Making On-Hold Messages More Memorable (and Useful)

Chances are good that in the very recent past you have dialed the phone number of a business only to be put on hold. Chances are also good that the experience was, well, pretty boring. 

Isn’t it time that your enterprise brings its creativity and business savvy to these moments when callers are all but captive? It is and doing so is a perfect compliment to a vanity phone number from RingBoost.

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In the past, businesses have used one of two approaches to manage on-hold caller experiences - they’d play music in the background (elevator tunes anyone?) or play music interrupted periodically by a message about the wait time required to speak to an operator. In rare cases, there might even be a boilerplate message about the business itself. 

When these approaches were first introduced they were most likely considered quite novel but as consumers became familiar with the approach that businesses were using to entertain or provide information to them while waiting, it became clear that those who exceeded expectations were those that most successful at differentiating themselves from the competition. 

If phone calls are a central part of your customer sales and marketing experiences then it’s time to rethink these critical moments. 

 What Makes a Great Script for On-Hold Phone Messages?

While the optimal on-hold messaging script should be dependent on the audience that calls in, one thing is certain: these messages need to be positive (encouraging) and informative. What is the best approach to do that?

Set a Positive Tone: When customers call your business, they are either already familiar with your company and simply want the answer to their question or are not really familiar with your enterprise at all. In both cases, the optimal approach for brands is to employ a positive tone. Language that is welcoming and encouraging endears users to your company and sets them up for a positive experience when an operator does pick up.

Provide Instructions or Guidance: Callers are captive - they need you and that presents one of the best opportunities you’ll have to share the information that could very well solve all their problems. If there has been an increase in issues related to a specific topic (like poor product quality or downtime) and your company has a formal response regarding this issue, it’s best to integrate this into the messaging. Doing so provides an opportunity to get ahead of the problem and conveys to users that you’re as connected to users as they are to you.

Offer Status Information: While requiring far more sophisticated technology, providing information to inbound callers on the wait time or the order in line which their call will be answered, businesses can keep those callers engaged with minimal effort.

Be Consistent and On-Brand: Above all else, effective on-hold messages must be in line with the brand. Phone calls from busy moms demand a different experience than those from white collar professionals. As long as you’re delivering the right messaging (that accurately reflects the essence and underlying tone of your brand) in these critical moments, you’ll find that engagement rates rise significantly while addressing the needs of callers.

Looking for Creative Ideas for On-Hold Messages?

The possibilities for on-hold messaging are truly endless. Tell callers about recent awards or accolades you have received, present a special offer (exclusive to callers), or share some facts and teach callers something in the process. When it comes to on-hold messages, you are limited only by your creativity which opens a world of possibilities for marketers and those responsible for managing the customer experience. 

There’s nothing more frustrating to a caller than engaging in an experience that seems dated and out of touch. Commit to improving these important experiences and start measuring the impact in perception on your brand.

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