Create Unique Caller Experiences

We've been writing and recording Humor On Hold™ since the early 1990s. Yet, people are still so often surprised by it. “You can do that?" is a common response when we tell them about it.

After hearing our work played at marketing and advertising award shows, a few emcees over the years have said to the crowd that they'd never heard humor applied to that "on hold stuff" before.

Even some of our newer clients have told us that it was hard to find a company like ours - with a creative team that specializes in effective Humor on Hold™. Most other providers don't or, frankly, can't do it.

For most people, being put on hold is immediately negative. If your company places a high percentage of callers on hold - especially for longer periods of time - you can easily earn a reputation for not caring about your valuable customers. And that can affect the bottom line.

But providing an unexpectedly positive caller experience - whether it includes humor or any other creative or thoughtful approach - can instantly endear you and your brand to callers. It lets them know that, no matter how brief their time on hold may be, you care enough to make it more enjoyable, unique and even memorable. That translates into good feelings about your company.

Embracing humor as a brand element can also make you more likable to customers. It shows you don't take yourself too seriously; that you can have fun with your image. Your humor may even help customers relax and de-stress a little bit.

The video below is just one example of our work. You'll find many quick samples on our dedicated Humor On Hold™ page, plus several full-length productions here, here, here, and here.

Ready to embrace the unexpected?

You Cant Ignore These Numbers

Even in this Internet age, 40% of customers pick up the phone first when they want to resolve an issue with a company.

That’s according to a LinkedIn article citing two leading research and advisory firms - Forrester and Gartner.

Sure, that percentage is lower than the pre-Internet days, but the telephone is still an extremely important customer service and communication tool.

In fact, those same researchers found that only 20% of people will fulfill a need or solve a problem to their satisfaction when they attempt to do it via a company’s website. That means, they say, that a full 85% of customers looking for help will end up on the phone!

No company can afford to neglect a channel that so many customers use to ask questions or solve problems.  

So, is it time to re-think the telephone experience YOU provide?

1) Your call center announcements need to be clear, concise and well presented. And the path that callers take - from first contact to reaching a member of your team - needs to be logical and as streamlined as possible.

2) Consider your callers on hold. The content they hear after dialing a dedicated customer service number should be much different than what they’d hear when calling to buy something from you. The music, the time between each message, even the voice might be different in those two scenarios.

3) And what about your CSRs? They should be expertly trained in not only the specifics of your business, but communication, conflict resolution and customer service. (See what could happen if they’re not here, here and here.) They also need to be keenly aware of their role in strengthening your company’s brand image - how the outside world perceives your brand.

We’re ready to talk about your total telephone experience or any single aspect of it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +1 800.473.9005. 

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A Phone Call Like This Should Be a Real Eye Opener

Writing On Hold Marketing Content

Do you write the content for your company’s On Hold Marketing?

Or maybe you’re searching for an On Hold Marketing provider and weighing your options, considering the unique value of each.

Either way, I’d like to invite you to spend 20 minutes with the video on the right. It’s the audio portion of a webinar I presented to members of OHMA, the On Hold Messaging Association.

I spoke to the group about developing creative and humorous content for the on hold channel. As of the date of this post, we’re the only agency that’s been asked to present on a creative topic to this forum.

Listen to the entire webinar or use the index to access specific topics.

0:00 - Why On Hold Marketing matters

1:34 - Using the MARCE Awards as a guide

5:07 - Why is writing creative content important?

6:45 - A lesson in humor disguised as an email exchange

9:03 - Nuts and bolts: Breaking down a few examples of humor

12:56 - How can you be more creative?

16:59 - The importance of consistency

18:54 - Questions and opportunities for writers

OHM Experience

Great experiences stay with you, whether it's a vacation in a beautiful place, an amazing concert, or a meal with close friends.

The best marketing and advertising content stays with you, too.

It does more than deliver 15 or 30 seconds worth of information. It finds a way into a corner of your head. It lingers in your heart and affects you long after you see or hear it. It leaves you with an intended feeling about the brand. And when you add an element of surprise to that mix, you’ve really got something memorable.

That’s what we can create for you: an on hold experience that makes a unique impression on your valuable callers, while informing and providing clear calls to action.

And since most callers don’t expect much from their time on hold, they’re bound to enjoy your creative, caller-focused content even more.

There are plenty of companies that crank out basic On Hold Messaging. But, do you like the idea of turning a "nothing" moment into a memorable branding opportunity? Would you rather provide an experience that your current and potential customers will remember?

What is that worth to you and your brand?

Humor On Hold

Mark Twain said that “Humor is mankind’s blessing.” I couldn’t agree more. Show me the person who wants less humor in his life, who’d rather enjoy fewer sincere laughs, and I’ll show you a corpse.

People actively look for ways to laugh, whether it’s by watching a goofy movie, going to a comedy club, or hanging around the funny lady at a party. So, think how delighted they are when they stumble into laughs they’re not expecting.

The “Danger” of Humor

We know of an On Hold Marketing provider that discourages “all-out humor” because it may not be funny to every caller.

But isn’t it worth taking a chance on strengthening bonds with customers who like the way you think and present your brand, rather than risk making no memorable impression on anyone?

We think it is. Might Humor On Hold™ alienate a few callers? It’s possible. But it’s more likely that people will appreciate your fun approach to marketing, that they’ll identify with your brand more intensely, and that, maybe, they’ll tell others about the great experience they had calling your company.

Here are a few of the things that people have written about our Humor On Hold™.

"I absolutely loved the humorous material that plays when a person is on hold. Absolutely brilliant! Some of it cracked me up. Couldn't stop listening!" - Blake Bishop / Bryant Better Hearing

“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 / OHMA's MARCE Awards Judge

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

We can put the positive power of Humor On Hold™ to work for your brand, encouraging good feelings, easing caller stress, and creating memorable experiences for your customers.

Want to talk possibilities? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +1 800.473.9005.

Short Hold Times

Half of all your callers are never put on hold? Excellent! Your customers are getting where they want to go quickly.

And let's say that the next 30% of your callers are only on hold for five seconds. Also very good.

The last 20% of your callers wait at least two minutes each while being transferred or after being put on hold.

That means that your average hold time, conservatively, is 25 seconds.

You may think that's not long enough to justify using On Hold Marketing (even though we can provide callers with a lot of good info in 25 seconds), but remember: that average hold time doesn't emphasize the callers who hold longer.

So, the question is "would you throw away the chance to inform, up-sell, cross-sell, and reinforce your brand's value to a full 20% of your callers?"

That would be a valuable opportunity lost.

Even if you only allow long hold times occasionally, you don't ever want to alienate valuable customers by keeping them in cold silence.

If nothing else, thoughtful On Hold Marketing content lets callers know that you pay attention to details, and that you care about their experience - no matter how long they're on hold.

(See how much time your callers are on hold each year with our Hold Time Calculator.)