marketing message on hold resources

Hold Time is Valuable Time

Let’s face it, when a company puts you on hold, sometimes it’s annoying.

  • Sometimes you have a pressing concern,
  • Sometimes you’re busy and just don’t have time to wait on hold, and 
  • Sometimes being put on hold makes you feel like you’re not important to the company you’ve called

Unfortunately, the reality is, sometimes companies have to put customers on hold. However, your customers don’t have to have a bad or lackluster experience during their hold time. In fact, you can use the time your customers are on hold to:

  • Build your brand,
  • Engage them with in-person activities and through social media,
  • Completely sell them on new products and services,
  • Position your company as trustworthy and expert,
  • Tell them how to get significant deals, and
  • Entertain them

Who Said Hold Music Had to Have Violins?

For about 12 months Virgin Mobile had a very unique on hold message. The message was advertising iHeartRadio’s newest artists. It would play the first verse of the artist’s song and have voice-over talent introduce the music and interview members of each band. The whole production basically sounded like a combination of an advertisement for an awesome concert and a very cool radio station broadcast. The music was excellent and it was very entertaining for Virgin Mobile’s target demographic.

Experts encourage you to get creative with your on-hold messages. In fact, as long as you generate content yourself or purchase the proper licensing rights, there are plenty of affordable ways you can use:

  • Sound bytes,
  • Really good, trendy music,
  • Campy music,
  • Stand-up comedy bytes,
  • Skits, and even
  • Interviews and podcasts

…to enhance your on-hold messages.

As you can see, Virgin Mobile did an exceptional job of building their brand through their hold message. And, if you’re like many business owners, you’d probably like to do the same thing.

What They Did Right

Virgin Mobile Knew Their Customers Well. Who is your customer?:

  • Who is she? 
  • How old is he? 
  • What’s her social life like? 
  • Where does he shop? 
  • What does she do for fun? 
  • What does he value, and so on. 
  • What image does she want see from you? (professional, fun-loving, stylish, clean and simple, classic, edgy etc); and
  • How long will he be on hold? (The longer you will have to your customers on hold, the more entertaining or genuinely useful your messages should be.)

Virgin Mobile Used the Perfect Voice and Tone

Take a moment to listen to commercials either on TV or on the radio. You can also go on YouTube and view commercials for many products to make comparing easier.

  1. Start off by comparing the voices, sounds and music an advertiser might use for an organic foods store and the voices, sounds and music an advertiser might use for a line of makeup or beer. What differences do you hear? Write them down. You might be surprised to see how easily the advertiser manipulated you with simple tactics.
  2. Next listen to the voices, sounds and music other advertisers in your industry have used. Really study the commercials you feel are the most effective.
  3. You will quickly see that voice-over talent and sound design is crucial if you want to use your callers’ on-hold time to further your brand and business. It’s important to make the right choices in these areas.


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