Writing On Hold Marketing Copy

A few of our clients write their own On Hold Marketing copy. Some need to follow very strict compliance standards, while others have an in-house Creative team that generates all their content.

To be as effective as possible, On Hold Marketing copy must be updated regularly. It usually should be concise. And it needs to focus on moving the audience to the next step in the relationship, whether that means encouraging callers to ask for more information or make a purchase.

For those reasons and others, we don’t recommend that our clients take on the challenge of writing their own OHM copy. But, if you’d still like to, consider these tips.

Who Cares? - Whenever you’re creating content for callers (or any audience), always review it with that question in mind. Ask yourself if the audience will likely care about what you’ve written. Is it information that benefits them? Will it motivate them to action? Will it help them make a buying decision in your favor? This can be tricky because you need to put yourself in the listener's place. And you can’t fall so deeply in love with your own words and ideas that you’re reluctant to cut them when necessary.

Get to the Point - We never know how long callers will be on hold. Yes, your company has an average hold time, but the difference between your shortest and longest hold times may vary greatly. So, we err on the side of caution, keeping each message brief - 45 words max, typically. That allows more callers to hear complete thoughts. And because much of today’s media is delivered in shorter bursts (Tweets, 10-second commercials, 5-second pre-roll videos, etc.), we’re meeting the audience’s expectation of brevity. For each message, focus on just one idea; use strong, impactful words; and take a brutal approach to trimming any fat.

Three Questions - After writing each On Hold Marketing message, ask yourself these three questions: 1) What do I WANT this message to accomplish, 2) What is this message LIKELY to accomplish, and 3) How can I measure the results of this message? If the answer to #2 differs too much from the answer to #1, consider re-writing the content so both answers are more aligned. Then, what specific call-to-action can you include that will let you gauge the effectiveness of your copy?

For more insight into how we approach writing On Hold Marketing copy, read these other BusinessVoice Blog posts:

Youre Not One in a Crowd

Most on hold messaging providers have something in common: their websites feature audio samples of their work categorized by industry. For instance, they might label their OHM demos as being for the automotive, medical or financial verticals.

We don’t do that.

Years ago - during conversations about content ideas - our clients would occasionally ask, “What are other companies in my industry talking about on hold?”

Our response was, “Respectfully, why does that matter?”

Yes, it’s important to know what your competitors are doing, but when creating your On Hold Marketing content, it’s just as important to showcase what’s unique about your business, not how you may be similar to those who serve the same consumers.

On Hold Marketing - as opposed to generic on hold messages - is a tool you can use to separate yourself, communicate your added value, and even build the trust necessary to begin new customer relationships.

We don’t group our demos by vertical markets because - unlike many OHM providers - we don’t think of your brand as just one in a crowd. Lumping it in with “all the others” would be a disservice not only to you but to your callers who want information that helps them make informed buying decisions.

You can listen to many samples of our work and read a short story about each production in our On Hold Marketing of the Month blog. Or check out our Humor On Hold™ page to hear how we create positive caller experiences with a humorous approach. 

Caller Experience Audits

Have you ever considered the cost of a lost customer? Not a customer you once had who’s left you; a customer you never won due to an employee’s apathy, a lack of urgency or long hold times.

In his post “The True Cost of Customer Service,” Seth Godin details how the $600 you paid for digital ads that attracted one actual caller can be wasted if your receptionist or CSR doesn’t handle that call with care.

And that’s not even the worst part. The truly sickening sensation comes when you start imagining what all your lost callers would have spent with your company over the lifetime of your relationship with them. And then there’s the value of the positive word-of-mouth they might have spread on your behalf if you’d only given them a reason to.

We’ve addressed this topic before with the posts “Are Poor Phone Skills Costing Your Company Money,” and “A Phone Call Like This Should Be a Real Eye Opener.” Give them a quick read if you want to reinforce for yourself or someone else in your organization just how important friendly, efficient telephone representatives are - or could be - to your bottom line.

If you're serious about making the most of every inbound phone call, begin with a third-party evaluation of how your company handles those calls. We refer to it as a Caller Experience Audit.

We've uncovered many weaknesses for several companies, from a lack of basic etiquette and communication skills, to CSRs who don't take advantage of opportunities to close sales, cross-sell or upsell.

To start your Caller Experience Audit, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him directly at 419/724-7311.

Caller Experience

How would you define a great caller experience?

A company called Clutch wanted answers to that question, so they conducted a survey of 501 people who had called a single business more than three times within the previous six months.

Their findings:

• 80% of those surveyed believe the key to a positive telephone interaction with a company is an “efficient resolution to their issue.”
• 75% primarily want to speak with knowledgeable employees.
• 65% rank clear communication as their top priority.

The survey also revealed that people have an expectation of quicker service when calling than when using other communication channels. For instance, 42% expect a response within one hour after reaching out to a company through social media. But, on the phone, the average person will wait just two minutes for a response before hanging up.

So, how can you use On Hold Marketing to improve the caller experience?

Provide Answers - Since delivering quick solutions is important to 8 out of 10 callers, we can use your On Hold Marketing content to answer the questions your callers ask often. Do most of your inbound callers request the service department? If so, what types of problems are they talking about with your service staff? Showing callers that you care about their specific concerns will likely encourage them to wait on the line longer.

Prove Your Knowledge - Reinforce for callers that your team members know their stuff. Mention your certifications, industry honors, prestigious clients and other indicators of your expert status. Use their time on hold to build their confidence in your organization.

Say It Simply - The clear communication that's so important to callers begins with plain talk. Short sentences. Streamlined ideas. Most On Hold Marketing messages we write consist of one idea expressed in 45 words or less. (Details here.) That approach makes the content easier to hear and retain.

There's even more to a great caller experience, including concise, thoughtful call center announcements, and friendly, efficient customer service representatives. We can help in those areas, too. Give us a call.

BusinessVoice Promises

There are five promises BusinessVoice Creative Consultants re-commit to each time they research and write your On Hold Marketing content.

1) We will uncover and present the truth about your company. We will not resort to hyperbole when writing about any aspect of your business because misrepresenting your brand can only lead to disappointed customers.

2) Whenever possible, we will provide proof of our claims so that your audience can trust what we’ve written on your behalf. That proof may be presented as statistics, survey results, testimonials or in other forms.

3) During our conversations and email exchanges, we will listen and look for story ideas. By telling compelling stories about your team, what you do and what you value, we’ll help you make memorable, emotional connections with your audience.

4) We will include specific calls to action in your copy whenever that information is available. A C.T.A. provides a clear path that your callers can follow to find more details or make a purchase.

5) We will strive to present information to your audience in new or unique ways, whether it’s through humor, innovative concepts, or other creative uses of language, music, sound effects and/or voiceover. Our goal is to turn your callers’ hold time into a valuable experience that elevates your brand.

 

Share On Hold Marketing Content with Your Staff

Here's a tip to help you get even more value from your On Hold Marketing (OHM): send the final version of the script to your entire staff so they know what your callers on hold are hearing.

And everyone on your team who works with inbound callers should keep a copy of your current OHM script within easy reach.

Why?

If callers ask questions related to your On Hold Marketing, your phone staff:

1) Can provide answers quickly.
2) Won’t seem surprised by the questions.
3) Will be prepared to transfer callers to the appropriate department for more information.

They’ll also be able to respond correctly to questions about on hold coupons or other OHM-specific offers.

And, believe it or not, if you use our Humor On Hold™, your callers may occasionally ask to be put back on hold so they can hear all of your content. Check out these client comments.

"You know, we get people who ask us to put them back on hold." - Eric Smith / Binkelman Corporation (Watch video)

“We have people call who WANT to be put on hold!” - Chris Hamann / Lakeland Auto and Marine (Watch video)

"We have actually had a few callers ask to be placed back on hold just to hear the entire production." - Jake Skeens / Suncoast Communications

If your staff knows that’s a possibility, they can happily oblige your callers without asking “why?”

Finally, your On Hold Marketing content is likely making promises to your callers, whether they’re about specific products or a certain level of service that customers can expect. Be sure your staff is aware of those promises and prepared to deliver on them with every call. Sharing the On Hold Marketing script with your team and encouraging them to use it actively is one way to get that done.