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You Heard Right – Why Message On-Hold Matters

Man with phone dark roomSilence is a wonderful thing. It allows one the ideal environment to clear one’s mind, it means that the kids are finally asleep (better check on them, just in case), and libraries are famous for it. There are, however, a few times when silence is not appreciated.

“Does this dress make me look fat?” Silence. …Uh oh.

A musician finishes a piano concerto performance in front of a packed house. The last notes fade into the ether, applause is expected, and… silence. Yikes.

You call into a business of any kind and you’re placed on hold… and all you hear is silence. That’s not okay.

Silence is Not Golden

I cannot speak to the wardrobe issue or the awkward concert, but I can address the last scenario of the tomb-like silence that encompasses callers when they’re placed on hold. As one who has been placed on hold on more than one occasion, I empathize with the pain and impatience of those who’ve been placed on hold and heard nothing while they waited. So why do people not relish the silence when they’re placed on hold?

It’s boring.

There’s nothing to distract you from the fact you’re waiting, so you get bored quickly and remember that you have a lot to do, and are more likely to hang up. According to a study conducted by North American Telecom, as quoted in an article by Premier Companies, callers who hear silence while on hold will hang up in less than a minute, and 90% hang up within 40 seconds. However, callers who hear music will stay on the line 30 seconds longer than with silence. Furthermore, callers who hear custom-made programs while on hold will wait for up to three minutes longer.

So if you’re a practice owner with no on-hold program, you may be losing business.

Woman listening to music with her kitten

Radio No-No

You may think that the solution to this problem is to stream your local radio station or internet radio. It’s free for you to listen to, so what’s the harm of playing the music for your clients when they’re on hold?

The harm is that it’s illegal.

When you listen to the radio in your car or play Pandora while you work out, it’s understood that the music is being used only for your personal enjoyment. This cannot be done in a commercial setting. According to the Communications Act of 1934, Section 301, in one of the longest run-on sentences you’ll ever see, it is illegal to play radio in a commercial setting without a license from the FCC (I shortened it up a bit for you). Not only that, it’s illegal to play copyrighted music for commercial use without a license for each individual song that is played. If you ignore the laws and play the music, get ready to pay very large fines to ASCAP, BMI, and/or other performing rights organizations. So if you want to spend the time and money to get all this licensing, go for it. But that is completely unrealistic.

Dog with phone in mouthWhat’s a Practice Owner to do?

You get yourself a custom-made on-hold program, that’s what you do. The InTouch team makes it really easy to get a custom on-hold program up and running for your practice, and we’re really good at making your practice sound good. Your programs will contain valuable information about your practice, services, and products that matter to you and your clients.

According to a study conducted by U.S. West Communications as quoted in the same aforementioned article by Premier Companies, when businesses shared information with clients while they were on hold, there was a 40% increase in caller retention, a 15% increase in inquiries, and a 12% increase in requests for services and products that were mentioned in the on-hold program.

Your clients will be delighted with what they hear, and appreciate your attention to the entirety of their customer experience. Want proof?

Results from a Harris Poll Study commissioned by Lithium Technologies state that 83% of U.S. consumers say that having a positive customer experience with a brand matters more to them than the product itself.

This isn’t to say that what you have to offer at your practice doesn’t matter to your clients – far from it. What this simply means is that people care about the experience you provide for them… and the experience begins as soon as a client picks up his or her phone.

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, give us a call at 800-493-9003, and find out how you get your very own custom on-hold program started.

Sources:

FCC: https://transition.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf
BMI: https://www.bmi.com/faq/category/copyright
Premier Companies: http://premiercompanies.com/7-eye-opening-statistics-that-will-make-you-rethink-your-message-on-hold/
Lithium Technologies: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/7830051-lithium-consumer-happiness-survey/

 

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