BusinessVoice Caller Experience Marketing

When you call an urgent care center or the airline with the three-day sale on flights or that restaurant where you’ve been trying to make a reservation, you’re more likely to wait on hold longer. That’s because you need the company’s services as soon as possible or they’re the only area provider of a product you want.

But how do you keep callers holding happily if your company doesn’t sell a “necessity” or your competitors can serve callers without putting them on hold?

The answer: by providing a better caller experience.

That means friendly and smart customer service reps, tightly written call center announcements, engaging On Hold Marketing content and, ideally, giving callers options, from choosing the music style they’d prefer while on hold to hanging up and receiving a call back when your next CSR is available.

In short: a thoughtful, caller-focused encounter that respects their time.

According to research published by, two-thirds of callers are willing to wait on hold for just two minutes or less. And the older the callers, the less likely they are to hold even that long.

So, the goal is to create On Hold Marketing that’s so valuable it makes each caller’s time on hold seem shorter. No hyperbole. No hard sell. No one-sided barrage about what you want from the caller.

Content that keeps your callers on the line might include answers to common questions, details that help them make more-informed buying decisions or tips on how they can save money with your company.

Of course, funny On Hold Marketing content can also elevate the caller experience by surprising and delighting your callers. And, yep, many people have told us that listening to our 4 or 8-minute Humor On Hold productions doesn’t “feel” like 4 or 8 minutes.

Like all effective marketing and advertising efforts, putting your callers first is an ongoing effort. But when executed well, it’ll make it easier for callers to hold for you, no matter what you sell.

Misconceptions About the Caller Experience

We’ve been providing On Hold Marketing (OHM) and related services since 1989, but we still find that many of our clients and prospects have a few misconceptions about what we do and how they can benefit from it.

So, we asked some of our team members about the questions and concerns they hear most often.

Thanks for Holding

“Some people think that all On Hold Marketing copy can be summed up in phrases like ‘your call is important to us’ and ‘please stay on the line.’ But we avoid clichés like those since they add no value,” said Creative Consultant Daniel DiManna.

Instead, we focus on delivering concise content that reinforces your brand and helps your callers make informed - and easier - buying decisions. But that doesn’t mean we only talk about what you sell.

“There are companies that use their OHM content to constantly push their products and services or drive callers to their website,” said Creative Consultant Cassandra Evans. “But On Hold Marketing that’s full of self-serving messages like that can leave a negative impression on callers and cause them to tune out.” We’re always working to serve you by first serving your callers. If they’re engaged or entertained while on hold, they’ll reward you by staying on the line longer, calling again and even making purchases.

Technology Changes

“Over the years, several clients have reached out to cancel their On Hold Marketing program because they thought their new VoIP phone system didn’t support the service,” said Fulfillment Manager Susan Harris. “But they’re always very happy after I tell them that their system does allow them to use our On Hold Marketing.”

We’ve worked with about every type of phone system, so just let us know about any changes you’ve made or are considering and we’ll help you take full advantage of OHM’s marketing capacity.

Better is Possible

“There are still people who think that Caller Experience Marketing isn’t worth worrying about,” said Steve Evert, Director of BusinessVoice. “That’s because they’ve had so many weak interactions with auto attendants and On Hold Marketing that they believe those encounters can’t get any better. But when they hear what’s possible, when they learn about our commitment to the caller experience, they get excited about we can do for their brand.”

“Every moment a prospect or customer spends on the phone with your company is an opportunity to strengthen that relationship and build loyalty,” said Creative Consultant Bob Seybold. “If you don’t invest in informing, educating or entertaining your callers, why would they invest their time and patience in you?”

Make It Easier for Callers to Hold

A Consumer Reports study of more than 1,000 adults found that 66% of those asked are “highly annoyed” by long hold times.

What do they consider long?

On average, two-thirds of callers are willing to wait on hold for just two minutes or less, according to a survey conducted by Arise. The older the callers are, the less likely they’ll hold beyond two minutes.

Why is that important?

A poor customer experience at any touchpoint can cause long-term brand damage. In fact, of all callers who hang up out of frustration, 33% will never call back again. So, reducing caller abandonment is important for developing potential revenue.

There are two ways to encourage callers to stay on the line: 1) shorten your average hold time and/or 2) provide a valuable on hold experience.

Getting back to callers on hold quicker could require hiring more CSRs or improving the efficiency of your existing CSRs. Or it might mean giving callers the option to hang up and receive a call back from your next available representative. (Our CXSelect service does that.)

The quickest route to keeping your callers engaged, though, is improving the quality of your On Hold Marketing content. Replace silence or self-serving messages with caller-focused information that delivers real value and helps your callers make more informed and confident buying decisions.

Or you could choose our custom Humor On Hold to entertain your callers, while still sharing subtle marketing messages with them. A bonus: we’ve been told several times that listening to a four-minute Humor On Hold production feels much shorter than four minutes.

Here are just a few of the comments we’ve received about Humor On Hold:

“We have people call us back and ask us to be put on hold because they want to share it with their friends. We love the humorous approach.” - Susan Penman / Town and Country Hotel San Diego

"I wish I had more time to forward to you all the great feedback we get." - Chris Hamann / Lakeland Auto & Marine

“Superbly written copy and extremely dry humor that was a perfect match for what could've been a dull subject. I laughed out loud at points, and when a caller starts with that reaction, it's a great way to start a conversation.” - Jim Hausfeld / MARCE Awards Judge

RELATED POSTS: Are You Missing an Opportunity?
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Budgeting for Change

How frequently does your business change? And have you budgeted the necessary resources to communicate those changes?

From minor policy tweaks to a major brand overhaul, your company might undergo dozens of noteworthy changes each year.

You might announce the most obvious of those changes on your website and social channels, but there may be more subtle shifts you should also tell your callers about.

For instance, have you reduced the size of your staff recently? That may impact the hold times your callers experience. Use your call center recordings and On Hold Marketing content to explain the reason for the longer waits, along with your plans to fix the problem and any available options, such as choosing to receive a call back

Or maybe you just hired a few new team members. Be sure to add their relevant information to your call center recordings so customers know how to reach those people.

Have you updated your brand standards to reflect a fresh copy style, a new positioning statement or key product descriptors? Your callers should always hear the latest version of your brand. So, maintain consistent messaging with them by revising your in-queue and on hold language as necessary.

Typically, the more touchpoints you offer customers, the more money you’ll need to allot for updating brand elements. But with an ongoing Caller Experience Marketing program that includes all content updates, you may not need to spend a single new dollar to ensure that prospects and customers hear the latest information about your company.

Let’s talk about the possibilities. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at 419/724-7311.

RELATED POSTS: Why Telephone Etiquette Training Is Worth the Investment
The First Step in Addressing Caller Experience Trouble
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Humor On Hold A Competitors Praise

Have you ever experienced two competing emotions at exactly the same time?

It happened to me yesterday.

While in a meeting to discuss the new BusinessVoice website we’re building, I asked Joe, our front end developer, to search the phrase “Funny On Hold Messaging.”

At the top of the search engine results page was a blog post titled “5 Funniest On Hold Messaging Service Scripts.”

Joe clicked on the link. We thought we’d see or hear examples of funny On Hold Marketing that the article writer’s company had produced.

Instead, we saw five examples of Humor On Hold copy that I wrote for five BusinessVoice clients.

No attribution. No admission that his company did not create the unique content.

My reaction: instant outrage, followed very quickly by a simultaneous feeling of flattery.

On one hand, the writer played fast and loose with our content, suggesting by association that his company had created it and using it to draw visitors to his website. Not cool.

On the other hand, he obviously thought highly of the humor, having labeled it the “5 Funniest On Hold Messaging Service Scripts.”

So, along with earning more than 135 awards and many years’ worth of client compliments, our Humor On Hold has now been recognized by other On Hold Marketing providers at least twice, most recently via the “5 Funniest” article. Another competitor referred a client to us after realizing their team couldn’t satisfy the client’s desire for “something original.” (Read the story and listen to the production.)

After icing myself down for a few hours, my rage subsided, but our team’s commitment to creating innovative On Hold Marketing content that surprises and delights callers has never been stronger.

Consider the “5 Funniest” article as another recommendation to use BusinessVoice Humor On Hold.

Writing Your Own On Hold Marketing Copy
Tell Your Story to Raise Your Value

National Humor Month Can Be a Year Round Inspiration

April is National Humor Month. It began in 1976 as a way to reinforce the value of laughter in our lives - its ability to ease stress, release feel-good endorphins and even unite people.

Despite humor's many benefits, though, relatively few brands take a humorous approach with their marketing. While that's bad news for consumers, it's a good opportunity for you and your company to stand out by applying a funny attitude to your copy and content.

Dan Kazmierczak is the CEO of Binkelman Corporation, a company that's used Humor On Hold from BusinessVoice since 1996. He said, “When I would be at conventions, I’d tell people about the kind of On Hold Messaging we have. Then, when I was out in Vegas one time, I called back to the office and had myself put on hold so the people at the convention could hear it. And they were laughing because it’s just so funny. Your service is very valuable to us.” (Listen to a sample.)

The company's Marketing Manager Rebecca Conrad agrees. "We love the laughs BusinessVoice has provided to our customers over the years through their creative On Hold Marketing."

Chris Hamman is another believer. He's the President of Lakeland Auto and Marine in Port Clinton, Ohio. He wrote, "I wish I had more time to forward you all the great feedback we get." (Have a listen.)

It's important to remember that the Humor On Hold audience has already made the decision to call the company. That means that, unlike funny TV or radio commercials, humorous content on hold doesn't need to do the heavy lifting of driving people to an initial action - in this case, making a phone call.

Being placed on hold, though, is almost always perceived as a negative. That's why Humor On Hold shines. It can change that negativity to a feeling of surprise and delight.

When executed well, Humor On Hold stands in dramatic contrast to the typically underwhelming on hold content that most companies provide. Using humor in the on hold channel is, in fact, a unique choice. So, callers may even interpret it as a thoughtful "gift" the company has chosen to give its customers.

Susan Penman is the Sales Director for Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, a BusinessVoice client. She said, “We have people call us back and ask us to be put on hold because they want to share it with their friends. We love the humorous approach.” (Listen here.) 

RELATED POSTS: The Value of Unexpected Humor
More Than Ever Your Callers Need to Laugh 
The Serious Value of Humor On Hold