An often overlooked opportunity to promote your business is sitting right in front of you on your desk. It’s your telephone. I’m not talking about how you use your phone to reach or greet your customers, but rather how you use it to market to potential customers who are calling you.
What do your customers hear when they’re put on hold?
Neither you nor your prospects get anything of value when your customers are left listening to music. And having them listen to a radio station isn’t much better, because chances are they’re not hearing music, just commercials. Worse still, they could end up hearing a commercial for a competitor!
Putting callers on hold and leaving them in total silence is a bad idea too, because it can make them think they’ve been disconnected and cause them to hang up.
So if you don’t have (or aren’t using) a “music-on-hold” system to promote your business, you’re missing out on significant relationship-building opportunities.
Maybe you thought about creating promotional “on-hold” messages in the past, but were afraid they were too difficult or too expensive, but these days nothing could be further from the truth!
There is a vast selection of top-quality “on-hold” message systems available for businesses of all sizes and budgets. You can compare features and prices at just about any major brick-and-mortar electronics store, as well as on dozens of “music-on-hold” websites.
The custom options for “on-hold” messages can be summed up in two words—variety and affordability. There are “bare bones” setups starting around $50, all the way up to multi-line, multi-message units designed for larger companies.
At the entry-level end of the spectrum is single-line, music-on-hold units designed for small office or home office use. These can be used by anyone wanting to provide music or custom messages to callers placed on hold. Just plug in:
your phone line from the wall.
your single-line telephone.
a sound source (CD player, MP3 player, computer sound card).
to place callers on hold, just push a button; to remove hold, press again. It’s that simple.
Digital “on-hold” players are great because you don’t have to worry about wear and tear on your message because the message is played from a digital memory chip. It will sound exactly the same even after a year or more of playing to your callers. And again, many units let you use your own audio source like a CD player, an MP3 player, or your computer. And if there’s a power outage, most digital units automatically reload when power is restored.
Some equipment for “on-hold” systems you can purchase, others you lease under contract. Be careful leasing though, as with some companies you may end up paying much more for that player over time than it’s actually worth. Costs vary with the systems and your requirements. Some “on-hold” companies have subscriptions that require a monthly payment (even if you only update your message once a year); others let you purchase a one-time program with nothing more to buy. Word to the wise… do your research.
I’ll end part one of this two-part blog here, so you can think over some of your equipment options for a bit. In part two we’ll take a look at the most important part of your “music-on-hold” message–the crafting of the message itself.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about how to write effective marketing copy, check out the business-building secrets and strategies of million-dollar copywriting guru Randy Gage at www.cashcopywriting.com.