On Hold Messages

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!





3 Phrases to Banish from your On Hold Messages

Last week we talked about waffle, jargon and gobbledygook and how it shouldn't be littering your on hold marketing and clouding the message you’re trying to get across to your customers.

This week we’re moving onto the phrases for on hold recordings that we think should be used an awful lot less often than they are. We had many, many to choose from but have managed to whittle it down. We’re building on what we mentioned last week; the importance of your script. When it comes to on hold marketing your script, music choice and voice over become the holy trinity. They all need to harmonise with one another, which is why it just won’t do if you've got a well thought out script and a voice over that doesn't fit your brand. It works exactly the same way when you've chosen the perfect voice but your script isn't up to scratch.

Think about the wording of your messages, do they promote what you do or what you’re offering the customer? Simply rewording a message can make all the difference. Take the two messages below as an example, which one would sound more appealing if you were calling? Promote your services easily just by altering how you inform your customers of them.

1.       To pay your bill over the phone, press one for our automated payment line.
2.       Did you know paying your bill is as easy as pushing a button? For the quick and stress-free way to pay please press one.

Now onto those phrases!

If you've ever been on hold for a very long time, which I'm assuming you have, you’ll know how infuriating it is to be told to...

"Please continue to hold, your call is very important to us…"

It’s a little hard to believe that your call is important when you’ve been left waiting, listening to the same repeated message for ages. The customer knows their call is important because they’re calling you but telling them that it’s important to you when no agents are answering doesn’t seem very fair. Don’t de-value your customer’s call by coming across as condescending in your on hold message. If you value your customer’s calls then the most important thing to do is ensure you have enough staffing in place to deal with high demand. We think a selection of entertaining messages that will bring your best services to your customer’s attention are a more suitable option than reminding them that they’re waiting.


"We’re exceptionally busy at the moment, please hold the line and we’ll answer your call as soon as possible..."

Possibly the worst thing you can mention to someone who is giving up their free (or more than likely not free) time to speak to your company. The amount of lunch hours wasted trying to contact a company only to be on hold for the majority of that time is enough to bring a grown man to tears. There’s something too high and mighty about the word exceptionally, it effectively slaps your customer across the face with a clock to say that our time is more important than theirs. It’s quite likely they are also exceptionally busy, telling them this just rubs in the fact that they can’t continue with their productive day, as it’s been halted by patronising on hold messages. Whilst your customer is experiencing a negative aspect of your company you should ensure your on hold marketing reflects the positive aspects instead.


"We know you’re waiting, we will be with you shortly..."

When I hear this phrase I picture someone staring at a ringing phone but not answering it. It’s not necessary to remind a caller that your agents know they’re waiting on the line but their call hasn’t been answered. Don’t forget how effective and inexpensive on hold marketing is in comparison to other methods, utilise the time your customer is waiting to inform them about your company’s services and encourage them to use these. Creating a positive listening experience, rather than drawing attention to the fact your caller is waiting will keep customers more engaged and less grumpy about their wait!

Hopefully this has given you some food for thought, if you actively encourage customers to call you in your marketing strategy then ensure that you’re being optimistic in your on hold recordings, so that if they are placed on hold then the messages they hear aren’t all about how long their wait is and how busy you are!

Whisper sweet nothings to your callers

This Saturday couples all over the world will be celebrating their love on St Valentine’s Day with gifts little or large to show how much they care.

So what has the most romantic day of the year got to do with On Hold Marketing? Well like every relationship you need to make your customers feel special… neglect them at your peril! A little TLC and thought can go a long way to getting and keeping customers.

And On Hold Marketing gives you the unique opportunity to whisper sweet nothings to your callers while they're holding the line!

It’s estimated that in the UK alone we’re set to spend £1.9 billion celebrating Valentine’s Day this year with the average spend being around £53 per person. It’s a great money spinner for florists, jewellers, and other retailers and especially hotels and restaurants with dinner out accounting for a quarter of the total spend.

So spread the love this Valentine’s Day and whisper sweet nothings to your callers all year round with professional On Hold Marketing Messages. Request your free demo message by clicking here.

Whisper sweet nothings to your callers... click the image to request your free On Hold Demo

Whisper sweet nothings to your callers... click the image to request your free On Hold Demo

Why we recommend at least 3 minutes of On Hold Audio...

Every day we speak to business owners and marketing managers and we're quite often told:

"We don't put people on hold for long"


"Callers don't hold for more than 15 seconds"

Our response is always the same...

"Yes but you do put people On Hold... and here's the reason we recommend at least 3 minutes of On Hold Audio..."

Your customers call you on a regular basis and if you have the same generic On Hold Message going round and round (or even worse, silence or beeps!) it's going to drive them mad!

Our 3 Minute On Hold Package includes 6 different marketing messages, so your callers are much less likely to hear the same message every time they call.... simple when you think about it.

Take a look at our on hold prices, then request our free On Hold Demo today.


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

What makes a good On Hold Message?

We are often asked , 'What makes a good On Hold Message?'  We think there are three points that need to be present in each On Hold Message to engage with the caller.  But, before we go into detail, we should point out that an On Hold Message is just one of a number of messages which make up an On Hold Marketing Audio Production - our basic package features 8 individual On Hold Messages.

What makes a good On Hold Message?

1. Good Content. Each message should deal with one specific product or service your business provides, this allows you to promote each offering to its full potential and fully engage with the caller. Reeling off a list of services might be impressive but it's not very interesting for the listener. 

2. Persuasive Writing. A well written and interesting message is essential to engage with the caller and make them take action which leads nicely into point 3....

3. Call to Action. Finally each message should have a Call to Action, i.e. something to prompt the caller to respond. This could be to ask a member of staff for more information when their call is answered, visit a website, follow you on Twitter or Facebook any action which you can track, so you can monitor how your On Hold Marketing Messages are performing. 

It goes without saying that every message needs to be up-to-date as callers will quickly spot old and outdated messages.

Script writing by one of our marketing experts is included with every On Hold Marketing Solution.


by Emily O'Connell - Head Script Writer at iNarrator OnHold

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+

Welcome to our new On Hold Messaging website

Welcome to our new On Hold Messaging website

Hi thanks for visiting our new On Hold Messaging website, we hope you like the new look and content.

You might have noticed that we now offer both Pay Once and Pay Monthly options for On Hold Messaging. Take a look at our On Hold Messaging packages which include free script writing and a free audio demo so you can hear how great you could sound.