- Written by Scott Greggory
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.
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.
- Written by Bob Seybold and Scott Greggory
The retail giant Target is removing its name from storefronts as part of a “reimagination” program that aims to “take the shopping experience to the next level.”
As part of the change, Target’s bullseye logo will be the only brand identifier on the exterior of the redesigned properties.
You might not be ready to take your name off the building just yet, but would you be willing to de-emphasize it in your messaging?
The concept is simple: talk less about you and more about your customers.
Some of our clients barely mention their name to callers on hold. Here’s an example. We still help them deliver lots of good information via their On Hold Marketing. It’s just that most of it has nothing to do with their brand or overtly selling products or services. The strategy is aimed at earning customer loyalty and trust, creating a valuable experience for callers by giving them “news they can use.”
This soft-sell approach relies on your processes and practices to make strong customer impressions, as well as your commitment to delivering information your customers want, as opposed to what you may want.
- Written by Scott Greggory
When crafting advertising or marketing content for your company, you may want to include as many details about your product as possible. That’s understandable.
But that approach won’t necessarily serve you best, because it doesn’t typically serve your audience best.
We call it our “Who Cares?” rule. It’s the concept of deleting content that’s not specifically aimed at your target. If your audience can’t act on the information or if it doesn’t help them make a buying decision, cut it or re-work it to address their interests or needs.
For example, you may be proud of your company’s latest achievement, but if you can’t present that news in a way that’s valuable to potential customers, who cares?
And that rule doesn’t just apply to the main ideas in your ad, radio spot or blog post; it applies to individual words, too. Aim to use fewer words that make a stronger impact.
How This Affects Your On Hold Marketing
Customers can’t make a purchase on hold like they can online. So, On Hold Marketing content is often used to generate interest in a subject and encourage callers to take the next step, whether it’s ordering a certain product or requesting more information. Since we never know how long each caller will be on hold, it’s important to present complete thoughts as quickly as possible. That means using concise copy that inspires callers to respond to specific calls to action.
Whenever you’re creating any type of marketing materials, keep the “Who Cares?” rule in mind to tightly focus your message on your audience and make it easier for them to absorb and retain.
- Written by Bob Seybold
Have you heard of the Pareto Principle? It’s better known as the 80/20 rule.
One version of it states that 80% of an outcome results from 20% of the effort invested. Another take: 80% of your company’s revenue comes from 20% of your customers.
We can also apply an 80/20 rule to On Hold Marketing: 80% of your content should be non-promotional in nature. We call it news you can use - information that’s not necessarily related directly to what you sell, but is relevant to your callers. (Listen to examples here and here.)
That 80% of your On Hold Marketing copy comes from putting your customers’ wants and needs first. By using this telephone touchpoint to prove that you have your callers’ best interests at heart, you can strengthen your relationships with them.
Promote your business with the other 20% of your messages, but make sure that content is still focused on your callers and their needs.
People will recognize genuine value in your On Hold Marketing and your other marketing channels. And when they see and hear it, they’ll have even more reason to do business with you.
- Written by Scott Greggory
“We don't put callers on hold.”
“Our callers only hold for a few seconds.”
Over the last 30 years, we've heard those phrases hundreds of times from business owners and marketing directors.
Jeff Bezos heard a version of them, too.
Amazon's former VP of Customer Service told CEO Bezos that their company kept callers on hold for “less than a minute.” Skeptical, Bezos put his VP's claim to the test. During a meeting of Amazon's top executives, he picked up the phone and called the customer service number.
Bezos was on hold for four-and-a-half minutes, fuming.
As a business owner or manager you want to believe that your company provides a consistently excellent caller experience, one that includes brief or even non-existent hold times. But there can easily be a big difference between what you assume (and hope) your callers experience and what they actually do. That's why caller experience audits are so valuable.
Still Not Using On Hold Marketing?
Leaving callers on hold for several minutes is never ideal, but your callers will perceive that wait to be even longer if they're holding in silence or listening to repetitive content that's not designed with their needs in mind.
Even worse for you, imagine if your callers had a negative experience after responding to a phone number you listed in a promotional email or as part of your new TV campaign. Paying for the privilege of alienating potential customers is never a sustainable strategy. To prevent that problem, though, direct those callers to a phone number or call center group that exists specifically to handle calls related to that promotion. Focus on answering those calls immediately, placing them on hold only if necessary and then only very briefly.
- Written by Scott Greggory
In case you don’t believe the average American’s attention span is shrinking, take a look at the video in this post. It’s a nearly 10-minute instructional film on how to dial a phone.
Sure, using a telephone may still have been a newer concept for some people in the 1950s, but can you imagine watching slow-paced, rudimentary video tutorials like this today?
I find everything about the piece charming, from the spokeswoman’s delivery style to the script to the giant phone. But, when crafting On Hold Marketing content, we’re always aware that we need to present tightly focused ideas and benefits.
One reason: we never know how long each of your callers will be on hold. So, the quicker we can deliver complete ideas to them, the more likely they’ll be to hear all the information.
Also, the people of 1954 weren’t exposed to the volume of messages that today’s audiences are. So, to make it easier for callers to retain your most important points, we work to keep your On Hold Marketing content concise and customer-focused.