On Hold Marketing

Worst On Hold of The Month - March 2017

Every month we'll showcase the worst Music On Hold we've heard that month. 

March 2017 we have this beauty straight out of the 80's which sounds like a broken ice cream van.

Needless to say the client contacted us because clients made negative comments about the On Hold Experience, 

If you would like to benefit from Professional On Hold Messaging click here to request a free audio demo or call 0800 0112 123

1 in 5 Callers Get Through On The First Attempt

If you’ve read our past blog posts, you’ll know we’re quite fond of statistics. We’re back again with some more shocking stats that should push you into action to prevent new and loyal customers from slipping through the net.

Think back to the last call you made to a company, was your call answered first time? If it was you’re one of the lucky ones, with 8x8’s recent research finding that a staggering 78% of callers hadn’t had their call answered the first time they rang. Meaning only 22% of your potential new customers, or loyal current customers, are reaching an agent on their first attempt.

What could you be missing out on? Well 35% of those callers were new customers. How off putting is it to call somewhere you’re looking to do business with, purchase something or find some information out, only to waste precious time calling back later? Your customers are trying to reach you and have made the effort to call directly, meaning you are potentially losing out on gaining new business.

The risk of new customers being put off doesn’t even end when they eventually do get connected, with 12% of those surveyed, that’s one in eight people, searching for a competitor whilst speaking with a company on the phone. You might also want to consider your audience, with this figure rising to 26% when focusing on young people aged 25 to 34. The tolerance for poor customer service is much lower in younger people, with the figures also finding that 26% of young people also named and shamed a company live on social media whilst on the phone.

Making multiple attempts to call a business is a huge pet peeve, it can be difficult to avoid if you are a busy company but you need to be able to manage the volume of calls or put measures in place to keep your waiting callers happy. You should review the technology you have in place, you could use a call back service, a message to direct waiting callers to other means of getting in touch, or take a look at our options for On Hold Marketing!

Just one in five people manage to get through the first time they call a business, which is a likely explanation to why 91% of us Brits revealed that we’d had a poor experience over the phone. We’re not shy about singing from the rooftops about it either, with almost three-quarters of those surveyed saying that they feel personally responsible to warn others about a company after they’ve received poor service. What you should also bear in mind is that for every one customer who makes a complaint directly, 26 remain silent only to share their experience through other means such as social media or word of mouth, the silent assassins who will be detrimental to your reputation.

Kevin Scott-Cowell, 8X8’s UK MD has a few words of advice;

A business only has one chance to make a great first impression and getting off on the wrong foot can destroy the customer relationship for good. That starts by making sure new customer calls are answered first time. With the right technology in place, it can be easy for businesses to make sure calls are routed to a manned phone and appropriately-skilled agent so new customers are never left to competitors.

How Happy Are Your Callers

According to recent research, those in the US spend an average of 43 days on hold during their lifetime, however UK research shows contrasting data that we Brits spend around 22 days on hold during our lifetime (or 60 hours a year depending on which sources you believe…) and the average wait time is 27 precious minutes.

The issue here isn’t just wasted time, it’s a huge expense! Costing an average of £30,780 – which could be put towards important things, like paying off student loans, putting a deposit on a house or going travelling! The survey found that a mere 7% of callers were actually aware how much being placed on hold was costing them. The only upside to this is that Ofcom took action last Summer to ensure measures were in place to make it clearer to callers how much numbers cost to call, enforcing more prominent advertisement for call pricing.

Combine the time and money that callers are effectively wasting and that equals poor customer service. It’s frustrating for customers, but it’s likely that the call handler you’re waiting to speak to has exactly the same experience when they need to call somewhere too. However it’s still not surprising that call centres have made the Top 100 most annoying things lists and in another survey 47% of people said their biggest pet peeve was being placed on hold and listening to on hold music.

Call us bias but we think if their on hold marketing and music was provided by iNarrator the figures may have been lower…

How Happy Are Your Callers?

How Happy Are Your Callers?

Now that you’ve got the figures, you need to know what it is that’s causing grumbles amongst callers. Last year Which? conducted a survey that found good knowledge of products, helpful staff and of course speed of service were the factors that gave customer’s a good caller experience. Contrasting this and probably not surprisingly

call centres not based in the UK, automated telephone systems and being passed around lots of different people

were what callers found contributed to poor customer service.

 These factors highlight how important it is to ensure your phone system is up to scratch and that you’ve got the right staff in place to deal with your call volume. You can reduce the annoyance of being passed around with a minimal and specific menu, clearly directing callers to the right department first time. Automated systems are necessary but have a look at last week’s blog to find out if you’re making any mistakes and how to improve these!

Callers are much more likely to stay on the line when they have something to entertain them, with 70% of people handing up if they’re placed on hold and have to endure either ominous silence or disconcerting beeps. It’s inevitable that callers will be placed on hold when calling some companies, yet if you’re unable to change your customers’ wait time then you can look into improving their experience.

How to Amplify Your Business with On Hold Marketing

At iNarrator it’s really important to us that we show our clients our human side, we like to be approachable and friendly whilst remaining professional, even more so because we know how many of our clients are fed up of robots on the other end of the line. I’m sure that’s how you’d like to come across in your business too.

Something else that we take seriously are the scripts we produce, they’re all written by us in house after researching your company, tailoring them to your USPs and making you stand out.

We recently came across an article on 2016’s Business Buzzwords and one really stood out to us:

Amplify – a buzzword that couldn’t be more relevant for a company like ours. It should be important to your business too, amplifying isn’t all about cranking up the volume, it’s about raising the bar, making your business boom and heard well above the others.


The Writer, a language consultancy, have noted that amplify is being used in place of words like improve and increase, which is exactly how we want you to see it too. Our scripts aim to polish what you’ve already got whilst keeping things simple. Less is definitely more when it comes to on hold. When creating an on hold message, the most important part is of course the content. What your customers will be listening to whilst they wait must be engaging and current, we write for the ears not the eyes when it comes to on hold messages!

There are a few factors to consider when drafting your message scripts;

Top 3 Tips for On Hold Messages


Would you be bored listening to your messages on hold? Make it exciting and to the point. Cut out any waffle because your customer shouldn’t be waiting long, but at the same time you want to make sure that if they’re listening to your message that it gets to the point quickly.


Which brings us to our next point; how long are your customers usually on hold? Use this as a guide for how many messages you require, there’s nothing worse than hearing the same message again and again so talk to us about looping and spacing out your messages. This will give your customer the chance to actually take in what your messages are saying without bombarding them every 10 seconds.


Lastly - you need to know your audience. We can’t stress enough the importance of effective communication. This is why you need the right combination of content and voice - your message might hit all the right points, but if the delivery doesn't match then customers might lose interest. So consider your target market and current client base. For example, if you’re more of a casual or corporate company, or whether you would benefit from a regional accent or something more national. We have a huge range of national, regional and world voices so you’ll definitely find something to suit your business!

Leave it to the experts...

You can rely on us as being experts in the field to help you avoid using jargon and clouding the message you want to get across to your customers. We can stop you sounding like a sheep in your on hold marketing, so let us help to amplify your company! 

Take a leaf out of Tim Cook's book...

When an Apple customer emailed Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) to complain about the quality of Apple's call centre music on hold, he was slightly shocked to get a call the very next day to inform him things would be improved.

The Apple customer posted the message below on Reddit, in response to a thread about the Apple Maps team correcting incorrect address data.

I once sent Tim an email about the quality of music while on hold with Apple. It was super low quality, therefore an upbeat rock song sounded like pure distortion and really aggravated me because I was on hold for 20+ minutes for something so simple (iPhone didn’t turn on, needed to set up a repair as in my country no Apple Store = have to send it to another country).

Much to my surprise a lady from Cupertino called me up the next day, saying she’d received a concerning email from Tim about ugly distortion hold music while on the phone, that Tim had tested this himself and agreed that something had to be done. She assured me that the hold music would be tested to make sure it sounded pleasant on all types of phones and connections.

The next time I called Apple, the hold music was indeed very pleasant.

Cook has admitted in interviews that he reads hundreds of emails from customers everyday, and so seems is carrying on the tradition of acting on and replying to emails from customers just as Steve Jobs did as CEO.

Well done Apple and Tim Cook for taking action and improving their Music On Hold.

When did you last call your company to check what callers hear while on hold?

Request your free On Hold Demo here and we'll do it for you. 


by Steve Hindley - The Creative Director at iNarrator OnHold. You can find Steve on Google+

People hate to be sold to, but love to buy

Its true people hate to be sold to, but love to buy.

Pushy sales people turn buyers off
How many times have you been approached and pestered by a sales person in a shop, then headed straight for the door? Usually in a mobile phone shop!

Buyers now have more choice and more information than ever
People much prefer to research their purchase and go through the buying process on their own, coming to a decision after looking at all the options - then asking questions just before they're about to buy.

So how is this relevant to On-Hold Messaging?
There are two points:

1. If a caller is about to buy one of your products or services and hears a relevant and targeted message while On-Hold, this confirms their decision to buy was the right one and effectively gives them permission to buy.

2. On-Hold Messages are a subtle form of marketing, you can talk informally to your callers while they're holding the line and plant ideas relating to your products or services. 


Case Study

For example we recently recorded a bunch of On-Hold Messages for a sky diving company. Most people call to book their skydiving experience, so we saw the opportunity to upsell callers. The standard skydive package is to jump from 10,000 feet - however you can upgrade to 15,000 feet which doubles the freefall time and is one of the highest skydives in the UK, who wouldn't want to upgrade for twice the fun! 

Since launching their new On-Hold Audio more callers have asked about upgrading to the 15,000 foot jump - all because one of their On-Hold Messages simply mentioned that they could upgrade and have more fun, taking on one of the UKs highest skydives. 

Talk to us to see how we can help you achieve similar results.
Call 0800 0112 123 or email info@iNarratorOnHold.com


by Steve Hindley - The Creative Director at iNarrator OnHold. You can find Steve on Google+

How to set up Music On Hold Marketing Audio on your VoIP Telephone System

If you're looking to swap the generic hold music that's pre-loaded on your VoIP system we can help.

Music On-Hold Marketing Audio for VoIP Systems

The good news is, most VoIP systems already have Music On-Hold enabled, it's just a case of replacing the generic music that came with the system with a professionally recorded Music On Hold Marketing Audio - you don't need to purchase any additional equipment.

Loading your New On-Hold Audio

Once your new Music On-Hold Marketing Audio is ready all you have to do is log into your VoIP control panel (on line or locally) and upload the new On-Hold Audio to the system - simple as that.


We can supply audio in a range of formats including:

44.1Khz 16Bit Mono MP3

44.1Khz 16Bit Mono Wav

8Khz 16Bit Mono Wav

8Khz 8Bit Mono Wav

8Khz 8Bit Mono u-Law

8Khz 8bit Mono a-Law

and many more file formats...

If the format you need isn't listed above give drop us an email or call us on 0800 0112 123 to check but I’m sure we can provide the format you need.


by Steve Hindley - The Creative Director at iNarrator OnHold. You can find Steve on Google+

What we've learnt by having funny On Hold Audio

Hopefully you've seen our On-Hold Promo Video (if not, why not follow this link now!) we've had a great reaction from everyone who's seen it so we thought we'd see what the reaction of callers is when they hear it On-Hold.

You know you're doing something right when...

So we uploaded it to our VoIP system and the very first caller who heard it asked to be put back On Hold so she could let the rest of the office hear it!

What a reaction, but it's no fluke.

It works because we're laughing at ourselves. Our business is writing and producing On-Hold Marketing Audio so opening our On-Hold Song with the line 'Oh it's furstrating being on hold...' was a little risky but callers get it and it makes them laugh! 


Make your callers laugh while On-Hold

If you could make every one of your callers smile or even laugh out loud (as some of ours have) then you're creating or reinforcing the bond you have with them. We also hope it shows we're good at what we do you would employ a web designer with a rubbish website would you! 


Get your very own On-Hold Song

Some of our clients have asked us to create a similar 'On-Hold Song' for their business and you can have one to now visit our On-Hold Song page to find out more and if you've not seen the video which accompanies our On-Hold song you can watch it here.

by Steve Hindley - The Creative Director at iNarrator OnHold. You can find Steve on Google+