Music on "Hold" is just one way in which telecom audio can be used by your business. And it's a way that can irritate and alienate customers who may have to spend several minutes or more, listening to elevator tunes from the 1970s or (worse) your sales department's interpretation of "cool modern sounds." It's no coincidence that 60% of customers tend to hang up the phone after waiting on hold for one minute.
But music isn't the only sound that can be transmitted on telecom audio and having customers or suppliers on hold means that you'll usually have the caller’s undivided attention. So why not use this time and the communications’ potential of telecom audio to add value to the caller, and your business? Here are some creative suggestions for using telecom audio to do just that.
1. If You Must Use Music...
Give them a choice. Set up a play-list with music genre alternatives, and a clear indication of how the caller can choose their preferred music type from the menu (Press 1 for Heavy Rock, 2 for Jazz, etc.). Update your music selections regularly, to keep them fresh and make it possible to return to the main menu and choose again. If they don't like what they hear at first, they can at least chop and change, while they're waiting.
With a business communications system based on VoIP (Voice Over IP or Internet Protocol), there are many customisation options available for configuring your music on hold. The experts at LG Networks can offer advice and assistance on setting this up to your specifications.
2. Marketing and Sales-related Messages
For many business ventures, setting up a hold system for their phones is part and parcel of the sales and marketing process: it allows otherwise over-stretched marketing or sales staff to attend to their many clients. So it makes sense to use telecom audio in this situation, to enhance and assist the selling process.
Instead of music, audio clips can be played describing new products or services, special offers, and latest deals. This doesn't have to be a "hard sell". You can craft the information as news bulletins, tutorials, or engaging narratives, for example. Including a personal link for the listener to take action once they're connected to a sales representative ("Ask for Joe to discuss…) can direct specific calls to desired extensions.
3. Support Messages
As with sales and marketing, many business hold or waiting systems are dedicated to technical support or help lines. And since troubleshooting customer issues may not be a straightforward process, it's likely that the waiting time in these types of call queues will be longer.
This is an ideal opportunity to use telecom audio as a medium for educating and assisting customers on their support issues, as they wait. Troubleshooting tips, How To guides, tutorials and summary case studies are just some of the ways that support messages could be framed, together with information about your support staff and how your help system is run. For example, The team at LG Networks are fully qualified in installing and maintaining fibre optic networks and structured cabling systems...
And for customers using mobile phones, SMS text messaging or push notifications may be used to supply additional information, or to alert the caller as to the status of their support ticket or help request.
4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
As a complement to your help and technical support systems, and simply to spread the good word about your business, telecom audio may also be used to communicate the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about your organisation.
In a best-case scenario, the information provided in clips like these may actually resolve some customer issues completely (helping to de-congest your waiting queue), or convince someone who's wavering, to get off that fence and commit to buying one or more of your products or services.
5. A Message From Your CEO
Using telecom audio clips to convey a personal message from your CEO or other senior management can put a human voice to your business, and create greater engagement with your customers. This can be helpful in reducing the "formal distance" between you and your consumers, and can aid in nurturing the essential relationships that keep customers loyal to your brand.
6. Targeted Entertainment
LG Networks can supply your business with a telecommunications system based on VoIP telephony, which also incorporates data networking, software applications and internet media in an integrated environment known as UC or Unified Communications.
Drawing on resources like this, and your business organisation's own talent and product or service offerings, it's possible to use telecom audio to create short programmes of entertainment, for your callers on hold.
The key is to use telecom audio to engage their interest, enliven the waiting experience, and subtly promote your business.
7. Driving Traffic To Your Website And Social Channels
Business communications systems like those provided by LG Networks are built on IP telephony or UC platforms, which typically enable companies to maintain an "omni-channel" presence in the world, with a mix of physical shops and offices, websites, blogs, social media, knowledge bases, eCommerce platforms, and other virtual points of contact.
Using telecom audio in the call waiting process can help you publicise these various channels, and shepherd more traffic to your online sites. This can also help in streamlining your hold queues, by offering callers an alternative means of contacting you.
8. Rewarding Their Patience
Giving incentives or rewards to callers for staying on the line is one way of encouraging them to stay with you, while also increasing their interest and engagement in the waiting process.
Discounts, special offers, or bonus gifts that callers qualify for, by staying on hold can be described using telecom audio. And once callers connect to a member of your staff, you can reward them for their patience with a give-away that's directly related to your business, or donated by your supply chain partners.
The Ultimate Goal - Minimising The Wait
Of course, the most creative way to use telecom audio in your business is to limit its use, by making your customer's time on hold as brief as possible. You can do this by making full use of the extensive features of your IP business communications system to keep waiting queues minimized and to direct calls to the staff members most qualified to field them.
Some degree of hold time is always inevitable. But by fully exploiting your digital communications platform and using telecom audio in some, or all of the ways that we've suggested, you will add value not only to the duration of your caller's visit, but to your business as well.
If you would like to know more about telecom audio, business communications using IP telephony, or setting up your business network, contact the experts at LG Networks.