16 May 2024

Creating Memorable On-Hold Experiences: Tips for Effective Audio Branding

Guides & explainers
The strategy behind on-hold marketing productions that resonate long after the call ends.

In today’s crowded marketplace, discerning consumers have more choice than ever before. A poor call experience can be a serious blow to your business’ reputation, and consistency across every touchpoint is crucial for those looking to make their mark.

What is On-Hold Marketing?

That liminal space during queuing, holding, or transferring is a valuable opportunity to speak to your callers at scale. Whether you have a complete cloud-based system or operate from a single handset, this is your chance to connect with callers who are already familiar with your brand on an even deeper level.

As we explored in our Psychology of Sound blog, certain audio cues are closely linked to feelings and emotions, and studies show a combination of music and messaging slashes the perceived time spent holding. Having a bespoke and professionally produced recording in place tells callers you value their time, leaving them far more receptive to what you have to say and less likely to hang up.

In life’s myriad distractions, your on-hold marketing has a whole lot of noise to compete with. Thankfully, there are plenty of techniques you can call upon to craft something truly surprising or engaging. And once you’ve got their attention, here’s how to make sure you don’t lose it.

5 ways to improve your on-hold marketing

1. Targeted Messages

Consider this: does a client that’s been placing the same order monthly for decades want to hear the same content as somebody who was lured in by a flashy sales offer? And where does the caller who’s angry they’ve received a faulty item fit into all this?

With a tailored script for each individual caller queue, you ensure every single person is catered to. Think about how you want to make each person feel and build your messaging around that. Here are the types of content to consider:

  • Cross-Selling: Promote complementary services or products.
  • Brand Polishing: Reinforce your brand’s message and values.
  • Comfort Messages: Reassure callers with calming and empathetic messages.
  • Engaging Callers: Keep the on-hold experience fresh with trivia, fun facts, or news snippets.

2. Clear, Engaging Copy

People pick up the phone and call into a business because they are ready to act there and then. They expect fast service, so long, wordy messages are a sure-fire way to irritate and bore them. Our brains retain bite-sized morsels of information far easier than huge reams of text. Take inspiration from the short-form content dominating our social media feeds, and say it in as few words as possible to keep your caller’s interest piqued, and your messaging at the forefront of their mind.

3. Finding your Voice

Amidst the rise of AI chatbots and messaging systems, consumers are hungry for authenticity and genuine human connection. Fail to deliver with a flat or robotic-sounding voiceover, and you’ve lost them.

Hiring a professional voice artist will show you’re not cutting any corners, and by subtly weaving local dialect and colloquialisms into your scripts, you’ll not only stand out and tell the story of your brand, but come across as more natural, relatable, and approachable.

4. The Power of Music

Consumers are 96% more likely to recall a business if it uses brand-congruent music, so taking the time to create a catchy track that reflects your company’s personality is one of the smartest investments you can make. Resonating with your customer base is all about finding the right chord, riff, and beat, and once you’ve identified your winning formula, you can adopt it across multiple touchpoints – including social media, radio, and your phone system.

5. Refreshed Scripts

Time-sensitive, specific content is far more likely to stick in the mind than a general overview, and updating your messages keeps the content fresh and relevant for regular callers – all while showing that your business is active and evolving. Potential topics include your latest promotions, recent awards, or changes in business hours, and touching on seasonal services throughout the year is a great way to cross-sell and build urgency.

Considering upgrading your on-hold experience?

At PHMG, we’ve been perfecting the art of creating a captivating audio branding experience for over 25 years. With 37,000-plus clients worldwide, our award-winning copywriters, producers, and composers craft bespoke on-hold solutions that are sensitive to the regional, demographic, and contextual needs of audiences around the globe.

Pair these messages with a sonic logo and exclusive music, and your on-hold marketing can be seamlessly integrated across various platforms, ensuring a cohesive and memorable brand experience. We’ll even handle all the technical aspects for you, allowing you to focus on what you do best – running your business.

Connect with a specialist today to learn how audio branding can benefit your business.

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