Image-Build, Inform, and Motivate with Your Phone Hold Music, Part 2

by Tim Holdon

Your Phone Hold Music.

In our last post, we met Jane Doe. Jane (you’re familiar with her brother, John) hails from the famous “Doe” family, long-renowned in the business world for their exceptional business acumen and discernment. Jane has little patience for either poor customer service or cheesy phone hold music. This post continues exploring how you can make better use of your phone hold music to win the “Jane Doe’s” out there as loyal customers.

For many business people, it seems that “phone hold music” – aka “music on hold”, “on-hold messaging”, “messages on hold”, etc. – is little more than an afterthought – i.e., a necessary but trivial requirement on the level of pencil sharpeners, potted plants, or paper towel dispensers in the bathroom. I.e., it’s just one of the “etcetera”. The perception of the public at large with regard to the modern business phenomenon of “phone hold music” may not matter much. Your perception is, arguably, another matter for the simple reason that you may be wasting a potentially powerful, low-cost, and easily employed means of communicating with, educating, and motivating your customers to do business with you. If so, you might want to consider the value of undergoing a self-imposed paradigm shift on this subject.

If you think the only purpose of your phone hold music is to entertain – to help keep your customers from becoming so bored and irritated while waiting on hold that they hang up – you’re missing the boat. Obviously phone hold music can fill in the empty silence. It can also, however, be a great deal more than just “filler”. Regardless of your industry, your customers are individuals – whether they are calling on their own personal behalf, as representatives of a company, or whatever. They not only have unique needs, they may be at different stages in the buying process, or, they may have already purchased and be calling with a service issue, a question, or a complaint. They may be long-time, repeat customers or they might be just “window shopping”.

Regardless, every caller is a future customer. What’s more, there is, generally, no guarantee that a current customer cannot be lost. Moreover, theoretically at least, every customer can potentially be a candidate for additional products or services. It is up to you to “broaden their horizons” by educating them with regard to your product line, suite of services, etc. While they’re on hold, you could describe your sales and fulfillment processes, let them know what they can do to streamline things, and tell them how they can help you help them. You can share the creative ways other customers have made use of your products. Plant the seeds of new ideas. Help them think “outside the box”.

As for the “entertainment value” of your phone hold music, why not bump that up a notch while you’re at it? Instead of “cheesy hold music”, delight with relevant but amusing trivia. Or, engage in some endearing anecdotes or share a notable bit of customer feedback or something your business has done to contribute to the community. “People do business with people”. By the time “Jane Doe” finishes her time on hold she will, if you have made good use of your phone hold music, have undergone something of a transformation into a customer that is better informed about who you are, what you do, how you do it, how she will benefit, and why she might want do business with you.

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