Music On Hold

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

When was the last time you called your own company?

When was the last time you called your own company?

I’m sure that no matter what sector your business belongs to or you work in, that you’re no stranger to calling other businesses. On hold marketing is where you get your first impression of a company, sure you can see their website but the likelihood is that they used a fancy web designer for that, it’s not a true reflection of their customer service.

If you’ve not called your own business for a while or if since you’ve had your on hold messages in place you’ve not really thought about them then it’s definitely time that you picked the phone up to yourself.

Why would I call myself I hear you asking…

  1. Do you know how your on-hold audio and IVR menus sound? Are they muffled, crackly and full of echoes? Do the voiceover and music track suit your business?
  2. Does your script make sense? Are you being as clear as possible in your messages about what your company does and the services that you offer?
  3. Do your menus make sense? Is each option clearly described and will it make navigation a breeze or will your customer select an option and still be passed around from department to department?
  4. Is everything up to date? Have you mentioned your opening hours and contact details, are these still correct? Do you mention a service you no longer offer or have you expanded to offer more that you should be informing your callers about?
  5. Can you navigate your own menus? Do you find yourself thinking ‘None of those options are suitable for why I’m calling?’ If your caller doesn’t find an option has been presented to them that reflects why they’re calling, they’ll likely press any button just to get to speak to someone. This means that callers for that department are in a queue and that the original caller will likely need to be transferred somewhere else, taking not only your customer’s time but also your team’s. You can accommodate these kind of callers by making sure you’re aware of the most common queries and addressing these in your on hold messages, or having an option for ‘all other enquiries’.
  6. Are your call handlers able to offer the best possible advice to your callers? You might think this has nothing to do with your on hold marketing or navigation, sadly you’re mistaken. If calls are coming through and your team aren’t able to help your customers, then you need to ensure training is topped up! This is a double edged sword, your on hold messages need to be organised in a way that quashes quick queries, by directing callers to your website as an alternative source of information. You also need to make sure if you have an IVR menu that when callers are connected to their choice, that the team has the ability to help them.

We hope this has given you something to think about, having up to date on hold marketing and menus is not only the first impression a customer will get from your company, but this also affects how they will perceive your customer service. Nail both of these and you’ll soon be as well known for your customer service as these guys


The big showdown - Silence vs Music vs Messages

We get asked a lot about on hold music, whilst it’s really important to have something for your callers to listen to whilst they wait on the line, music isn’t the most engaging option when on its own.

Combine music with messages on hold and you’ve got a winning combination! The standard Music on hold included with every telephone system is often poor quality, tinny and let’s be honest, boring! Plus call handlers are constantly made to feel guilty for interrupting waiting callers’ private discos…

Research shows that there’s 3 stages of how much your caller will put up with when placed on hold, when faced with varying levels of entertainment.

Average hold time of callers whilst listening to...

Average hold time of callers whilst listening to...


Placing a caller on hold for them to be faced with silence is unsurprisingly bad for business, with callers staying on a silent line for an average of just 40 seconds before hanging up. Being faced with silence is confusing, your customer doesn’t know if they were placed on hold properly or if the call is even connected correctly.  Your caller is now sat debating if they should hang up or not, a debate that lasts just over half a minute. The next best thing would be to add a little music in to jolly things up and reassure your customer that their call hasn’t been lost to the on hold abyss. Oh and if you’re thinking our phone system beeps to let callers know they’re still connected that’s just as annoying!


We can be honest here, no one likes listening to dodgy on hold music on its own. Often crackly, dated or over exuberant classical music is played, unless you’re really treating your customers and subject them to deafening and confusing beeps. Making them reminisce back to the dreaded bleep test you used to do in school PE does not help to retain your customers unfortunately, with callers who are placed on hold to music alone hanging up after around two and a half minutes.


There are many benefits to having on hold messages and music playing to your waiting customers, primarily that they will actually wait! Unlike the previous options, callers placed on hold who were able to listen to professionally recorded messages in combination with music stay on hold for around four minutes!

Average Hold Time

The average hold time of a caller when faced with silence, music only or music and messages


Put yourself in your callers’ shoes, when you ring a company how would you feel if there was silence on the line? How would you feel if there was music? Now think how you would feel if there was music with messages?

What better way is there to introduce your company to new customers than by telling them directly what you do, why you do it, how you do it and how well you do it? On hold messages are perfect for instilling confidence in new customers that you’re a professional company and also reassuring returning customers. You’ll turn what would have been a passive caller into an active one!

Think of your return of investment, by opting for both music and messages on hold you’re more likely to keep customers on the line, meaning you’re not losing calls and potential leads. What’s more is that you can target your patient callers whilst they wait happily on the line.

On Hold Marketing is a fantastic way to communicate and build a relationship with your customer before they even speak to anyone within the company. It gives you the chance to promote your products, offers and services whilst they wait, which could not only create a positive conversation when the call is connected but could potentially convert into a sale. This also helps to improve your credibility, by informing your customers of your experience or accreditations you’ll increase their faith in your services.

Hopefully we’ve convinced you to consider the contrast of call outcome from a caller faced with silence to one faced with entertaining and crisp sounding messages and modern music. If you think it’s time for a Spring clean of your on hold audio then get in touch, we promise not to bore you if you’re on hold!

Effective communication at Christmas

One quick Google for Christmas inspiration and it’s clear to see there’s no shortage of heart-warming festive news, giving us the warm fuzzies here at iNarrator HQ. Something that stands out to us is how much people strive to make their Christmas the most memorable one yet, full of family traditions both old and new.

Another thing that is important around this time of year is keeping in touch and catching up with loved ones. For little one’s there’s no one more important to speak to than Santa, so the opportunity to see the Big Man in his grotto is one not to be missed. This week a video was posted on the internet of a three year old sat on Santa’s lap having a conversation in sign language because she has difficulty speaking. Our hearts grew three sizes that day after watching the real life Miracle on 34th Street scene. It made us think about the importance of communication in all forms, speaking, writing, messages and even signing.


We've also been embracing the nostalgia of old Christmas tales, from ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to The Snowman, but there’s nothing wrong with mixing it up and creating a new classic we've found out this week. The same goes for your on hold messages, New Year, New Audio? Perhaps you've got some exciting new products for 2016 or are expanding, why not give your on hold marketing a refresh for the start of the New Year?

We've had Christmas tunes blasting since late November and really understand the need for your seasonal on hold messages to be as catchy (just like our On Hold Song) and informative, communicating to your callers when you’re open around the festive season and if you've got any great deals for them! Don’t lose out on business just because you've not updated, give alternative contact information and clear opening hours so you can start business in January with a bang!

Since ‘tis the season of good will we wanted to let you know that we've chosen a brilliant charity to support this year and with your help we can achieve our aim of to buy as many driving experiences as possible! So for or every Christmas Package purchased we’ll donate £10 to Speed of Sight. The charity was set up by Mike Newman, the fastest blind man on the planet and runs driving experience days for people with disabilities. There’s loads of great videos on their website  

Did you know you can do more than just play music to callers?

A lot of business owners and marketing managers we speak to don't realise there is an alternative to playing just music to callers while they're holding the line. 

What could you play to callers whilst On-Hold?

Instead of Music On Hold you could be making use of the time callers spend On-Hold to play relevant and targeted marketing messages, to promote your products and services.


Why On Hold Marketing Messages are better than Music On-Hold:


Music is subjective
One persons favourite music track can be another's most hated, that's the kind of passion music evokes in people, so you're never going to please everyone. With On Hold Marketing Messages the music is secondary because the spoken promotional messages are more prominent, so people are listening to the spoken message rather than the music and are less likely to be offended by the music. 


Music trends are constantly changing
A music track that's popular and sounds great today, won't sound as current in a years time and could start to annoy people. 


Music On-Hold isn't free
If you're playing chart music to callers on hold then you are required by law to have a PRS licence, failure to do so could result in a hefty fine which can even be back dated. The music we use for our On-Hold Marketing Productions is royalty free so you don't have to purchase a PRS licence, saving you money. On Hold Messages can actually generate sales by promoting your products ans services.


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+