Although it's essentially just a tiny speaker next to your customer's ear, the phone can have a huge impact on how your customers feel about your brand.

The period when a customer is on hold on the phone is probably one of the most attention-focused customer touchpoints there is. However, it is a purely auditory touchpoint, and very frequently businesses don't pay attention to audio in a strategic way, unlike the visual and written aspects of their communications.

For on-hold audio, you need to think about two forms of content: music and recorded-voice messages. Whichever form it takes, some type of continuous sound is necessary for holding, because people need to know that they are still connected. Complete silence while on hold gets increasingly deafening by the second!

Let's look at some do's and don'ts of hold music and voice content.

Three Don'ts

1. DON'T repeatedly remind people to use your website

It's not 2001. Most people know they can manage their account or transact business online. Chances are they are calling after already being on your website—or, worse, because something on your website isn't working. Think of how annoying it would be to repeatedly hear such a message in that context.

One initial reminder is fine, but don't loop a "use our website" message.

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image of Peter Linn

Peter Linn creates custom music and sound for branding, advertising, and other media that need the right music to help tell a story.

Twitter: @PeterLinnMusic

LinkedIn: Peter Linn