So you’ve invested much of your time and money into marketing your business and getting people to call you, right? Now what are you doing once they have made the call? Telephone message on hold has proven to be an extremely effective marketing and customer service tool … providing it is used properly. Just like with any other form of marketing, you will need to apply a little time and effort, but done properly, you can most certainly reap the rewards.
Think of your telephone messages on hold as a mini-radio station for your business. It works in much the same way as radio – by entertaining your callers, whilst also promoting your products and services. But just as with radio, you only have a small window of opportunity to grab their attention – your callers are only going to be on hold for an absolute maximum of 30 seconds, and on average your telephone callers will only be on hold for around 10 seconds, so you really need to make sure you get the right message across to them in a clear and concise manner.
Be Selective with your promotions
It’s important not to go over board here. Choose only a couple of your products or services that you would like to promote – and don’t necessarily go with your core product offering. Your message on hold program is a great tool to up or cross sells, so use this effectively. Remember, your customers already have a fair idea of what your company is about, so make sure you use your messages to promote areas you have not promoted as extensively through other channels. A great analogy is McDonald’s “Would you like fries with that”, your message on hold program is chance to entice them to something else that you offer.
Write down the key elements
Remember, you only have about 10 seconds to really get your message across to your audience, make sure that you only include the key ingredients to get your customers interested. Your messages should be no longer than 4-lines long (Arial 10pt font).
Mention your company’s name
Now your callers will obviously know who they are calling, but seriously telephone messages on hold is a branding exercise, and just like with any other marketing channel, you want to make sure your callers know who you are. Whilst it is not imperative to have your business name in every message on your on hold program, it is important that you do mention it in some of the messages. The more your customers hear your name, the more familiar they become with your brand … and they start to build trust with that brand.
Include call to action
Give your customers a reason to ask about a product or service. For instance, if I were promoting a marketing consultancy business, which also offered a graphic design service, I would say something like:
“Develop your brand through creative vision and ask about our professional graphic design services. Stand out from the crowd with bold, fresh and fearless designs for your logos, letterheads, brochure, flyers, business cards and more. Mention this advertisement when we return to your call and get 15% off.”
Build confidence in your brand
People love to know they are dealing with a reputable company. Is there anything that you can educate them about yours to build their confidence? Here are a few ideas:
- Has your business won any awards?
- Are you a member of any relevant industry associations?
- Does your company regularly donate to a charity?
- Does your company or directors hold any relevant qualifications?
- Do you have a blog or new site that customers can increase their knowledge base?
- Does your company hold regular seminars or forums that might be of interest?
This is an opportunity for you to point out to your customers why you are better than your competitors. What is your unique selling point? What is your competitive advantage?
Mention your website
Your website is one of your most valuable tools! A website really needs to be promoted at every opportunity, and what better way to do this than to your callers who are on hold. Sign off on at least one of your on hold messages with “for more information, visit our website at media messages dot com dot au.
Determine how often you need to update your message on hold program
Get the most out of your telephone messages on hold program, and really plan how you are going to use this tool. If you put callers on hold on a regular basis, or if you have quite a few season specific promotions or events, then it might be worth while getting a package that allows you to update your message on hold program regularly. Also, make sure you have the ability to include messages that are in date – around Christmas or New Year, make sure you send out your season’s greetings.
Telephone messages on hold should be part of your marketing mix and therefore should be treated as such. Put strategies in place to use this marketing tool and plan how, what and when you are going to promote a product or service.