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!