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Music On Hold: Making Your Small Business Sound Big

First Impressions Matter
When you walk through the front door of a business, you begin to pass judgement. You look at whether the space is clean and friendly, out of date or well-maintained. Are there any lights out? Is there anywhere to sit?

Now, imagine that your telephone is your "other front door". It is the place where customers (and potential customers) come to meet you, find out about you and decide whether to do business--or continue to do business--with you.

"Over 15 years, we have learned that potential customers will judge a company by what they hear while on hold. It's the same as if you were to enter the lobby of a business and take a look around," says Julie Cook, president of Easy On Hold, a leading provider of phone on hold music and messages for business of every size.

"Music on hold messages make small companies sound big and big companies sound friendly," Cook says.

What's On Your Hold Button?
Statistics show that around 70% of business callers experience some on-hold time. What callers hear says something about you. So, why not call your company and ask to be placed on hold? You might get a taste of what your callers are hearing.

If you're a small business or a start-up, you want to be sure that you can compete with bigger, more established competitors. You need every advantage you can get. Music on hold messages is an affordable way to sound more professional--maybe a little bigger--than you are now.

When callers hear music and custom announcements on hold, they're not only more likely to stay on the line, but they instantly get a good impression of your business. You're demonstrating that you care about the callers; that you've thought through every small detail concerning customer touch-points. It is logical to assume that you'll also take care of me as a customer.

What Should My On Hold Message Say?
Even if your phone on hold times are short, you can still make a good impression with short statements that demonstrate competency, innovation, customer care and other important business attributes.

Avoid useless and cliche statements such as, "Your call is important" and "We apologize for the wait."

Do take time to make each statement meaningful, such as giving helpful advice and answering frequently-asked questions, without doing too much chest-thumping.

What other marketing/advertising efforts are you making? How are you engaging your customers? It is a good idea to coordinate your messages across all media platforms, including social, online, onsite, print, broadcast, etc.

How Often Should My Message On Hold Change?
Begin by asking:

  • who is calling?

  • how often does one person call back?

  • how long are hold times?

  • what do callers ultimately want as a result of their call?

  • what do you wish everyone knew about you?

Information can get stale quickly, and hearing worn out or incorrect on hold announcements can be a big turn-off. Plan accordingly. Purchasing a package of updates from a reliable message on hold provider can save you money in the long run and prepare you for keeping your on hold sound fresh and meaningful.

As a small business, you can level the playing field by putting a little effort into your company's "other front door", the telephone, with custom messages on hold from a qualified professional music on hold provider.

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