On Hold Message: Key Component of your Brand’s Sound Signature

This TED video from Julian Treasure has a lot to teach about the use of sound in business. Have a watch/listen, and then we’ll discuss a few ideas for how to make the best of this information.

First, you may have noticed some pretty big numbers….a drop of 66% in productivity in open-plan office environments and a sales drop of up to 28% in a retail environment when inappropriate sound is present.

I especially liked his observation that we, “…move away from unpleasant sound and toward comfortable sounds.”

Telephone Sound is one of 8 types of commercial sound that Treasure talks about. If you haven’t thought about the rest of your soundscape, your phone sound signature is a good place to start. A Caller Experience expert can help craft your phone sound to be a reflection of your business goals. You can go from there into more purposeful and directed tactics for every other element of sound in the business.

If you already have a unique soundscape in your advertising, in-store experience, products and services, you’ve made that expert’s job easier, but no less urgent.

Crafting and producing an on-hold message is not good territory for Do It Yourself business marketers. As a business owner, you’re likely to only mention info that’s important to YOU, while failing to take a customer-centric view. You risk falling into instruction mode instead of taking an informative and (if appropriate) entertaining strategy.

Warning signs that you’ve got a bad on-hold message company:

  • They offer “canned” pre-produced, or fill-in-the-blank message.
  • They expect the business owner to write the scripts.
  • They offer little choice in voice talent, music and production.
  • Make no attempt to customize your message to match the sound signature of your business and other marketing efforts

A great on-hold message provider will:

  • Thoroughly uncover the key values of the business
  • Dig deep enough to find the important facts for the message
  • Match up the business with the appropriate voice talent and music
  • Provide turn-key support and quick response for updating messages

I liked Treasure’s first three golden rules of commercial sound:

  1. Make it congruent (with the core values and other sound elements of the business)
  2. Make it appropriate (to the intended listeners)
  3. Make it Valuable (by offering more than a caller expected to hear)

So, what’s holding you back?

If you’re abusing your customers by delivering a bad phone experience, this is one of the easiest marketing touchpoints to fix.

If you’re not sure what kind of experience you’re delivering, get it evaluated.

If you currently offer flat, dead silence, that’s the best place to start.

Dave Young is a marketing/branding consultant who works exclusively with owner-operated businesses like ProsoundUSA to help them grow. He blogs at BrandingBlog.com and teaches at OnYourMarket.com.

One Response to “On Hold Message: Key Component of your Brand’s Sound Signature”

  1. Wait On Hold says:

    Thanks for the useful tips,I hope it goes with a positive outcome.Thanks for sharing.

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