Tips for Choosing your On-Hold Marketing Provider

on hold provider

Choosing your on-hold provider might take a bit of homework. Your on-hold service should work for you…seamlessly generating satisfied customers and extra revenue in the background… it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg…and, you shouldn’t even have to think about remembering to update!

Treat callers to professional phone messages

You’ve decided… it’s time to treat your callers to professional messages on your phone system. You start your search online, but soon questions pop up.  What does it cost? How does the recording even get through the phone to the caller? Should I change the message every month or seasonally? What is a message?  Where does the music come from; I heard that I need a license. How do I know I will get professional service? If you think it’s all too much work, read on. With the right On-Hold provider, the process really is quite simple and takes very little of your time!

Tips from the experts

First, you should know…it’s one of the least expensive forms of advertising; complete starter packages, with several updates included costs less than $2/day. Anything more is too much…unless you need monthly updates, bilingual programs or extra recordings for an intricate phone menu.

On hold playback unit

How does it get on my phone?

How the audio gets to your caller is not complicated. Because, all you need is a phone system. On-Hold Message providers should include a music-on-hold device that will provide quality sound, nonstop when you press your hold button.
Why not an iPod or a CD player? Professional message on hold equipment is made to last. In addition, any device with lithium batteries should never be used for safety reasons.

If you have a VoIP or cloud-based system, you may be able to load your on-hold messages into an internal memory, in which case you do not need any equipment at all. Your on-hold provider will be knowledgeable in helping you choose the method that works best with your system and for your business.

How often you should update the message?

A professional message on hold provider can help you decide. They should ask: Who is calling your business? How long do callers wait on-hold (it’s probably longer than you think)?  Do you have the same customers calling several times a week?  Are you taking orders? Providing patients with information? Do you have a seasonal business, offer monthly specials, or hold frequent webinars, events, and shows? Knowing how long your hold times are, and who is calling will help writers determine what content is appropriate and how frequently you should update your messages.

The more specific and targeted your voiced messages are, the more impactful and successful they’ll be as a marketing tool. A package with monthly updates can reduce the per-production cost considerably; however, if your business focuses on just one product or service with infrequent changes you may only need to update a couple of times a year. Extremely long hold times may be better tolerated with longer music segments and shorter voiced announcements, but make them relevant. A friendly greeting adds a human voice to the on-hold experience but also reminds callers they are still waiting, especially if the same greeting repeats every 30 seconds or so.

What exactly is a message?

If a message on hold provider offers a package of “four messages”, be sure to find out exactly what that means. Some on hold providers refer to each “30 second spot” as a “message”. Others include 6 to 8 “spots” in a message to create a full 8-minute on-hold production including music interludes.  Are the scripts unique, or do they just include a seasonal “tag”? Your on-hold provider should have professional staff to consult with you, understand your business and create effective scripts.

Should I Buy a Music License?

It’s true that all music used on your telephones requires a license, but that doesn’t mean you need to provide your credit card to SOCAN, BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC. A reputable music-on-hold provider will have licensed music that has all applicable music fees covered in your on-hold package. Ensure that they are willing to take full responsibility for the performance fees and royalty rights.

On-Hold Marketing Logo

What about customer service?

Always make sure that you can access your on-hold rep when you need them. Do a little research to ensure you’re working with a well-established business. Find out if the studio is able to accommodate deadlines at the drop of a hat. And ask if the writers and support staff look out for your best interest…do they schedule frequent quality checks and timely reminders so that you know when it’s time to update your on-hold message?

Let’s get started! Contact us today.


Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” – Henry Ford

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