Do you know that more than 70% of business calls are put on hold, and 60% of them are hung up if there is no response?
Well, we all know that no matter how hard a business tries, there is always some waiting time. Though businesses are forced to sometimes put customers “on hold”, it annoys the heck out of customers who have to wait. No one should have to wait for minute after minute to get their calls answered. 34% of customers who hang up, never call back. That’s lost business, because you left them on hold. Do you really want to lose all those customers because of congested phone lines?
If not, then you need to find a solution to this. And, that solution is an on-hold music feature on your VoIP phone number service. Always underrated, this feature has all the powers that will help you retain your customers. Let’s explore a little about this feature so you know it’s the right solution for your business.
What is on-hold music?
On-hold music is a business practice wherein a business uses a customized/recorded/downloaded music/message to fill in the silence during the wait time. Alfred Levy first came up with this practice in 1962. He was a factory owner and an entrepreneur. His invention of on-hold music was by chance, and today it has totally revolutionized the customer service industry (for better or for worse).
How on-hold music works?
Well, its methodology is pretty simple. Let’s understand it with an example. Suppose you are using a US virtual phone number for a business in areas such as California (209), Hawaii (808), New Jersey (201), and New York (212) and your customers call you up.
As you must be using various extensions of your virtual office phone system, the call is generally transferred to the next available agent in the case one line is busy. Now, all of this takes some time, and your customers have to wait.
Now, instead of letting your customers listen to that annoying default music or just dead-air, you can use any music/message of your choice with your US virtual phone number. You can preset it, and the best part is you can change it whenever you want to.
Why should a business use on-hold music feature?
Customers are the true assets of any business. An On-hold music feature on your office phone system can help you retain your customers in many way, let’s go through a few:
• It helps to reduce incidents of call hang ups by customers – Being on-hold over a long time is indeed an annoying thing. Studies have shown that customers who listen to on-hold music will stay 25% longer on the line in comparison to customers who had to listen to annoying beeps. Not only this, if you have your callers listen to on-hold music, a 90 second wait time will feel more like a 30 second one, as studies suggest.
• It can help a caller to calm down – We all know that music has a calming effect on us. When you play soothing on-hold music, your callers are likely to be less irritated with the waiting time and maybe it’ll help them reduce their anxiety.
• It helps you in image building – Using on-hold music also signifies that you are adhering to the best business practice and care for your customers. A company without an automated answering service or on-hold music always feels a little unprofessional.
What kind of on-hold music should you pick?
By now, we are well aware of the power of on-hold music. It’s a very legitimate question to ask, what kind of music should you play? Classical? Rock? Punk? There must be a good answer. It’s probably not punk.
Can you use anything as on-hold music?
Well, no. As much as having on-hold music is essential, having the right on-hold music is also very important. Here are some of our expert’s tips on what to pick and what to ditch for your on-hold music system.
• Inform your customers about your offers and services while they are on-hold – Wouldn’t it be great if could create business even while your customers are on-hold? Yes, it is possible if you use customized recorded messages explaining on-going offers or services. It is found that 88% of callers prefer this to traditional music (it gets old after a while). The same study revealed that 20% of customers have purchased after hearing about a product or service during their on-hold experience. This simple step helps you to do direct marketing and increase your customers’ satisfaction without really having to make an effort.
• Ask for feedback – The hosted VoIP phone system has gone a step ahead and started asking for feedback and reviews through on-hold music. As it doesn’t demand anything extra, users are finding this highly interactive and useful to improve their experiences.
• Go for Muzak-style recordings – This type of music is specially dedicated for the on-hold facility only. It is generic orchestral music that can come from any of the music genres.
On-hold music is a blessing in disguise. Are you making the most of it? Does your VoIP service provider offer it? If not, then switch to the one who offers it and starts retaining your customers instead of annoying them.