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marketing message on hold scriptwriting

The Psychology of Message-On-Hold: How to Make the Most of Every Second 

You know the feeling – you call a company and you’re put on hold. Suddenly, the minutes start to drag on and frustration creeps in. But what if being on hold wasn’t such a negative experience? What if it could actually be an opportunity to engage, create a positive impression, and even close a sale? That’s where the psychology of message-on-hold comes into play. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the power of strategic messaging when callers are on hold. We’ll uncover how you can make the most of every second to captivate your audience, build brand loyalty, and drive conversions. By understanding the psychology of message-on-hold, you can transform what is often seen as a nuisance into a valuable marketing tool. 

Understanding the psychology of message-on-hold 

Being placed on hold is a common occurrence in today’s fast-paced business world. It’s an inevitable part of customer service, but it’s often overlooked as a potential marketing opportunity. Understanding the psychology behind message-on-hold is key to unlocking its full potential. 

When callers are put on hold, they are in a captive state. Their attention is focused solely on the audio they are hearing. This presents a unique opportunity to communicate with your callers in a way that engages, informs, and even entertains them. 

Research has shown that callers perceive their wait time to be shorter when they are provided with interesting and engaging content during their hold. This means that by strategically crafting your on-hold messages, you can actually reduce perceived wait time and improve customer satisfaction. 

The impact of on-hold messages on customer experience 

The customer experience is a crucial aspect of any business. It can mean the difference between a loyal customer and a lost one. On-hold messages have a direct impact on the customer experience, as they shape the caller’s perception of your brand. 

When callers are put on hold and greeted with silence or generic hold music, it can leave a negative impression. It conveys a lack of care and attention to detail, which can erode trust and damage the overall customer experience. 

On the other hand, well-crafted on-hold messages can create a positive impression. They show that you value your customers’ time and are committed to providing them with a pleasant experience. By delivering relevant and informative content, you can position your brand as knowledgeable and trustworthy. 

The importance of engaging and informative on-hold messages 

Engaging and informative on-hold messages are essential for keeping callers interested and attentive. By providing them with valuable information, you can turn their wait time into an opportunity to educate and inform. 

One effective strategy is to share industry insights and tips related to your products or services. For example, if you’re a healthcare provider, you could share information about the latest medical advancements or healthy living tips. This not only keeps callers engaged but also positions your brand as an authority in your industry. 

In addition to providing valuable information, it’s important to inject your brand’s personality into your on-hold messages. Use a tone and language that aligns with your brand voice to create a consistent and memorable experience. This helps build brand loyalty and sets you apart from competitors. 

How to craft effective on-hold messages 

Crafting effective on-hold messages requires careful thought and consideration. Here are some key tips to keep in mind: 

  1. Know your audience: Understand who your callers are and what they might be interested in. Tailor your messages to their needs and preferences. 
  1. Keep it concise: On-hold messages should be short and to the point. Aim for around 30 seconds per message to ensure callers don’t lose interest. 
  1. Incorporate your brand voice: Use language, tone, and style that align with your brand identity. This creates consistency and helps reinforce your brand image. 
  1. Highlight benefits: Focus on the value your products or services provide. Highlight the benefits callers can expect and how they can solve their problems. 
  1. Include a call-to-action: Don’t miss the opportunity to guide callers towards the next step. Whether it’s visiting your website, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase, include a clear call-to-action. 

By following these guidelines, you can create on-hold messages that engage, inform, and motivate your callers. 

Using storytelling techniques in on-hold messages 

Storytelling is a powerful tool in marketing, and it can be effectively used in on-hold messages as well. By crafting a narrative that captivates your callers, you can hold their attention and create a memorable experience. 

Start by identifying the key message or theme you want to convey. Then, create a story that aligns with that message and resonates with your audience. This could be a customer success story, a behind-the-scenes look at your company, or even a fictional narrative that effectively ties in with your brand values. 

Remember to keep the story concise and engaging. Use vivid language, descriptive details, and emotional hooks to draw your callers in and keep them listening. This will not only make their wait time more enjoyable but also leave a lasting impression of your brand. 

Consult with your audio marketing provider’s script consultants to bring your storytelling concepts to life.  

Incorporating persuasive language in on-hold messages 

Persuasive language is a powerful tool in marketing, and it can be utilized in on-hold messages to influence caller behavior. By using persuasive techniques, you can encourage callers to take specific actions or make favorable decisions. 

One effective technique is to create a sense of urgency. For example, you could offer limited-time promotions or highlight the benefits of acting quickly. This creates a fear of missing out and motivates callers to take immediate action. 

Another technique is to use social proof. Share testimonials or success stories from satisfied customers to build trust and credibility. People are more likely to trust the opinions of others, so leveraging social proof can be a persuasive tool. 

Additionally, you can incorporate persuasive language by appealing to emotions. Use words that evoke positive feelings or tap into common pain points and offer solutions. By connecting with your callers on an emotional level, you can create a stronger bond and increase the likelihood of conversion. 

Maximizing the use of every second on-hold 

Every second counts when it comes to on-hold messages. To make the most of this valuable marketing opportunity, it’s important to maximize the use of every second on-hold. 

One way to do this is by strategically placing keywords in your messages. Identify the key terms and phrases that are relevant to your business and incorporate them naturally into your scripts. This can help improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and increase your visibility online. 

Another way to maximize the use of every second is by implementing dynamic on-hold messages. Instead of playing the same message repeatedly, deploy a rotation of highly customized messages based on caller demographics or preferences. This keeps the content fresh and increases the chances of capturing your callers’ attention. 

Additionally, consider conducting surveys to understand which topics would be of the greatest interest to your callers while holding. This approach not only engages your customers but also provides you with valuable insights to tailor your on-hold content to their preferences, enhancing their overall experience. 

Implementing on-hold message testing and optimization 

To ensure your on-hold messages are as effective as possible, it’s important to evaluate and optimize them regularly. This allows you to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions. 

Start by setting specific goals for your on-hold messages. What do you want to achieve? Is it increased customer satisfaction, higher conversion rates, or improved brand perception? By defining clear objectives, you can measure the success of your messages and make informed adjustments. 

Next, conduct A/B testing to compare different versions of your on-hold messages. Test different scripts, tones, or calls-to-action to see which resonates best with your callers. Collect feedback and data to analyze the results and make data-driven decisions for optimization. 

Finally, regularly review and update your on-hold messages. Keep your content fresh and relevant to ensure callers are always engaged. Analyze performance metrics such as call duration, conversion rates, and customer feedback to gauge the effectiveness of your messages and make necessary improvements. 

Case studies of successful on-hold message strategies 

To further illustrate the power of the psychology of message-on-hold, let’s explore some real-life case studies of successful strategies. 

Case Study 1: XYZ Insurance Company  

XYZ Insurance Company first implemented personalized Interactive Voice Response (IVR) queue messages that greeted callers by name and provided tailored information based on their policy. Next, they implemented targeted on-hold messages that offered informative updates about their insurance services and upcoming policy changes. This approach aimed to keep callers informed and engaged during their wait times. As a result, XYZ Insurance observed a notable improvement in customer satisfaction metrics, alongside a 15% increase in policy renewals. 

Case Study 2: ABC E-commerce Store  

ABC E-commerce Store leveraged storytelling techniques in their on-hold messages. They shared stories of satisfied customers who had positive experiences with their products. This not only entertained callers but also increased customer trust and drove a 10% increase in sales. 

Case Study 3: DEF Healthcare Provider  

DEF Healthcare Provider incorporated persuasive language in their on-hold messages. They emphasized the importance of regular check-ups and preventative healthcare, resulting in a 20% increase in appointment bookings. 

These case studies demonstrate the impact that strategic on-hold messages can have on customer satisfaction and business growth. By implementing effective strategies, you can achieve similar results for your own business. 

Conclusion: Leveraging the power of on-hold messages for customer satisfaction and business growth 

In conclusion, the psychology of message-on-hold is a powerful tool that should not be overlooked. By understanding the impact of on-hold messages on the customer experience and implementing effective strategies, you can transform what is often seen as a nuisance into a valuable marketing opportunity. 

Crafting engaging and informative on-hold messages, leveraging storytelling techniques, incorporating persuasive language, and maximizing the use of every second on-hold are all key elements to consider. Regular testing, optimization, and learning from successful case studies can further enhance the effectiveness of your on-hold messages. 

So, the next time a caller is put on hold, seize the opportunity to captivate, inform, and convert. By mastering the psychology of message-on-hold, you can take your customer experience to new heights and drive business growth. 

For more tips on how to maximize the power of your on-hold messaging, be sure to contact us

Key Takeaways 

  1. Understanding Caller Psychology: Being placed on hold presents a unique opportunity to engage callers in a captive state. Crafting strategic on-hold messages can reduce perceived wait times and enhance customer satisfaction. 
  1. Impact on Customer Experience: On-hold messages directly influence the customer experience. Silence or generic hold music can create a negative impression, while well-crafted messages demonstrate care and attention to detail, enhancing brand perception. 
  1. Engagement and Information: Keeping callers engaged with informative content is crucial. By sharing industry insights, tips, and company updates, you position your brand as knowledgeable and trustworthy, fostering customer loyalty. 
  1. Crafting Effective Messages: Crafting concise, on-brand messages with clear benefits and calls-to-action is essential. Personalizing content to match caller demographics and preferences further boosts engagement and conversion rates. 
  1. Storytelling and Persuasion: Utilizing storytelling techniques and persuasive language can captivate callers and influence their behavior. Sharing success stories, creating urgency, and appealing to emotions are effective strategies to drive action. 
  1. Maximizing Every Second: Every second on hold is valuable. Optimizing content with relevant keywords, dynamic rotation of messages, and conducting surveys for feedback ensures maximum engagement and relevance. 
  1. Testing and Optimization: Regularly testing different message versions and analyzing performance metrics allows for continuous improvement. Learning from successful case studies further informs effective strategies for on-hold messaging success. 

By implementing these key takeaways, businesses can leverage the power of on-hold messaging to enhance customer satisfaction, drive conversions, and ultimately, fuel business growth. 

FAQs 

Q1: How can message-on-hold affect caller perception of wait time? 

A1: On-hold messages can significantly influence how callers perceive their wait time. By providing engaging and informative content, businesses can reduce the perceived wait time, making the wait more tolerable for callers. This approach not only improves customer satisfaction but also enhances the overall caller experience. 

Q2: Why is it important to incorporate brand identity into on-hold messages? 

A2: Incorporating brand identity into on-hold messages helps reinforce brand recognition and consistency across all customer touchpoints. By using language, tone, and style that align with the brand voice, businesses can create a cohesive and memorable brand experience for callers, fostering stronger brand loyalty and connection. 

Q3: What role does storytelling play in on-hold messages, and how does it impact caller engagement? 

A3: Storytelling can be a powerful tool in on-hold messaging as it captivates callers’ attention and creates a memorable experience. By crafting concise narratives that resonate with callers and align with the brand message, businesses can effectively engage and connect with their audience. Storytelling humanizes the brand and allows businesses to share compelling narratives that leave a lasting impression, ultimately increasing caller engagement. 

Q4: How can businesses ensure their on-hold messages provide value to callers? 

A4: To ensure on-hold messages provide value to callers, businesses should focus on delivering relevant and informative content. By sharing industry insights, tips, and updates related to products or services, businesses can keep callers engaged and informed during their wait. Providing valuable information not only enhances the caller experience but also positions the brand as knowledgeable and trustworthy. 

Q5: What metrics should businesses track to measure the effectiveness of their on-hold messages? 

A5: Businesses should track metrics such as call duration, caller abandonment rates, and customer satisfaction scores to measure the effectiveness of their on-hold messages. Analyzing these metrics provides insights into how engaging and informative the messages are and their impact on caller behavior. Additionally, businesses can gather feedback from callers to assess the effectiveness of their message-on-hold strategy and identify areas for improvement. 

Q6: How can businesses avoid common pitfalls when creating on-hold messages? 

A6: Common pitfalls to avoid when creating on-hold messages include using generic or outdated content, neglecting to update messages regularly, and failing to consider the caller’s perspective. It’s essential to keep messages relevant and engaging and to avoid excessive repetition. Additionally, businesses should be mindful of legal considerations, such as copyright laws for music or content usage, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. 

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ai marketing message on hold phone menu prompts scriptwriting

The Intersection of Technology and Creativity: Leveraging AI for Your Phone System Scripts 

It’s undeniable that your auto attendant and on-hold messaging can play a crucial role in shaping the first impression your callers have of your business. Perhaps this is why crafting compelling scripts for your phone system can be such a daunting task. Where do you start exactly? What information should you include? And how can you convey the information to your callers as effectively as possible? 

With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) platforms, it’s no surprise that many businesses have turned to these innovative tools to combat the challenges of phone system script creation. Thanks to these AI writing assistants generating myriad possibilities for content, gone are the days of staring at a blank page, wondering where to begin. At initial glance, AI appears to have unlocked a new era of efficiency, precision, and creativity in the script development process. But further evaluation reveals how AI-powered scriptwriting comes with its own share of risks and drawbacks. 

In this blog, we will explore both the transformational upside and challenging downside of utilizing artificial intelligence for phone system scriptwriting. As we’ll see, while AI offers certain advantages, it’s important to consider its limitations in comparison to human judgment and nuance. By thoroughly assessing both capabilities and flaws, businesses can make more informed decisions on how to best leverage AI tools to enhance their phone messaging and improve the overall customer experience. 

The Pros and Cons of AI Scriptwriting: 

There’s no doubt that AI opens up exciting possibilities for content generation, accelerating the brainstorming process and helping you to overcome the initial hurdle of script creation. 

By entering a few keywords and sentences about your business and your client base, you’re immediately rewarded with a wide range of ideas and suggestions from the AI assistant. 

AI-powered algorithms can swiftly analyze your data inputs and provide insights that might not be immediately apparent to human writers. Within seconds an AI writing assistant will offer a vast array of perspectives and concepts in formulating your phone system scripts. You can then identify what resonates best and ask the AI to further test variations by editing, refining, and combining its generated output to suit your needs.  

With its efficiency, speed, and cost-effectiveness in scaling content, it can be quite tempting for users to assume AI can seamlessly fulfill business writing projects with minimal human intervention. However, as enticing as this may seem, you’ll want to remain vigilant in avoiding the obvious – and not-so-obvious – pitfalls the technology can present.  

As these platforms forewarn, AI-generated output may not always be accurate, consistent, or even relevant to your topic. It may contain grammatical mistakes, factual errors, and/or misleading information, which may have ethical and legal implications – something you’ll certainly want to identify and resolve well before your script reaches the recording stage and is implemented on your phone system.  

Beyond these blatant drawbacks, AI-generated text presents a more subtle, but perhaps equally damaging, shortcoming. While AI clearly excels in generating content rapidly, it often falls short in capturing the nuanced understanding, overall context, and brand-specific elements that only human writers can bring to the table. 

Other than silence, nothing could be more grating to callers patiently waiting on hold than listening to content drafted solely by artificial intelligence without any human fine-tuning. Remember, you’ll want to convey important information about your business to your callers in a tone that sounds as natural and engaging as possible. And this is something at which AI doesn’t necessarily excel, even with human prompting. 

A telltale sign that a business has enlisted AI and AI alone in producing their phone system messaging is the level of creativity and emotional depth present in the verbiage. While AI can easily generate coherent and informative content, it often lacks the creative subtleties that human authors naturally infuse into their writing. Unusual or overly complex word choices, stilted and unnatural phrasing, and a robotic adherence to sentence structure are all indicative of AI involvement, which can result in a less-than-positive impression with your callers. 

When not explicitly prompted by a human user to be creative or engaging, AI tends to make up for its lack of creativity by incorporating trendy terminology. Some current buzzwords that AI writing assistants use in overabundance include “game-changer,” “journey,” “dynamic,” “realm,” “robust,” “innovative,” “synergy,” “agile,” “ecosystem,” “disrupt,” and “strategic.” While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these words, their excessive use within AI-generated output can be off-putting, especially in awkward contexts. 

So, while an AI writing assistant might provide you with content that seems coherent and informative at face value, further analysis may ultimately reveal its inability to understand and convey the significant nuances of your business. Therefore, it’s essential to have your team – and your audio marketing provider’s scriptwriting professionals – thoroughly review and amend any AI-generated text before it’s finalized, recorded, and implemented onto your phone system. 

AI vs. Human: 

Let’s consider the following comparison of how a Message-On-Hold paragraph is drafted by both an AI writing assistant and a human writer. Both versions below are based on the exact same details about ABC Medical Center’s new maternity wing. 

First, the AI writing assistant’s version: 

“Welcome to ABC Medical Center, where we prioritize the well-being of expectant mothers by offering top-notch care and secure delivery for newborns. With a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), dedicated maternity specialists, and empathetic, well-trained nurses, we ensure a combination of expertise and compassion throughout your journey. Our recently expanded maternity wing boasts generously sized, private rooms adorned with breathtaking views and luxurious features, fostering an environment conducive to healing and family connection. For an immersive experience, schedule a tour through our website at ABCMedicalCenter.org/maternity or simply connect with one of our helpful representatives when we’re back on the line. Your journey to motherhood starts with us, where safety, expertise, and comfort converge.” 

And now, the professional writer’s version: 

“With our Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, highly skilled team of maternity specialists, and specially trained nurses who are as compassionate as they are knowledgeable, ABC Medical Center offers expecting moms the safest care and delivery of their newborn. Our newly expanded maternity wing provides spacious, private rooms with majestic views and upscale amenities to support healing and family bonding. To schedule a tour, please visit our website at ABCMedicalCenter.org/maternity – or speak with a representative when we return to the line.” 

Notice how the AI version seems a bit excessive and overly dramatic for an on-hold message, while the human version takes into account the need for brevity and incorporates plain language, making the information more palatable for callers on hold. This is a prime example in which it takes a human to understand the needs of fellow humans, as the writer applies his skill in crafting a message that callers can more easily comprehend and retain compared to the verbose AI-generated version.  

The Irreplaceable Benefits of Professional Script Writers: 

While AI can be a powerful ally in generating ideas and content, the human touch remains irreplaceable in the phone system scriptwriting process. Professional writers can bring an innate understanding of your brand, culture, and audience that AI may struggle to grasp.  

Recognizing the importance of this human element, Holdcom’s team of experienced script consultants is committed to delivering high-quality Message-On-Hold and Auto Attendant scripts that are customized to your business. Whether drafting phone system scripts from source material such as you website or other collateral – or incorporating feedback to enhance the content and tone of client-provided rough drafts – our writers have the knowledge, skills, and experience to help you create and finalize phone scripts that are tailored to your brand, audience, and goals. 

If you do enlist an AI platform to assist in writing your initial draft, our writers can scrutinize the content to massage the wording, inject creativity, align with your brand voice, and infuse industry best practices, balancing productivity with quality control.  

In Conclusion: 

Incorporating AI into scriptwriting for your phone system presents a promising option for businesses aiming to streamline the ideation process. While the advantages of AI scriptwriting are evident, it’s crucial to acknowledge the potential limitations – particularly if there’s an assumption that AI will generate flawless, studio-ready copy. Ultimately, AI should be viewed as a supportive tool rather than a complete replacement for human creativity and expertise. While AI enables rapid content scaling, the unmatched value of professional writers cannot be overstated, as they possess the ability to inject creativity and nuance into your phone system scripts, ensuring resonance with your callers that AI alone cannot achieve. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • A major advantage of using AI for phone system scriptwriting is efficiency. AI can help you overcome the initial writer’s block that many businesses face when drafting their Message-On-Hold and Auto Attendant scripts. By entering a few keywords and sentences, you can receive a range of ideas and suggestions from AI, which can then be edited and refined to suit your needs. 
  • Although it’s tempting to assume AI writing assistants can flawlessly fulfill all your business’s writing projects with little or no human involvement, it’s imperative to recognize the substantial drawbacks of this approach.  
  • AI has several limitations. Its output may contain multiple inaccuracies. That’s why it’s critical to have experienced scriptwriters review AI-generated text to identify and correct problematic verbiage before your phone system script reaches the recording stage. 
  • While AI clearly excels in generating content rapidly, it often falls short in capturing the nuanced understanding, overall context, and brand-specific elements that only a human touch can provide. AI-generated text may sound stilted since AI lacks human judgment, creativity, and industry-specific knowledge. Your callers will undoubtedly notice this, which could create a less-than-positive impression of your business. 
  • AI enables scaling scripts rapidly while professional scriptwriters can refine AI-generated text so that it truly resonates with your callers. The end result delivers all the efficiency of AI combined with the essential nuance only humans can provide.  

FAQs: 

Q1: What is AI scriptwriting? 

A1: AI scriptwriting refers to the process of utilizing artificial intelligence technology to generate content for phone system scripts, such as auto attendant messages and on-hold messaging. AI platforms analyze input data and provide suggestions, ideas, and even complete drafts of scripts based on parameters set by the user. 

Q2: How does AI scriptwriting work? 

A2: AI scriptwriting works by employing natural language processing algorithms to analyze input data, which can include keywords, sentences, or specific details about a business or topic. The AI then generates text based on this input, offering a range of ideas and suggestions that users can edit and refine to create their desired phone system scripts. 

Q3: What are the benefits of using AI for phone system scriptwriting? 

A3: Using AI for phone system scriptwriting offers several benefits, including: 

-Efficiency: AI can help overcome writer’s block by quickly generating ideas and suggestions for scripts. 

-Speed: AI can rapidly generate content, accelerating the script development process. 

-Scalability: AI enables the scaling of content production, making it suitable for businesses with large scriptwriting needs. 

Q4: What are the limitations of AI scriptwriting? 

A4: While AI scriptwriting offers advantages, it also has limitations, including: 

-Inaccuracy: AI-generated text may contain grammatical errors, factual inaccuracies, or irrelevant information. 

-Lack of nuance: AI often struggles to capture the nuanced understanding, context, and brand-specific elements that human writers can provide. 

-Stilted language: AI-generated text may sound robotic or unnatural due to its reliance on algorithms rather than human judgment and creativity. 

Q5: How can businesses mitigate the risks associated with AI scriptwriting? 

A5: To mitigate the risks associated with AI scriptwriting, businesses can: 

-Thoroughly review and amend AI-generated text before finalizing and implementing it onto their phone systems. 

-Enlist the expertise of professional scriptwriters to refine AI-generated content, ensuring it aligns with the brand voice, resonates with callers, and meets industry best practices. 

-Recognize that AI should be viewed as a supportive tool rather than a total replacement for human creativity and expertise in scriptwriting. 

Q6: What is the role of professional scriptwriters in the AI scriptwriting process? 

A6: Professional scriptwriters play a crucial role in the AI scriptwriting process by: 

-Reviewing and refining AI-generated content to ensure accuracy, clarity, and resonance with callers. 

-Injecting creativity, nuance, and industry-specific knowledge into scripts to enhance their effectiveness. 

-Balancing productivity with quality control to deliver high-quality phone system scripts tailored to the brand, audience, and goals of the business. 

Q7: Can AI-generated scripts be seamlessly implemented onto phone systems? 

A7: While AI-generated scripts can provide a foundation for phone system messaging, it’s essential to thoroughly review and refine them to ensure they meet the standards of accuracy, clarity, and effectiveness required for implementation onto phone systems. Professional scriptwriters can assist in this process, optimizing AI-generated content to resonate with callers and enhance the overall customer experience. 

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script samples scriptwriting tips

The Power of Plain Language

Revolutionizing Communication in Message-On-Hold and IVR Scripts 

Overcome the Pitfalls of Communication Challenges 

In today’s dynamic business landscape, effective communication is the linchpin that sets successful organizations apart. From public-facing communications to internal interactions, every message matters. Message-On-Hold (MOH) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) scripts are among the often-overlooked domains where communication can be significantly enhanced. This is where the power of Plain Language comes into play, reshaping how businesses connect with their customers and stakeholders. 

What is Plain Language? 

Plain Language is not just a writing style but a philosophy that revolves around simplicity, clarity, and user-friendliness. Its purpose is to ensure that the intended audience can (1) find what they need, (2) understand what they find, and (3) use that information to meet their needs. By making sentences clear and easy to understand, Plain Language transcends the boundaries of complex content to make communications of all types – including audio marketing scripts – user-friendly and easy to navigate. 

Empowering Customers through Message-On-Hold Scripts 

Message-On-Hold scripts serve as an opportunity for businesses to engage their customers while they wait in queue for a representative to assist them. Often, these scripts can be filled with technical jargon or complex language that leaves callers frustrated and disengaged. However, employing Plain Language in these scripts can be a game-changer. By using simple and clear language, businesses can deliver information seamlessly, reducing caller frustration and enhancing the overall customer experience. 

Example A (not using Plain Language): 

“Thank you for calling ABC Medical Center, where we endeavor to adhere to the most cutting-edge and advanced medical protocols, harnessed to address the unique and urgent nature of cerebrovascular incidents, commonly known as “stroke.” A stroke is a neurological dysfunction that occurs due to an abrupt and localized alteration in cerebral blood flow, precipitated by thrombosis, embolism, or hemorrhage. Rest assured, our team – including esteemed neurologists, interventional radiologists, and neurosurgeons – is primed and resolute in their commitment to providing comprehensive and multidisciplinary care to optimize clinical outcomes and improve patient prognosis while emphasizing acute and long-term rehabilitation strategies. It’s important you educate yourself about the signs of a stroke, so you know how to react quickly. If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke, do not postpone treatment. Don’t wait to see if symptoms stop because every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability. Call 911 or go directly to the emergency department at ABC Medical Center, where our dedicated team will provide immediate care.” 

Example B (using Plain Language): 

“ABC Medical Center would like to remind you when it comes to a stroke, time is of the essence, so it’s important to recognize the following symptoms:  

Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body). 

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding.  

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.  

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.  

If you or someone around you experiences these symptoms, contact emergency services right away or seek immediate medical attention at your nearest emergency department. Remember, quick action can make a big difference in receiving the proper medical care.” 

Example A (not using Plain Language): 

“If you have a billing question and would like to speak with our Accounts Receivable department, press 1. Press 2 for technical support and follow the prompts to reach the representative best suited to your needs. For all other questions, we’ll be happy to help you – just press 3 to speak with our General Inquiries department, and a customer service representative will be with you shortly.” 

Example B (using Plain Language): 

“For billing, press 1. For technical support, press 2. For all other inquiries, press 3.” 

Ensuring Clarity, Every Step of the Way 

The importance of using Plain Language in Message-On-Hold and IVR scripts lies in its ability to ensure clarity at every step of the customer journey. When customers encounter clear and easy-to-understand messages, they feel valued, respected, and understood. Plain Language enables businesses to build positive brand impressions and nurture strong customer relationships. 

Measurable Results for Real Impact 

Just as with any other communication endeavor, Plain Language implementation in Message-On-Hold and IVR scripts yields measurable results. Reduced call center volumes, shorter wait times, and increased customer satisfaction can be quantified and analyzed, proving the efficacy of Plain Language in enhancing business outcomes. 

Embracing Plain Language: A Win-Win Investment 

Adopting Plain Language in Message-On-Hold and IVR scripts need not be an expensive or time-consuming process. Your audio marketing provider’s script writing team can provide the necessary edits to help facilitate the transition to Plain Language in your Message-On-Hold and IVR scripts. By investing in Plain Language, businesses can reap the rewards of improved customer experiences, streamlined communication, and enhanced brand reputation. 

Plain Language Mastery: Your Key to Enhanced Customer Connections 

In the age of customer-centricity, every interaction counts. Utilizing Plain Language in Message-On-Hold and IVR scripts is a strategic move that demonstrates a commitment to clear communication, customer satisfaction, and organizational success. By making language accessible and user-friendly, businesses can empower their customers, streamline call center operations, and cultivate long-lasting relationships. Embrace the power of Plain Language in Message-On-Hold and IVR scripts and elevate your communication to new heights. Your customers will thank you for it. 

Key Principles for Applying Plain Language to Communications: 

1. Know Your Audience 

2. Keep Sentences Short 

3. Use Simple Words 

4. Define Acronyms and Terms 

5. Break Information into Digestible Chunks 

6. Use Active Voice 

7. Prioritize Important Information 

8. Use Visual Aids Sparingly 

9. Proofread and Simplify 

10. Test with Real Users 

11. Keep It User-Centric 

12. Train Your Team 

13. Revise and Iterate 

FAQ

Q1: What is Plain Language?

A1: Plain Language is a philosophy of communication that focuses on simplicity, clarity, and user-friendliness to ensure that information is easy to find, understand, and use by the intended audience. 

Q2: Why is Plain Language important in communication? 

A2: Plain Language is important because it enhances the effectiveness of communication, reduces confusion, and improves the overall user experience. It is particularly valuable in situations where complex information needs to be conveyed clearly. 

Q3: How can Plain Language benefit Message-On-Hold and IVR scripts? 

A3: Plain Language in Message-On-Hold and IVR scripts makes information more accessible to callers, reduces frustration, and streamlines the communication process, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction. 

Q4: Is adopting Plain Language a costly process? 

A4: No, adopting Plain Language in your scripts doesn’t have to be costly. Your audio marketing provider’s script writing team can help you make the necessary edits to transition to Plain Language, ensuring a cost-effective approach to improved communication. 

Q5: What are the measurable results of using Plain Language in scripts? 

A5: Measurable results of using Plain Language in scripts include reduced call center volumes, shorter wait times, and increased customer satisfaction. These outcomes can be quantified and analyzed, proving the efficacy of Plain Language in enhancing business outcomes. Plain Language also contributes to improved communication efficiency and reduced customer frustration, which can lead to positive impacts on an organization’s bottom line and reputation. 

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customer experience healthcare marketing marketing-triage scriptwriting tips

Can Your Content Catch a Reader in 2 Seconds?  

As social media platforms expand and attention spans shorten, so does the time you have to capture readers’ attention and get them to stop scrolling – two seconds to be exact. It’s called “thumb stopping content” and that is what Jim Mancari spends his days analyzing and creating. He’s Director, Digital Marketing and Social Media for NYC Health + Hospitals and says the challenge to create content that will stop readers in their path is a dynamic one, with a target that is constantly shifting and changing.  

“The goal is to be relevant and engage our readers,” Jim said. “That means thinking about what we say, how we say it, and then posting it at the right time in the right place. Content has to matter to a reader to stop them as they scroll.”  

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and numerous other platforms have already splintered reader’s attention and there are always new platforms crashing into view. So how does one cut through the noise to command attention in a target audience’s content feed? By generating relevant content and knowing what you are doing every day. James has hardwired specific tools to generate purposeful content.   

First you organize: By generation, topic, current events, community interests, hospital health services, and by calendar day, time, week, and month.   

Then you integrate: Messaging, channels, and timing. This is the weaving of content into a tapestry that makes sense. It matches messaging to audiences and schedules publication at the right time in the right place, so it hits when it is relevant. 

You make sure the lead is at the top: Your audience isn’t going to stop on their way by if the image, message, video or audio aren’t compelling. Put the point of the story at the very front, if it stops them there is a greater chance they will read or view the entire story. But if the front is boring, you’ve lost them. 

You learn where your audience is: Where is each audience segment? What platforms are they on? Data informs you and is critical to molding the message to the audience in a way that makes sense on the platform.  

Remember: Everyone is on their phones: All content is mobile. Create it that way. 

“At the end of the day, we don’t want to compete with ourselves,” says Jim. “We need to make sure that we use data, knowledge of our audience, and the unique characteristics of each platform to expand our social reach. That’s what it’s all about – talking to the people we care about to keep them well and give them access to information that will make their lives better. We can do that through digital marketing and social media, but we must always have our ears to the ground and our eyes on the audience.”  

Great advice – and we can help. We know there is always more content than you can get to. We can help. We triage content – mining it from inside your organization, organizing, and producing it. We offer content generation, written by healthcare insiders, that expands your bandwidth and gets work done.

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customer experience IVR multilingual phone menu prompts scriptwriting tips Translation

The Best Method for Translating Your Audio Production Scripts

Human vs. Machine – Translation Excellence?

You’ve just finished writing a comprehensive IVR script for your organization’s phone system.  But before submitting it to Holdcom, you remember you were tasked with having the script recorded not only in English but also Spanish, French, and Mandarin, since a significant portion of your client base communicates with your organization in those languages.  Like any professional working within a budget, your first instinct is to research the most cost-effective options possible to have your English script translated into the other languages.

Perhaps you’ve seen ads online for websites promising no-cost, on-the-spot translation solutions.  Or maybe you remember there’s a built-in translation app on your mobile phone that you’ve always wanted to try out.  Or perhaps you simply decide to type the words “free translation” into your web browser, and up pops Google Translate as the first search result.

Whichever of these methods you choose, you’re amazed not only at the ease-of-use the automated tool offers but also the immediacy that it renders a seemingly thorough translation.  All you had to do was simply copy-and-paste your English script into the “Enter Text” box, select the desired language for translation, and INSTANTLY a fully formed translated document appeared.  And you didn’t need to pay a single cent!  Nothing short of victory, right?

But before you email that translated script over to Holdcom to be recorded, remember the age-old saying – If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

While no-cost translation sites/apps can be a great resource for quickly translating stand-alone words, short phrases, or even full paragraphs to obtain the gist of information presented to you in a language you don’t understand, these same sites/apps can yield varying degrees of inaccurate translations, depending on the context of the verbiage you’re translating and the languages involved.

So while a free automated translation site might be an adequate solution when it comes to personal use (such as helping you understand an email or text from your new social media friend in France, who’s writing to you in his native language), that same site’s lack of 100% accuracy renders it an ineffectual tool for professional applications, especially long-form applications such as Message-On-Hold and IVR scripting.  In other words, the longer your script, the greater the likelihood the automated tool will produce errors in the translation.

Of course this begs the question – WHY do these automated translation tools produce such errors?

Think about it.  In English, a word can have various meanings, and those meanings can be very different from each other.  If someone were to say any of these common homonyms to you –

fan, park, play, right – as purely stand-alone terms and expect you to know the exact meaning they’re implying, you could certainly take a guess.  But you would really need to know the surrounding context associated with those words to understand the precise meaning that person was intending.  Such is true for homonyms in other languages.  And therein lies one of the reasons an automated translation site/app can easily take a wrong turn.

Depending on which type of auto-translation tool you use and the languages you’re pairing, the software may rely on direct (or, “literal”) translation methods, meaning it translates each word of your text separately, without considering how those words are used collectively in the full context.  This can result in not only grammatically incorrect – but oftentimes, nonsensical – translations.

To give you an example, I remember receiving a client’s Spanish translation years ago and immediately realized they had used an automated translation tool.  I’m not fluent in Spanish by any means, but when I referenced the client’s English version of their Spanish translation, I noticed the word “Queens” throughout.  And based on the context of the English script, I could see the client was referring to the New York City borough of Queens.  However, the word “Queens” appeared nowhere in the Spanish translation, which was a red flag.  I could see that instead of leaving the proper name of “Queens” intact in the Spanish translation, the automated tool mistakenly translated it literally as “Reinas” – the plural version of “a female sovereign or monarch” – which was obviously not the word/meaning the client intended.

So what will happen if you unknowingly submit a faulty translation to Holdcom to be recorded?  In general, it will cause confusion and ultimately delay the production of your final product, which is never ideal – especially if your leadership has given you a hard deadline to have the recordings implemented on your phone system.  So as our voice talent sits down to record your translation, s/he will inevitably spot grammar and word choice errors that will likely render the script unreadable.  In these situations, I often receive feedback from voice talents as such: “Unfortunately it appears this script was translated using Google Translate or a similar site.  If I were to record this as is, I’d basically be reading gibberish in some sections.  I think I know what the client is trying to say, but I honestly can’t be sure and I certainly don’t want to guess.  So please circle back with the client for clarification.”

Although the accuracy of certain automated translation tools has improved over the years, don’t assume the site/app you’re using is necessarily selecting the word/meaning it thinks best based on the specific nuances of your content.  Such automated tools are more likely relying on a language pattern-matching algorithm, so there’s no guarantee it will select the word/meaning you intended.  To compound the problem, there is no reliable way to confirm the auto-translator’s word choices are fully accurate without an actual human being, fluent in both the original language and translated language, to verify those word choices.  A machine using an algorithm simply can’t understand the contextual subtleties to the same degree a trained human can.

And that is why, when translating a document that will be used for a professional application, it’s crucial to steer clear of these “machine translators” in favor of skilled human professionals.  Experienced professional translators will take the necessary time and effort to avoid the pitfalls of literal translation methods.  They’ll factor in the all-important rules of grammar as well as any cultural references and nuanced language contained in your script.  They may utilize not only their personal knowledge and expertise of the languages required for the translation but also well-established multilingual dictionaries/glossaries, “back translation” methods, and proofreading/review techniques, which automated translation tools do not employ.

If you don’t already have a reliable human translation source (such as a fluent bilingual staff member with a proven track record of providing error-free translations), then Holdcom, at an affordable rate, can provide you with professional translation services, performed by certified, highly experienced multilingual translators.  And since word choice can be subjective even when skilled human translators are involved, you will be given the opportunity to review and approve all translated documents before we record them.  This way, if our Spanish translator translates the phrase “To repeat these options, press 9” as “Para repetir estas opciones, oprima 9” – but you prefer the word choice of “Para repetir estas opciones, presione 9” – we can certainly adjust that to your liking before the script is recorded and implemented on your phone system.

Contact Holdcom at 800 666 6465 for assistance with foreign language localization assistance
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call center IVR phone menu prompts scriptwriting tips

15 Voice Prompt Blunders To Avoid in Your IVR System

When writing voice prompts for IVR or ACD systems, clear concise communication is key. The thing about a well structured call-processing system with properly recorded voice prompts is that you just don’t notice it. What you do notice, however, is a system that is riddled with problems and errors.To ensure you’re creating a great caller experience, be sure to avoid these 15 common blunders in your voice prompt scripts:

  1. Using the Word “dial.” True story: I have never “dialed” a phone. For my whole life, I’ve pressed buttons. Now, I press “buttons” on my touch-screen phone. Think about it–when was the last time you actually dialed a phone? If you are instructing callers to dial an extension, you should switch to the term “press,” otherwise you might seem outdated.
  2. Too many menu items. As a general rule, 3-5 items should be sufficient for each level of your menu. If you have more than that, callers may become confused, unengaged, and frustrated, making work harder for your reps.
  3. Not enough menu items. Too few menu options is also a problem. If you don’t give users enough options, they may not be sure which department is the right choice for them. 
  4. Putting the extension number before the name of the person/department. A good prompt will say, “For Sales, Press 1” not “Press 1 for Sales.” Why? Callers are listening for their destination first, then how to get there. If you play the extension first, they’re not likely to associate the number with the department.
  5. Forgetting to tell callers they can enter a known extension at any time. Many repeat callers will know which extension they need to use before hearing any of the options. They might have even looked it up on your website or seen it in your email signature. Make sure you remind these callers that they can enter an extension without listening to the prompts.
  6. Neglecting an exit option. You should let callers know that number they can use to immediately leave the system and speak to a live human (during business hours, of course). This works in two ways–first, callers immediately know that there is a “real human” who can talk to them. Second, if callers know they can leave the phone tree, they’ll be more receptive to listening to your prompts.
  7. Having a long greeting before prompts begin. Time spent with an IVR system isn’t the same as hold time.
  8. Using an unprofessional-sounding voice. Professional Voice Over Talents exist for a reason: people like to hear them.Your automated answering system might be the first impression callers have of your business. Why would you use staticy, improperly recorded announcements?
  9. Not having an “after hours” variation of your prompts. When your office is closed, you should have a prompt that lets people know this and encourages them to leave a message (with appropriate menu option) or call back during normal business hours (and give hours). An after hours greeting can also include emergency contact number or direct clients to a self-service option on your website.
  10. Repeating the word “please” in every prompt. In business, proper manners are essential. On your phone system, saying “please” with every prompt is redundant and irritating. Say “please” in the first prompt, then keep your options more streamlined for easy listening. Remember–you’re writing for the ear.
  11. Using long phrasing for each prompt. It’s a prompt, not a message. Keep it short and to the point so you don’t lose caller’s attention. Think of each prompt as a call to action. 
  12. Stating extension numbers as one number. If you’re saying “Two hundred three” instead of “Two Zero Three,” you’re making a grave error and potentially going to have a lot of confused callers. It’s not that people will be looking for the button “two hundred three” on their phone, it’s that they might here two and three and ignore the zero. Plus, doesn’t it sound weird to tell callers to “Press Two Hundred Three”?
  13. Including Jargon. Jargon got its name because people don’t understand it. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid jargon in your voice prompts to make the caller experience as painless as possible.
  14. Putting frequently requested options at the end of the menu. It just makes sense to put the most frequently requested options first. If you already know what people are looking for, you should aim to deliver it as quickly as possible and move them efficiently through the rest of your call processing.
  15. Lacking Consistency. If you use inconsistent phrasing for your prompts, you’re likely to confuse callers. By changing your word choice, the caller won’t be able to follow a predictable pattern. For example, you shouldn’t say, “For sales, press 1; To reach customer service, press 2; Press 3 for reservations.” It just doesn’t make sense. 

What do you think? Have you heard any voice prompts that have made you cringe? Would you add anything else to this list?

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message on hold scriptwriting tips

6 Script Tips for Your Hold-Time


Audio marketing scripts are used by many companies in today’s business world. Hold times that are often filled with “dead air” or music can be used more effectively to convey messages to your customers. Here are five script tips for how to use Message On Hold, instead of playing boring elevator music.

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IVR scriptwriting tips

Using the Right IVR to Sound Like a Big Company

Although automated phone greetings are often the first interactions customers have with your company, many small business owners don’t take necessary steps to make sure they are making the correct first impression. Deciding what options to present and composing a concise and understandable greeting are difficult for many people. Thus selecting the right auto attendant/IVR to sound like a bigger company is a crucial step in presenting your business to the public. Here are suggestions on how you can set up your IVR to best meet customer needs.

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customer experience phone menu prompts scriptwriting tips

Best Practices For IVR, Voice Prompts, and Auto Attendant

 
IVR_BestPractices

As a business owner, you are likely interested in providing superior quality at every customer touch point for your business. One of the first things a customer may encounter is your telephony technology, be it IVR, voice prompts, or an Auto Attendant. What can you do to ensure that your company shines with this type of technology?

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marketing scriptwriting tips

3 Marketing Audio Script Questions to Ask Yourself

Writing a marketing audio script can get frustrating without an outline and an understanding of what an effective audio script should be. I know, I know, you’ll just Google it, right? It is important to remember that you are writing something that is meant to be heard.