I recently made several calls to businesses, spending upwards of 30 minutes waiting on the line. It wasn’t until I compared the experiences that I noticed varying levels of engagement to the on-hold experience. It turns out, on-hold engagement is quantifiable.
Type 1 engagement: Silence
Type one engagement is no engagement at all. Silence on the line is an awkward experience. The caller is left with themselves and the caller anxiety creeps in. What is going on? Where is the que? Has the line been disconnected? It’s also a missed opportunity to connect with the client to offer them ideas and information about the business.
I remember in one of my recent calls, I simply hung up after a few minutes of silence on hold. I didn’t have the attention or engagement to stay on the line. It was such an un-memorable experience that I don’t even remember the outcome to the question I had initially called about. All I remember is the feeling of blah from the experience.
Type 2 engagement: Music
Type two engagement is enjoyable while it’s happening. On-hold music can be hit or miss depending on the genre of music. Whether its jazz, rock, pop, country, hip hop, classical or electronic; music is generally enjoyable but is an individual experience based on personal taste.
Type 3 engagement: Messaging
Type three engagement is informative and memorable in retrospect. On-hold messaging is dynamic, creative and a way to provide the caller with new information and ideas.
One of the recurring phone calls to a local business was for a tune up on my road bike. As an avid cyclist, I would have loved to hear about anything bicycle related. Tune-up tips, new products, classes and workshops are a few topics I would have been interested in spending time listening to – and coming back for.