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Set Expectations When Placing a Caller On Hold

Now that you have an effective on hold message, there is one more detail to

keep in mind. The best on hold message in the world will not help you if the

customer doesn’t feel respected.


How many times have you called a busy office only to be immediately

asked “Do you mind holding?” Often times you find yourself on hold before

you can even answer.


Always make sure your employees answer the phone with a courteous

standard greeting. People want to feel appreciated. Give the caller a time

frame when asking to place them on hold. For example, “Is it ok if I place

you on hold for 2-3 minutes while I research this for you?” If it’s going to

take longer, come back on the line and reset the expectation.


Giving callers a time frame reduces anxiety because they know how long to

expect to wait before someone picks up the phone again. Otherwise, the

caller is left hanging only to wonder if they have been forgotten. A happy

caller will feel relaxed and pay more attention to your on hold message

instead of the clock. B9QVMASKDBU4

Posted in Customer Service.

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What was your best customer service experience?

I’m always amazed when I have a good customer service experience. In fact, I finally stopped taking it personally when the cashier at the checkout counter wouldn’t say hello, or when the customer service representative seemed glad to get me off the phone.

It almost seems like some businesses are comfortable with spending millions of dollars on marketing, only to throw it all away at the crucial moment of the sale. So when I recently came across some good old-fashioned service, it really blew me away.

The other day I stopped into Trader Joe’s to pick up a few groceries. When I approached the checkout, I noticed a couple of cashiers eagerly trying to flag me down. You would have thought they worked on commission.

While the cashier rang me up, she actually struck up a conversation and went out of her way to make me feel welcome. As I was leaving, I noticed the other customers were having a similar experience. Needless to say, I have found my new place to buy groceries.

Help me find more experiences like this. What other businesses out there are doing things right?

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On Hold Messages

Many industry leaders trust Creative Audio Imaging to help them manage their on hold messages. Whether it’s simple voice mail greetings, a complex on hold music system that you need or general consultation, we can help.

What makes Creative Audio Imaging unique? We’re passionate about marketing and are committed to building a trusted relationship with our clients. To give you a glimpse into their successes with our products, feel free to take a look at some of our on hold message case studies on our website.

Ensuring you have a robust on hold message system, as well as staying abreast of what your customers want can sometimes be a challenge. And as business gets more and more competitive, so do the risks of losing customers or prospects to the competition.

Only Creative Audio Imaging gives you the integrated tools you need to completely close the loop with your on hold messaging needs. We’re affordable, focused on your needs and ready to help.

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Why On Hold Messages are Important for Service Businesses

For those businesses that work with customers directly, whether it’s a doctor’s office or a hotel, it’s important to communicate with clients in the way they want to be communicated with. Otherwise known as B2C companies (business to consumer), it’s critical that your messages – both written and verbal – are professional and persuasive. Plus, the more information you can give your clients about your services or products, the higher your customer satisfaction scores and sales will be.

Let’s face it; proper communication is the key to successful product and service marketing. Those important moments when your client is on hold, waiting to be connected, is very valuable time. You can use it to advertise whatever you want and it won’t seem like advertising to them. It will be perceived as your “on hold” message, plain and simple.

Another thing to consider is this: perhaps you should create an on hold experience for your incoming callers. Whether or not the person they want to talk to is available or not really isn’t important. What’s a minute or two on hold for them? For you, it’s a rare opportunity to connect with them. Have you ever wondered why so many companies put you on hold even when it seems like they should be able to talk to you quickly? This is what’s happening. Its time to capitalize on it for your business as well.  If you’re suspect of this method, do a little test. For a week, hold your customers for a minute while you use on-hold advertising to present a promotional offer. Analysis has shown that customers are able to better retain information given in this way, probably due to having the opportunity to listen only and concentrate on what is being said, rather than take part in a conversation. Often, the customer will pick up a conversation with the person they have called and immediately talk about the advertised products, proving that customers engage readily with on-hold information.

If you’re a doctor, dentist, CPA, attorney or other service professional, you know how busy your office can be. Most of these companies have a call-intensive environment. When you can’t be there on the third ring, make use of an on-hold program to fill the gap. Don’t make your clients wait on hold without music or your warm and friendly recorded voice! Expert voice talent, together with your messaging makes the on hold experience enjoyable. Don’t leave them in silence! The bottom line? You want to be able to educate and entertain them while they wait. And if you can sell a few things in the process, that’s even better.

Other Benefits to Your Business

  • Fewer hang ups
  • Chance to highlight your community participation
  • Opportunity to introduce your staff
  • Showcase your products and services
  • Give them your company background
  • Calm callers who are anxious
  • Promote your Web site – lead them to an online offer

Companies who do not take advantage of on-hold moments are missing out on the opportunity to give their customers valuable information. And people are accustomed to on-hold advertising in today’s world. The bottom line? Customer engagement in the services industries is improved by on-hold advertising. Start a program today!

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On Hold Messaging Planning Process

It all starts with a plan. How you set up your on hold messaging and how your prospects will interact with those phone messages are key considerations. With a well defined plan, you can set up a business that will provide you with a steady stream of income, no matter what the economy is doing. So what are the steps you need to take? How did the most respected businesses out there go about setting up their on hold messaging program? There are really six key steps in planning your system. They are:

  • Defining your target market: Who is calling in to your company? What are their needs? How you communicate with this market is of paramount importance. It will help you determine the rest of your follow up marketing plan. In understanding your target market, you need to study the demographics and psychographics so you can set up your messages for success.

  • Defining the goals for your messages: Will your phone messages be a lead generation tool? Or will they communicate basic company information? Knowing what you want your phone messages to do for you and how they will do it is critically important. You want to be sure your voice talent understands your goals so they can use the correct tone and style in their delivery.

  • What should your messages say? Will you try and upsell callers into a new service? Will you give your company’s “elevator pitch”? What can you communicate to your callers so you save your receptionist’s time? These are all great questions. Knowing what you will say is step three in the On Hold Messaging Planning Process. You want to ensure that your on hold callers are educated, entertained and motivated to do something after hearing your messages.

  • Consider your budget: How much can you spend for the project? At the end of the day, how much you can afford is what it’s all about. Your on hold messaging program will cost some money, but consider it an investment. Your on hold messaging is going to be a cornerstone of your marketing program, something that will serve you for years to come.

So, there you go. A list of key steps as you begin the important journey of a new on hold messaging project. Growing a business through on hold messaging can be a challenging process. Following a set of guidelines can keep you focused and help you achieve your goals.

-Steve

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Dental On Hold Messages

How many calls does your office receive on a daily basis? 50? 100? It’s likely more than you care to count. While putting patients on hold in a dental practice is unavoidable it doesn’t mean that their time waiting has to be wasted. A custom on hold message allows you to provide your current and prospective patients with important information about your practice, and it lets them know you care.

You have worked hard to build and maintain your dental practice. A custom dental on hold message is an important communications tool to assist you in doing just that. Here are just a few of the benefits your practice and your patients can enjoy:

1. Put callers at ease: Many people experience dental phobia and apprehension. Fear of pain is one of the most common reasons for dental anxiety. Let them know what modern methods you use to prevent pain and discomfort, and include details about your staff and their credentials to build confidence. Selecting calming background music and the right voice talent can also alleviate their anxiety.

2. Ask for referrals: Use your on hold message as a platform to ask patients to refer their friends and family.  Word of mouth is a key source of new patients. People are much more likely to choose a dentist based  on the recommendation of a friend or coworker they trust. Many dentists and their staff feel uncomfortable asking patients for referrals. Let the on hold message do the asking for you.

3. Promote Proper oral hygiene: Provide callers with information on how often they should schedule cleanings and offer tips on how to properly brush and floss. Since unchecked dental issues can lead to problems with overall health, you can use this opportunity to educate them about bad breath, gum disease, etc. and highlight the potential dangers of leaving these conditions untreated.

4. Highlight Key Services: Educate patients about the specialty services you provide. Patients may simply be calling to schedule a routine checkup unaware of the additional services you provide: teeth whitening, pediatric dentistry, sedation dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, etc.

5. Address insurance concerns: In this economy, cost is a major concern of patients. If you file insurance claims for your patients, let them know. You may also want to provide a listing of the insurance plans you accept or give them the name of the office personnel they can speak to if they have questions about insurance or billing, so they can ask for that person directly when someone returns to the line.

6. Promote your website: If you have a website, give patients the web address and let them know what information they can find there. If you have new patient forms on your site alert your callers so they can have them filled out prior to their initial visit.

7. Highlight Your Strengths: Does your facility feature state-of-the-art equipment? Does your dental team serve on the board of a notable organization or have prestigious educational experience? Alert callers to the unique details that set your dental practice apart.

8. Don’t let callers hang up:  Since the telephone is the only point of entry for 98% of new patients, keeping them on the line is critical. A lot of money is spent on direct mail postcards and advertising to get patients to call. Don’t let them hang up before you can schedule that first appointment.

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Tips for Creating the Perfect On-Hold Message

Your on-hold message  provides an excellent opportunity for you to market to your customers. It’s a great way to let callers know all of the details that make your business one-of-a-kind.

Your customer is eagerly awaiting for you to return to their call. Now that you have their undivided attention what messages do you want to get across to them?

Perhaps you have new products or services they should know about. Or a dynamic company history that makes you stand out. Maybe you simply want to let your callers know that you care. Whatever you want to say, this is your opportunity!

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Leverage Your Resources – Creating your on-hold script doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch. Your website, brochures, and existing marketing materials are great resources. Your scriptwriter can often pull information and wording directly from the materials you already have or consult them to create something complimentary.
  • Highlight Your Strengths - What makes your company unique and sets your business apart from your competitors?  Those are the things you want to focus on in your on-hold message. Have you received any awards or recognition? Perhaps you’re affiliated with a prestigious association. Your customers want to be sure they’ve made the right decision in choosing to work with you…show them that they have!
  • Choose Your Tone – Think of your on-hold message as a ‘virtual receptionist.’ If a customer walked through your doors how would they be greeted? A client approaching the front desk at an upscale law firm would receive a very different welcome than a patron stepping up to the host stand at the local bar and grill. Your on-hold music and voice selections should reflect the nature of your business and your message, whatever that may be.
  • Beware of Information Overload - Trying cram too much content into one message or overwhelming your callers with technical jargon are classic mistakes. A successful on-hold message offers callers concise information while maintaining a memorable, catchy appeal. When you achieve that balance your callers will retain the information better and ask you to fill in the details when you return to their call.
  • Call to Action – Be sure to include your website several times throughout the message or promote your ongoing events.While your on-hold message is a great place for your customers to learn about new services, they may get side-tracked when you return to the line. So, prompting them to ask for more details or visit your website is vital. Encourage them to ask questions and learn more, and there is a good chance they’ll do just that!
  • Cover All Your Bases - Many businesses find that a significant percentage of callers are simply asking for basic company information: hours of operation, fax number, address, nearby landmarks and website url. You can save your employees and your callers time  by including that information in the on-hold message. Be sure to provide your scriptwriter with all of the basic information, so they can work it into the script.

Follow these tips and you’ll find it’s easy to turn your callers into customers in no time.

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