Contrary to long-standing belief, on-hold messages aren’t only meant to let time pass while customers wait for their calls to be taken. In business, they can be used as an advertising tool to achieve a range of goals such as effective branding, increased enquiries, sales pitches and interacting with customers – albeit indirectly.

Top Reasons to Use On-Hold Messages as Tools for Seasonal Promotions

Now if you haven’t considered the idea of optimizing your on-hold message yet, today’s the perfect time to hire an expert to help you. That’s because knowing how on hold messaging works and implementing it in your strategies will allow you to enjoy the profit-enhancing perks and opportunities. Yes, there are many benefits to business owners using these precious seconds or minutes when customers are put on hold to their advantage. These are the following:

  • Join the celebrations – As business owners, you need to build positive relationships you’re your customers. A great way to do this is by playing messages and greetings that coincide with the season. Examples being during religious festivities (e.g., Christmas, Sabbath),you can greet your callers and wish them well, even if you’re not of the same religion. This is a great way of showing your respect for their traditions and culture.
  • Increase sales – It’s also normal for many of us to shop for gifts, home-wares and other presents during the holiday season. Although many people have a shopping list and budget to stick to, many still have room for on-sale and discounted items. This can be a practical reason for you to include details of your sale periods, as well as the items you’re offering. Doing this can be an effective way to sell more, especially if you’re running a retail store.
  • Maximize time – With the right on-hold message, you can make good use of the time the callers have spent waiting for you on the phone. Including company details – such as promotions, contact numbers and social media pages – in your message these details can help keep the callers’ attention and make the time pass by much faster and less painfully.

Remember, callers are less likely to hang up if they are going to hear something interesting and useful on the other end of the line; even if it’s not a real person they’re hearing. According to a survey by Infomax, callers provided with informative on-hold message (especially about the company’s products, promos and services) tend to wait on the line 25% longer than those who’ve heard background music or deadly silence.

Make Your Move!

As practical and budget-friendly as it sounds, aligning your messages with specific celebrations and seasons of the year is a great opportunity not to miss.

Top Seasons to Prepare For

To ensure you reap the rewards, it is a good idea to play messages in relation to the following popular events/seasons:

  • New Year (Christian celebration) – Play updates, sneak peeks of your new products during the 3rdweek of December through to the 3rd week of January. You can also promote your year-end clearance sale.
  • Chinese New Year – Make messages specifically for your Chinese customers.
  • Valentine’s Day – Play romantic background music and plug in your offers for couples. This applies best to florists, hotels, restaurants and spa houses.
  • Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day – Write on-hold messages about parenthood and how the callers can surprise their parents with your special offers and products.
  • Christmas – Take advantage of the holiday shopping rush by taking about your Christmas offers and packages OR let your callers know if you are going to be closed at all over the festive season.
  • Easter – Let customers know if your office will be closed for the long weekend. Companies in the travel industry or other retail stores can offer specials or discounts on accommodation, meals and other activities over the weekend.
  • Halloween – Introduce your Halloween specials (e.g., on-sale costumes, Zombie-inspired parties and Pre-Yuletide events) to attract more people into your activities. This has become a very popular event in Australia as of late, let customer know that your messages are current, wish them a happy Halloween or promote your specials or other offers.
  • School year opening – We find that high schools, colleges and other academic related customers take advantage of letting parents know when they will be closed over the holidays or if there is an event happening at the school.

Ways to Improve Your On Hold Messages

Of course, if you like your messages to generate the desired results, you need to make it effective and pleasing to your callers who are having to listen to it. This can be done by…

  • Telling a compelling story – Talk about how your company is going to spend the holidays to showcase your creativity and positive internal culture as an organization.
  • Hiring reliable voice-overs – Make sure your messages are delivered clearly by calling on professional voice overs to record the scripts, don’t just use your own voice.
  • Improving the audio quality – Be sure to make the music, mixing and recording as audible as possible so that callers can hear and remember all the information as it was clear to hear.
  • Synergizing – Be sure to be consistent with your messages. That is, the information found on TV advertisements, website, e-mail newsletters and press releases are the same with those played in your on-hold messages; keep things up to date!
  • Delivering fresh info – Engage your customers with new details so that they’ll keep listening to your messages until someone takes their call; letting your messages go stale will in the end make your listeners loose interest if they are constantly calling your business. You want them to be engaging and wanting to hear what you have to say.

These tips can help you make messages that are relevant to the season, as well as informative and engaging for the callers. This list of tips for writing on hold messages may also be of help.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Messages On Hold can become a company’s customer service representative when a live person can’t take the call. Playing seasonal promotions – be it for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day or Halloween – via your on hold messages or auto responder can help reduce the number of abandoned calls, hang ups and improve the way you and your staff handle calls. When done in the right way, you can up your business figures (e.g., sales, customer service ratings) and reputation as a company in the long run.