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On-Hold Messages Help Customer Service

by Alan Rock

Here is a rhetorical question; how many of you business people wake up and decide to give poor to crummy customer service? I'll bet none of you, yet, it exists. I'd venture that many who are reading this can site examples and describe your frustrations at the companies that delivered that awful service.

Today's business environment has changed. Not too many years ago, prior to the Internet, customers and/or clients would come to your place of business both to research your product and/or service. Today, they go online, or, they use the telephone. The On-Line part gets the prospect's attention, that's your marketing at work and how it looks, feels or sounds, is your branding at work. I am certain you realize the value of making a good impression for those that seek you out, so you spend a good portion of your budget on creating a great environment to showcase your products and/or services; as a matter of information, about 80% of your marketing budget is spent getting people to your place of business. Again, in today's environment, people generally follow up with a phone call even after reading the FAQ part of your web site. Now what happens? In many cases this prospect can't even find a phone number to call. In my case, and I'm sure in many other cases, it's move on to the next web site that might answer the needs. So may I suggest that every web site have a contact number to call so that business can be done.

Here's another bit of information on average only 6% of the marketing budget is spent on when the phone rings. Here is another rhetorical question; how many dollars does your business miss by having poor telephone rapport?

The person that answers the phone needs to be very sharp and knowledgeable about your product and/or service and know to whom she or he should pass the call. If you choose to use the 'Auto-Attendant' feature, make sure it is simple to understand what button to push. In either case, that caller will be placed On-Hold for some amount of time (according to AT&T 70% of all callers are placed On-Hold), from a very few seconds to several minutes and what happens now is critical to your sales process.

If this caller hears nothing, 60% of the time they will hang up within thirty seconds. If they hear a radio station they may hang on for ninety seconds unless the station isn't tuned in right or they hate the music. However, if they have a On-Hold message that informs them about your business, educates them about your products and/or service and carries your marketing and branding message forward, AT&T research tells us that the caller will stay on line for four minutes or more.

Since 1987 HoldMasters has been helping businesses retain callers by creating custom messages that both educate and entertain callers. Here's another bit of information; a business with an On-Hold message shows on average an increase in sales between two and a half to five percent.

When you give great customer service you will increase your bottom line.

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