We know your time is valuable and appreciate your patience. Thank you for holding.
Those two sentences have the potential to drive your customers crazy when they call your business. It gets worse the longer they wait on hold. The more times they hear it the more agitated they become. The frustration mounts because we become keenly aware of our patience when someone is trying it, and our time when someone is wasting it.
This may seem like an interesting way to start this post, seeing as how our primary business is providing on-hold programs for companies across the country. However, keep in mind that I left out a very important word. It is the word separates us from our competition, and will help elevate you above yours. Advertising.
Leo Tolstoy, in his novel War and Peace wrote, “The strongest of all warriors are these two – Time and Patience.” There is no greater moment to take advantage of these powerful allies than when a customer calls your business and are placed on-hold. Companies make the mistake of reminding callers that they are waiting on hold. And they do it over and over and over again.
Friends, this is not done in any other advertising medium. Imagine hearing, ‘Thank you for watching TV. We appreciate you sitting through these commercials while you watch TV. Your time on the couch is valuable to us. Please continue to watch TV. No one will be right with you because you are watching TV.’
However, you will sit patiently for hours and not feel like you wasted any time because you are being entertained. You watch the advertisements for the same reason. Think about the GEICO Spy Ad, or Friends Furever and the Monotune commercials from Android, or any movie trailer you’ve ever seen. Those advertisements engage you in the content, educate you about the product, and entertain you in the process. Never once do they remind you that you’re sitting on the couch, watching an ad on TV.
Advertise to your callers rather than remind them they are sitting and waiting on-hold. Instead of simply reciting a laundry list of products and services, be creative. Use emotion, use humor, perspective, or real-life stories to engage your customers while they wait. Messages aren’t enough. Paint them an audio picture of your business and the benefits you provide.
On-Hold advertising will deploy the mighty warriors of patience and time to your advantage. Engage, educate, and entertain your customers on-hold as a reward for contacting you. They’ll be glad you did.
Tom McTee, Super-Genius