94% of all marketing budgets are spent on inducing a customer to call, while only 6% is spent on handling the call once it is received,” according to Inbound Telephone Call Center. On average, 7 out of 10 business callers are placed on-hold and 34% who hang up will not call back.
That said, every small business owner knows that sometimes placing a customer on hold is necessary. This article will look at customer service tactics on how to retain and in some cases increase business by using the time patients are on hold.
Provide Customer Service Around “The Hold”
Due to the high dropped call rate of customers placed on hold, placing a customer on hold should be avoided if possible. But, in situations where placing a customer can’t be avoided, provide customer service around the hold.
Provide a Choice
Always give the person calling the option to hold or receive a call back. If research is required you can also offer to email the answer to them. This simple question gives callers a choice on how they would prefer to receive service and makes them feel more in control.
Hold Request Anatomy
Start with an apology, ask for permission and give them a choice, keep the caller engaged with a hold message, check in to let them know you are still working on the issue and give them the choice again, sincerely thank the customer, and use a good call script. This hold request anatomy is from an article posted by Business 2 Community which goes into more depth on each step if you are interested.
Business 2 Community also offers call scripts that you can download and customize for your business.
Keep The Customer Engaged with Hold Messaging
According to Sales & Marketing Management, 88% of callers surveyed want to hear product information on-hold. Hold retention is highest when hold recordings combine both messages and music. According to a study conducted by the North American Telecommunications Association callers held up to three minutes longer when music and information were combined.
But having a well-crafted call message with music by itself isn’t enough. It needs to match your identity as a brand.
Align Your Hold Music and Message With Your Brand
Imagine if you called a funeral home and were greeted by a perky on-hold recording with pop music in the background while you are mourning a loss of a loved one. This is an extreme example, but nicely illustrates the emotional impact a misaligned phone message can have on your customers and how important it is to have your hold message aligned with your business.
You want to ensure that your message’s music, tone of voice and the product information you share matches why your customer is calling. Classical music paired with a subdued delivery of the hold script is typically construed as soothing to customers waiting to speak to a healthcare provider. Consider what will resonate best with your callers needs and choose the music and a voice that communicates accordingly.
For more tips on crafting the message to go with the music and voice, Comm100 has created Live Chat Scripts to Make Stellar Agents that may be helpful to you and your practice.
Keep Your Message Updated
Update your message on a regular basis to keep regular callers interested. You can do this by changing the music, the message, and/or the products and services that you feature. These changes will also ensure that the information that you’re sharing is up-to-date and accurate. Frequent changes can also result in a higher ROI.
According to the On-Hold Messaging Association, 24% of survey respondents said they could attribute specific sales directly to hold message marketing and small business owners who change their on-hold messages 6 times or more per year are more likely to attribute an increase in sales to hold messaging.