The messages and audio that people hear when they call into your phone system should be orchestrated in such a way that informs the caller while keeping them calm and interested.
If the message goes off the program even just a little bit, people will notice, and it might leave a bad taste in their mouths. Here are a few old chestnuts that you may want to leave out of your audio prompts.
1. Your call is important to us.
When you’re setting up your phone system, you’re going to be tempted to insert this famous little phrase into your on-hold program. Resist that temptation. It seems like such a great idea at first, but think about it.
What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you call a business and hear a pleasant female voice say, “Your call is important to us,” as you wait for another 20 minutes for your call to be answered? HA, yeah right. That’s what you think. We all do. It is blatantly disingenuous and borderline insulting—and you should leave it out of your program.
2. Please hang up and call this number.
Sometimes, you have a separate department or another organization that your callers need to connect with. In those cases, it’s really easy to just play a message for callers that tells them to hang up and call this other phone number to reach that place.
It’s good because it’s a clear instruction for how to reach the people the caller needs to speak with, but the last thing you ever want your callers to do is hang up. If they do, you may have just lost that person forever.
Do a little extra work when you’re setting up your system, and create an automation that allows the caller to connect with that other place without needing to hang up.
3. The same thing, over and over.
Repetition causes fatigue for callers. You have to manage your callers’ anxiety with your on-hold program, and the easiest way to drive them nuts is to keep playing the same message every 30 seconds.
It doesn’t matter what the message is, and it doesn’t even matter how positive it is; the same message again and again and again will become the caller’s own personal hell, making them feel hopeless that their call will ever be answered.
4. Your company’s life story.
Many businesses make the mistake of giving the caller too much information. If you have a welcome greeting that is 2 minutes long, then something is definitely wrong.
Any message that the caller hears when they first call in should be short and sweet, identifying who you are and thanking them for calling. Anything beyond that is not really necessary.
It’s very common for a business to have a phone system greeting that describes everything from where the company is based, to a menu of products, to driving directions to get there. You will lose the caller long before they hear the directions to get to your business.
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