If your business involves customers calling in to get further information or to schedule an appointment, that first phone call is your primary chance to make a great impression. And depending on what kind of music you choose for your on-hold efforts, you could be driving them away without realizing it. Bad on-hold music is comparable to meeting someone for the first time with food in their teeth and stains on their shirt. You want your business to appear professional, courteous, and unique, and your on-hold strategy is a great place to start.

Say No to Boring Tunes

As much as you might want to just slap in some background elevator music, you really shouldn’t. You should be choosing your on-hold music as carefully as you would choose your employees. Just like they give a face and a voice to your company, so does your on hold music.

Be sure to choose music that is appropriate for your business’ clientele. If your audience typically consists of younger people ages 18-32, you could play some appropriate top-40 music. If your customers are mainly older men and women ages 55-75, you could play something like mellow classic rock. The point is that your music should illustrate that you know who your audience is, and that you want to entertain them and make them feel like being on hold isn’t a punishment.

leave me on hold statistics infographic

The Stats Don’t Lie

A survey by NICE Systems discovered that 88% of the callers surveyed said they would stay on the line with a business longer if they got to hear product information. Another survey by Infomax Group found that callers stayed on the line almost 25% longer when there was music playing that wasn’t “canned background music” or worse, “dead air”. A third study, performed by Sales and Marketing Management, saw that over 20% of callers purchased additional products after hearing product information in the on-hold message.

On the flip side, when customers have a negative on-hold experience, those feelings tend to resonate and lead to lost business. Consider the findings of the Beryl Institute. They found that up to 75% of customers who abandon a call after a bad on-hold experience do not call back, and instead call a competitor. There goes a potential loyal customer and sale, and it’s nearly impossible to get them back after a negative experience like that.

The data speaks for itself. Taking a thoughtful look at what your customers experience when they are on hold with your company could open your eyes to how they feel. Is there room for improvement in your on-hold strategy? Could your music be updated? Is it time to include your newest product information? Answering these questions honestly can help bring your business happier customers and more sales.