H.O.L.D. Please

Hold On, I’m Coming,’ by Sam & Dave is one of my favorite oldies.  It was blaring from my car stereo on the way to work.  That experience was able to pull my focus off of the gridlock that greeted me on my commute and sent me walking into the office to start my day with a smile.  As I was singing along, it wasn’t lost on me that I am in the ‘hold’ business.  Our specialty is making the most of the moments between you telling a caller, ‘Hold On,’ and ‘I’m Coming (Back).’

Advertising to callers placed on hold provides you with the opportunity to positively connect with current and potential customers.  Here are four guidelines to assist you in crafting advertising messages for a caller you put on H.O.L.D.

H – Highlight One Topic per Message

Creating a single message with a list of all the products and services you offer is easy to write. But, all of that information is difficult to retain.  Focus on one product or one service. Go into detail.  Share the benefits with them.  Single-subject messaging will make your on-hold advertising more effective.

O – Offer a Different Approach

Businesses tend to fall into a predictable, repetitive pattern with their on-hold advertising.  That’s why it is easy to tune them out.  Try a different approach with some of the messages in your on-hold advertising campaign.  Sharing a personal experience from a satisfied customer is a good place to start.  Or, try presenting your services from the perspective of a beloved pet.  A little creativity will go a long way in helping your callers learn more about your business.

L – Listen to the Product

Understanding the customer experience is key to maximizing store traffic, increasing sales, and improving customer retention rates. This is why data gathered by secret shoppers is so vital. It validates whether or not corporate decisions enhance or detract from the customer experience. It also works in developing effective advertising to callers placed on hold; ensuring that your image is reinforced with every call.  Call your business.  Get placed on hold. Listen and learn.

D – Determine to Maximize Their Time

A potential customer has taken the time to call you.  It is their time.  Your on-hold advertising messages should focus on their needs, from their perspective, in such a way that using your product or service would be for their benefit.  It’s not the time to focus on you, your history, pedigree, or education.  It is their time. Focus on them.

Positive contact with current and potential customers is the lifeblood of successful businesses like yours.  These four guidelines will help you develop effective advertising messages to your callers placed on hold.  Remember to Highlight one subject per message and be willing to Offer a different approach each time – variety is your friend.  Take the time to call your business and actually Listen to the product to ensure the caller’s experience matches what you intended, and always Determine to maximize their time on hold by focusing on their needs.

This is truly the best way to pull a caller’s focus off the gridlock associated with being placed on hold and send them off to the next available representative with a smile.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee