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If you Google “message on hold script templates”, most of the top results are just rehashes of the same template, reworded for specific branding. Maybe that’s why just about every on-hold call sounds exactly the same! This isn’t another one of those rehashes.

Instead of the traditional and ordinary templates, we’re going to create a message on hold script that stands out, but we’re going to do it by creating a series of one-of-a-kind prompts and templates that you can tailor to your business and industry.

No One is More Qualified to Do This Than You

First, let’s lead off with the good news. Something is better than nothing. Even if you just offer elevator music, you’re off to a better start with the consumer. That’s what an AT&T survey learned. So, no matter what you come up with, it’s better than nothing. Sometimes, just knowing that can overcome writer’s block.

Next, understand a very important fact – no one else on this planet is more qualified to write the message than you! This business is your baby. You know everything about it. You literally breathe it. You KNOW your customers. You know what questions they have. What concerns keep them up at night? You know how old they are and where they work and how educated they are. You’ve seen the data. You know the facts.

The rest of this template process focuses on creating an audio boilerplate that enters into a conversation they’ve already been having with themselves.

Now, let’s assemble the elements.

Part 1: A Pointed Introduction

Your introduction needs to carry out three things: tell who you are, what you do, and why it matters to them. This lets existing customers know they’ve got the right phone number and it allows prospective customers to “meet” you in a way that makes an impact. If you’ve ever written an elevator pitch, then you’ve probably got this nailed down to a science.

Brevity is crucial. Not only do you often ultimately pay by the word when you record your message, but the average hold time today (according to Electronic Distribution Today) is only 38 seconds. The average person speaks at a rate of about 125 words per minute. If you do the math, that’s about 79 words. That’s it – just 79 words to communicate everything you want to say.


“Thanks for calling Signature Residential Management, where we find the best tenants for the best terms – faster than you dreamed possible.” That’s 21 words. You could even edit this down further: “You’ve reached Signature Residential Management. We find the best tenants for the best terms – and fast.” Now we’re just to 16 words. At the average rate of two words per second, you’re right around eight seconds into the script.

Part 2: Offer Helpful Information Up Front

Do a lot of your callers have the same questions? Is there a common theme to calls? Do you have a website that offers answers so they don’t have to wait? If so, now is the best time to tell them. If you can help save them time and they can hang up now, it’s a win-win situation.


“If you need to make a payment, have questions about your account or would like to learn more about available listings, be sure to check out our website at…..” That’s 30 words or about 15 seconds. That means you’re about 23 seconds into the entire recording. There’s a good chance that a fair percentage of callers can hang up now and take their issue to the web. Those who haven’t hung up are now paying attention to see if whatever you say next will address their needs.

Part 3: Mention Any Incentives or Major Up-Sells of Doing Business

Unless you plan on regularly re-recording your on-hold messaging, it’s a good idea to stay more generic. However, if you offer a revolving “special” – this is a great time to mention it. Examples include things like shipping that is always free, percentage discounts for new customers, referral rewards, etc.

This is also a great place to mention other solutions that you offer that people might not think about. For instance, if your salon is famous for your massage but also has a state-of-the-art hair removal service, this is a good time to make that fact known.


“Be sure to ask about our Resident Rewards Program that helps you make a down payment when you finally decide to buy. After all, every property manager is a licensed real estate agent. Owners also get rewarded with referral rewards and discounted commissions if they decide to sell.” This was a bit lengthier and landed us well beyond the borders of the average on-hold wait. In most cases, at this point, an agent will have answered the phone.

Part 4: Everything Else

Most calls get answered by now. However, there are those times when things get really backed up and hold times can drag on and on and on. Unfortunately, when holds are longer than average it’s because of an increase in call volume which often results because of widespread issues like billing errors outages, or other equally unpleasant situations. It’s a good idea to offer a little more content in your on-hold scripting just so that you can keep up interest and engagement as much as possible.

This is where you can list industry facts, statistics, awards won, PR initiatives, partnerships with other businesses or organizations, etc. You may also wish to create a recurring “Thank you for your patience…” message to add in at one-minute intervals.


“Signature Management has consistently ranked in the Top 10 Residential Property Management Companies in the metropolitan area for the past 10 years and counting. We appreciate your patience and assure you we’ll be on the line as soon as we can!”

Need more help or inspiration crafting the perfect on hold messaging script? Contact us to find out how to maximize every call.

Michael R. Durante

Michael Durante spent his teenage years into his early 20s climbing the ladder in a branch of a successful banking firm, starting as a teller and ending as a Sr. Branch Manager within 6 years. In 2003, he left the banking world to join his father and create TIE National, a telecom company 60 years in the making. Together, they grew the company from a two-man operation solely working on telephones to a multi-million dollar international business with employees in over a dozen states, covering everything from phone systems to cloud products and computer systems. You can find Michael on LinkedIn.