Like any other business decision, making on hold message may need you to do the necessary research, knowing that it entails financial investment on your part. Besides, this can also greatly affect the way you handle your customers, which makes it equally important to look for reliable experts to do the task, from writing the scripts, choosing apt background music and producing.

Of course, you should start by knowing how an on hold message functions and its importance to your business, in the first place. And as we’ve already discussed the perks of playing on hold messages (and assuming that you’re already convinced of its merits) in the previous posts, this article will discuss the pitfalls to avoid when making messages.

Top 7 Commonly Committed Mistakes When Making On Hold Messages

According to surveys, 7 out of 10 callers are put on hold, and this can spell to up to 8 to 15% of lost customers. Other studies show that customers who have waited for 1 minute and 55 seconds on average are not happy when their call is taken. Albeit inconclusively, this may be the reason why 34% of callers placed on hold have not called you back.

Considering these statistics, you need to know the elements that can cause disappointment on the customers’ end. As advised by experts, the following errors should be avoided to ensure messages are effective enough in getting the callers’ attention:

1. Not Hiring Reliable Voice-Over Experts

When recording your messages, it’s extremely necessary to hire professional voice-over specialists – a person with a voice that suits your target market. Getting a voice that your callers will listen and respond to, is the best way to make a positive impression first up.

As callers will not listen to a voice over that sounds unconvincing; they are more than likely going to hang up if the voice sounds boring and monotonous for them. Yes, you can hire one of your staff to do this. But if you’re a start-up, one-man team or someone that wants their professional image to shine through on hold then it might help to hire experts to do the recording for you.

We, at Smart On Hold Options, for instance, can offer you top-quality on hold message creation packages.We can also record seasonal promotions, which you can integrate with your auto-responder and on hold messages.

2. Poor Audio Quality

Audio technicalities are also important, knowing this can greatly influence the quality of your messages. Specifically, these include the mixing and recording technique, as well as the background music used. You should also use the correct level of volume.

It should this can vary with phone systems, its important to continuously check the volume on hold and not leave it unheard for months or even years.

Quick tip: Sound travelling along the copper wire is also reduced to approximately 8,000 Hz, so make sure to record with the right volume. Avoid featuring multiple voices in your recordings because this will only distract the callers from listening to the information.

3. Not Playing Informative And Helpful Messages

It would be a waste of time to play irrelevant information and other useless details callers cannot use or gain from.

Quick tip: Studies show that 41% of American callers were able to initiate a purchase using the information they heard from being put on hold.

So if you’re hoping your messages can result in sales, make sure to include your on-sale periods, packages and upcoming events. Including emergency contact addresses and alternative numbers is also good and especially useful for callers needing immediate support.

4. Not Giving Callers An Opportunity To Talk To Real Person

Even if you don’t have time yet to take a call, it might help to redirect callers to another person – someone they can talk to immediately if they’re not willing to listen to your on hold message or wait for you to ring back.

At least, give them contact numbers to other branches, departments or other personnel, who can respond to them. Remember that someone who hangs up on hold is less likely to call back.

5. Extremely Short Messages

You won’t be able to fully maximize your hold time if you play messages that are too short. Instead of keeping callers interested, they will only be annoyed if they hear the on hold prompt played several times in a row.

Quick tip: The best way to determine the right length of recordings for your market is to check your hold time trend.If it’s 30 seconds on average, play a 30-second message. Make your recordings audible so that callers can easily grasp the information they are hearing.

6. Lengthy Messages

Yes, it’s a no-no to play short prompts, and it’s equally as bad to play messages that are too long. Remember, callers can also get bored listening to irrelevant details.

So instead of playing fluffy information that isn’t going to benefit you or your callers why now introduce your services and products directly and briefly using simple words. This will ensure customers won’t be left confused when their call is suddenly taken without them hearing the rest of the message.

7. Inappropriate Music Playing The Background

It’s another necessary task to pick the right background music for your target market, because this can affect the overall sound quality of the on hold messages. Avoid picking loud music as these will drown the voice-over when they are speaking.

Instead, opt for mellow, relaxing songs to let the minutes pass pleasurably for the callers. It might also be great to choose music that best represent your brands or business personality (e.g. upbeat for optimism, mellow for relaxation, instrumental for creativity).

You should also ensure that you are using royalty free music, to avoid having to pay APRA fees; this is provided in all of the Music On Hold & Message On Hold packages supplied from Smart On Hold Options.


Many experts agree that these are the usual errors marketers commit when making on hold messages. And if you’re a discerning business owner, you’d better take head of the mistakes and learn from others, rather than making these errors yourself.

Are you now ready to make your phone answering message, auto-responder prompts, voicemail messages and on hold messages? Do you want to produce effective recordings that will boost your call handling techniques?

If you do, you can take advantage of our services (e.g. seasonal promotions and voice-over solutions) to avoid the hassle of doing this task yourself and risk an unprofessional result. Speak to Smart On Hold Options to get the On Hold voice overs that you need today.