The Value of Music on Hold

The Value Of Music On Hold

Music on Hold allows you to create customised on-hold messages that help retain callers, create up-sell opportunities and present a professional and consistent brand identity.

Click here to create the perfect on-hold experience for your customers right now or read on for more information.

What Is Music On Hold?

The original purpose of on-hold music was to signal to a caller that they were still connected and waiting in a queue. Over the last 15 years, its value has moved from a queue controller to a marketing channel, hence it has been subsequently branded as ‘Music on Hold’. With the correct messaging, music and voice it has the potential to; retain callers and improve customer satisfaction, create up-sell opportunities and present a professional and consistent brand identity.

A Brief History of Music on Hold

Music on hold came about by pure accident in 1962 when inventor and entrepreneur Alfred Levy found a loose wire touching a metal girder at his factory. The loose wire happened to amplify the broadcast signal from a nearby radio station and transmitted the audio through the loose wire and on to calls that were on hold. After four years, Alfred Levy patented his work and the music on hold journey began.

In the early years, music on hold was used similarly to how it was used in lifts, a classical or jazz instrumental piece that was used as wallpaper music to create ambience. The guiding principle was purely to distract callers from the awkward silence of being on hold.

Over the years, this approach fell out of favour and, with the wide adoption of call centres in the 80s, organisations started seeing the opportunity to add in a message that could be played over the top of the music.

Gradually, many different types of businesses saw the benefit of playing a calming piece of music whilst at the same time, listing opening times and other information.  

In its more recent years, a combination of science and marketing has transformed music on hold, weaponising it as a marketing tool, using music to evoke emotion, providing the right message for the right situation and seizing the opportunity to up-sell products.

Why is Music on Hold Important?

Every organisation tries to keep the number of customers on hold to a minimum. Whilst not ideal, having people waiting can be unavoidable.

If customers are going to be on hold, it’s good practice to do everything you can to keep them on the call until you are ready to answer. Customers like to know that they have dialled the correct number and that their call is going to be answered, so it’s no surprise that research has shown that customers who only hear silence will typically hang up after a short time.

Benefits and AdvantagesMan on phone with thumbs up

Increase caller retention

  • Research has shown that on-hold music can decrease the perceived waiting time that callers experience, leading callers to stay on hold for longer.

Opportunity to up-sell

  • Every moment with your customer is valuable, the time a customer is on hold allows you to promote specific products or services.

Improve the customer experience

  • Being on hold can be a pinch point for customers who are eager to leave negative feedback. Using the correct music on hold can reduce the chance of receiving poor feedback and can improve customer satisfaction and retention.  

Manage your caller

  • Music can evoke different emotional responses from individuals. Using the correct music can keep your customer calm and relaxed whilst waiting for a customer support team, or even excited when waiting to talk with sales.

Developing the Right Music on Hold Experience

Music on hold can be the first point of contact for many callers so it’s essential that it creates the right first impression. Creating the best experience requires attention to detail; the music, voice and message should all complement your brand identity.

Choosing the Right Music

The music you choose should not only represent the company and brand but also not alienate your customer.

A social media tech company will probably adopt a youthful music track, a gym may play upbeat music. Clearly, both of these would not be appropriate for a funeral home!

The destination of the call should also be considered when making a music choice, If a customer is waiting on hold for customer service, it is better to play music that evokes a calm and relaxed mood rather than upbeat which might be better suited for a caller waiting for sales.

Music can be sourced from various providers including those that provide a full music on hold service. You may choose to source your own music but if you do you should be aware of copyright laws and whether or not the music you choose is royalty free.

Choosing the Right Voice

The voice for your message is a representation of your brand identity, so the tone, gender and dialect should all be considered carefully.

When choosing the correct voice it’s important to consider how you want your brand persona to be perceived. If you are a local company you may opt for a regional dialect that reflects your customers. An organisation providing professional services might choose a professional tone of voice to ensure brand consistency.

Creating the Right Message

On-hold messages are a perfect opportunity to provide information that may be unknown to callers such as opening times, other ways to get in contact and product or service offers.

For some businesses, only one message may be necessary to provide such information. For others, multiple messages may be required, one for tech support, one for sales and one for customer service.

Each of these messages should be crafted with the audience’s motivation in mind, a caller who is waiting to speak with tech support would benefit from knowing that they can request a support ticket through the company website, whereas a caller waiting to speak to sales may want to know about the latest product/service offers.

Music on hold has come a long way from the early years of just background music. It is now an important customer service and marketing opportunity touchpoint.

It is low-cost and high value. With the correct implementation, it can help increase caller retention, provide up-sell opportunities and support a consistent and professional brand identity.

Audio Professional logoUpgrade Your Music On Hold In 3 Easy Steps!

Datasharp Integrated Communications is partnered with Audio Productions to provide a complete service that allows you to create the perfect on-hold experience for your customers.

Select a voice and dialect from our network of professional voice-over artists; pair with music from our extensive selection; then upload your script to our online platform.

Easy to use with professional results. Click here to find out more.

About Datasharp Integrated Communications

Datasharp Integrated Communications is an award-winning, leading provider of Unified Communications & collaboration solutions including voice, data, mobile, video, network security and contact centre technology for businesses of 50 – 5,000 staff.

We are a premier member of the Datasharp Group – established in 1980 – one of the longest-standing and most respected communications solution providers in the UK.

We have clients across the south of England and in Europe and our own, on-premises, 1,000 ft² Technology Suite at our Bath office, where we host regular events and showcase technology solutions for our clients. Contact us for your free comms audit or product demo.

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