tell a great story and make what you have to say more engaging and memorable.
  • On-hold messages generally need to be short and sharp. Don’t include too much information, use clear and simple vocabulary and avoid overly technical terms. Ideally, keep each message ‘bite’ to 20-30 seconds.
  • Use professional voice over talent and don’t consider trying to do the voice overs yourself or using another member of staff. The way your messaging is delivered is just as important as what is said.
  • Consider your target audience, when developing your scripts and deciding on who is the best person to deliver your right voice overs. talent.
  • Regularly renew your greetings and change things around. This is particularly important if you’re likely to have regular callers.
  • Adding topical messages is also a good idea for some businesses. For example, a florist could include information on the most popular flowers for Valentine’s Day two or three weeks before the big day.
  • If people are likely to be on hold for a while, make sure you have plenty of content. Repeating a one-minute message over and over is possibly worse than playing Greensleeves!