Putting customers on hold is an inevitable if much-maligned tool for customer service and sales professionals. However, the customer’s time on hold does not need to be a waste for you or for them.
If you find a way to communicate your sales message on hold and find a voice that keeps them on the line and primed for purchase you can not only keep your customers happier but increase your sales as well. According to Sales & Marketing Management, “88% of callers surveyed want to hear product information on-hold and will stay on the line longer if provided with this information – roughly 20% said that they have purchased additional products based on information they heard while on-hold.” Other researchers have come to similar conclusions. Infomax, Inc. found that customers stay on the line 25% longer when listening to messaging as opposed to silence or music. The research firm Jefferson Denneandrus confirmed that “when callers were presented with On Hold Messaging versus silence or a radio commercial they would stay on hold longer, [and] they were more likely to exhibit interest in the product advertised.” Therefore, it is preferable for both the sales professional and the customer if your company forgoes the typical hold music for a custom message detailing your company’s products and services.
Now the question is, what kind of voice should you choose to best present your messaging to the customer? As callcenterhelper.com perceptively notes, a company needs to choose a voice that matches with its image. “For example, over-50s insurance and holidays company Saga would be unlikely to have an on-hold message read by a person in their early-20s, who used informal speech and lots of the latest slang terms.” In addition to speaking to the right age group, you will need to ensure that your message is spoken by someone without a heavy accent or with an accent that matches the regional market. It is essential that the customers be able to clearly understand the message.
Choosing a male or female voice also is dependent upon the audience you are speaking to. Male voices are perceived as more authoritative while female voices are more soothing. No matter which gender you choose, it is always worthwhile to hire a professional voice actor, as regular employees can rarely speak with the clarity and intonation needed to effectively relay your message.