How Long Should My Message Be?

We get this question often, as clients are putting together their inital On-Hold messages. Is longer better? Shorter better? What’s going to grab, and hold, your caller’s attention?

Well, that depends on several factors.

First of all, is what your saying in your messaging focused on the client? If so, you could talk all day. Because people like hearing about themselves. You enjoy hearing “you”, and anytime you’re cast on the screen of your mind’s theatre, you love it! So messages that are engaging in this way, tend to need to be longer, and rightly so!

However, if your messages are about the company, how long it’s been in business, what products and services you sell, and those “dog-tag details”, you better keep it short. Because people just don’t want to hear it. As you’re saying “we’ve been in business since 1872, and we have the best products, lowest prices, and highest customer service…” the caller is thinking “Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah. When will they shut up and just play music!”

Too many companys want to tell callers the “Who, What, When, and Where”, when all the customer really wants to hear is “WHY!” WHY should they buy from you? WHY should they do business with you? Tell them a story about THEM using your product or service, and you’ve won a caller.

But back to the original question. How long should it be? We reccomend having your message around 15 to 20 seconds long. That’s about 50 to 60 words per paragraph. If it’s engaging and relevant to the caller, you can make it longer. If the messages are much shorter than that, the caller feels like their being hit with a machine gun barrage. They don’t have time to realize there is a message playing, before it’s over!

So, tell a story, put the caller in the story, make it relevant, and you’ll find that callers will be asking “Please put me back On-Hold!”




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