On hold music is an everyday part of business calls, whether it’s public services, customer helplines or orders.
The concept of hold music was created around 1962 by inventor Alfred Levy. At the time, Levy discovered a problem with the phone lines at his factory, which was located next to a radio station. A loose wire was connecting with the building, meaning when his customers were put on hold, they would hear the radio station playing through the phone.
Although many things have changed, and technology has advanced greatly since then, hold music as we know it stems from that very first patent in 1966 for the term “music on hold” or abbreviated as MOH. However, does it really make all that big of a difference to your callers?
Business Communications Experts Network Telecom estimates that;
- 60% of callers who get put on hold with no advertising or music will hang up.
- 34% of callers who hang up will not call back.
- 16% of callers have made a purchase based on an ‘on-hold’ offer they heard whilst waiting.
- Callers stay online 25% longer with advertising on hold.
Utilizing hold music or on call advertising well doesn’t just simply increase profits, but as the data states, it also lowers the number of customers who end the call early, acting as an easy and professional way to keep your customers up to date with news, information and updates about your business. What would usually be empty wasted time, opens up a world of advertising to your customer, who is now already engaged and invested in your company.
Simple things like opening times, new business ventures or offers can make a world of difference to a customer who perhaps doesn’t have much knowledge about your company. It can also make a customer trust you, as often small or unestablished companies won’t invest in on hold music.
A survey of 1,000 people found that a massive 51% feel more worthwhile as a customer if they hear professional sounding music/audio whilst on hold, with around 40% claiming that claimed that it would encourage them to wait longer before cutting the call.
Whether you decide on advertising, or simply music for your hold audio is up to you, however the most common song used is a piece by the name of “Opus No1” courtesy of Tim Carleton & Darrick Deel for Cisco, and is estimated to be attached to as many as 56 million phone lines worldwide. It’s estimated that over a million people hear this piece of music every single day.
Employing hold music is important to keep your customers happy, whether they realise it or not. A study courtesy of mobile provider AT&T states that customers who are put on hold without background music estimated that a 30-second wait lasted around 90 seconds, whereas customers who listened to hold music felt that a 30-second wait lasted just 15 seconds.
A simple piece of music, or a well put together advert can be the difference between a sale, or a lost customer.