02 July 2016

Entertain callers on hold with Music, Radio, Surveys and Quizzes!

Written by Vivian Pow, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk

on hold

88%
of callers prefer on hold messages to music.

34%
of callers who hang up while waiting on hold will not call back.

20%
have purchased additional products based on info they heard while on hold.

Waiting on hold tests even the most patient of callers. Most contact centers today cannot do away with the concept of waiting on hold, but there are ways to make the experience more positive for callers. One way is to jazz up the on hold experience for your callers.

ice delivers Music On Hold, Messages On Hold, Radio On Hold, Surveys On Hold, and Quizzes On Hold. In addition to playing messages and music, you can also play radio and interactive customer quizzes. With these added features, customers are more likely to be engaged and less likely to feel that they are wasting their time. 

onhold benefits

Depending on the industry, there are different use cases for advanced on hold applications. Click an entry in the list below to jump to the example use cases for that industry:

Education

education contact center medCommunication with students and prospective students occurs through many different channels. While email, admissions blogs, direct mailouts, and social media campaigns are most readily used, academic institutions still receive a large number of calls - many of these calls experience wait times, which take away from the overall experience.

Here are some ways you can make the on hold experience more interesting:

  1. Promote majors, minors, specializations, and extracurricular activities.
    1. For example: "At the Art Institute, we have expanded the number of degrees that require international experience. We also increased the number of quality partner universities, so our students can have more choice as to where they want to spend their year abroad. For more information, visit our website at ArtInstitute.edu."
  2. Provide updates on projects and campaigns that affect the entire campus.
    1. For example: “Our open house is coming up on November 7th and we are still looking for volunteers. If interested, please sign up at StateUniversity.edu”
  3. Play different surveys depending on the area code the person is calling from.
    1. For example: "We see that you're calling in from Minneapolis. As we have seen a growth in the number of applicants from your city, we would like to understand the reason behind it. If you are willing to participate, say yes. Otherwise, say no to continue listening to music."
  4. Drive web traffic.
    1. For example: "It's never too early to decide which clubs you want to join this year! For information on our award winning debate team, championship athletic teams, and world renown drama club, visit ArtInstitute.edu."
  5. Drive buzz through quizzes that provide prizes.
  6. Play the college’s radio station to let callers experience the college culture.

 

Transportation

transportation contact centerIn the transportation industry, time is of the essence. Improve customer service by providing callers with information and tasks so they do not feel like they are wasting their time waiting on hold for the next available agent.

Here are some ways you can make the on hold experience more interesting:

  1. Provide callers the option to change to a music genre or radio station they like, waiting on hold can become 'me time' for the caller to relax.
  2. In addition to messages thanking drivers, teams, and customers, you can send out a survey, to gather insight into their experiences. This information can lead to valuable data that can be used to improve processes in the future.
  3. Another use is from a resourcing perspective. ‘Drivers Wanted’ messages can be supplemented with quizzes, which can help Human Resources vet the potential hire, freeing up the human resources team for other tasks. 

 

Marketing

marketing contact centerYour sales and marketing teams can use On Hold features to gather insight, drive buzz, inform the caller of upcoming contests and draws, share information about the company's latest successes, and deliver targeted messages.

 

 

 

 

Real Estate

real estate contact centerReal estate agents need to be able to provide customers with the right information, maintain credibility, and stay on top of news and incoming  information from all channels. You're busy and on the phone all the time. To ensure clients are not wasting their valuable time waiting on hold when they call, find out how to make that time more worthwhile for both you and your clients.

In addition to playing music on hold or messages that let the caller know about your successes, industry news, pricing trends, community profiles, mortgage FAQs, your real estate firm can add even more value by playing interactive surveys and quizzes while a person is on hold. Surveys and quizzes can:

  1. Gather client insight on the market, neighbourhoods, and information about the client themselves. 
  2. Identify questions that the caller would have.
    1. For example: "Are you interested in how commissions work? Say Yes or No." If the customer says no, then the next message would play "Do you want to learn more about the hottest neighbourhoods? Say Yes or No".
    2. The caller's responses are tracked and sent to the real estate agent, so he/she would have that information on hand when they receive the call.  If the wait is long, then responses to their questions can be played.
  3. You can provide incentives for customers to complete the quiz.
    1. For example: "To thank you for completing the quiz, you will be entered into a draw for a 44" LCD TV. For an extra entry, tweet about this quiz using the hashtag #ABCRealEstate"

Insurance 

insurance contact centerThe contact center is a critical link between prospective customers and customers for life. Insurance companies can differentiate their customer service by using the latest technology to give customer a positive telephone experience: 

  1. Provide good news about the agency.
  2. Describe what the company does for customers. "At ABC Insurance, our mission is to help you achieve your financial goals."
  3. Drive traffic to your website and social media.
    1. Inspire callers to connect with you via your website and social media. For example: "Pleased with our service? Like us on Facebook and Twitter for your chance to win free tickets to a Toronto Blue Jay's game and more! We appreciate your loyalty to our agency."
  4. Encourage referrals:
    1. For example: "If you’re happy with our service, refer a friend! We’ll send you a $20 gas card, whether they buy from us or not. It’s our way of saying thanks! Go to ABCInsurance.com and click Refer a friend!"
  5. Flex your thought leadership muscle by providing information your customers may find surprising in an interactive way.
    1. For example, "Umbrella policies are more affordable than you might think. If you're interested in finding out more while waiting on hold, say yes. If you prefer to listen to music, say music."
  6. Provide personalized quizzes, so you can learn more about your customers and offer them personalized service.

For example: "To determine the best policy for you, we would like to find out more about your needs. To proceed with this quick quiz, say "proceed". If you prefer to listen to music while you wait, say "music"." 

Banking

bank contact centerThe contact center is a critical link between prospective customers and customers for life. Banks can differentiate their customer service by using the latest technology to give customer a positive telephone experience: 

  1. Provide good news about the bank or the industry.
  2. Describe what the company does for customers. "At ABC Bank, our mission is to help you achieve your financial goals."
  3. Drive traffic to your website and social media.
    1. Inspire callers to connect with you via your website and social media. For example: "Pleased with our service? Like us on Facebook and Twitter for your chance to win free tickets to a Toronto Blue Jay's game and more! We appreciate your loyalty!"
  4. Encourage referrals:
    1. For example: "If you’re happy with our service, refer a friend! We’ll send you with a $20 gas card, whether they buy from us or not. It’s our way of saying thanks! Go to ABCBank.com and click Refer a friend!"
  5. Flex your thought leadership muscle by providing information your customers may find surprising in an interactive way.
    1. For example, "You're closer to paying off your mortgage than you think. If you're interested in finding out more while waiting on hold, say yes. If you prefer to listen to music, say music."
  6. Provide personalized quizzes, so you can learn more about your customers and offer them personalized service.
    1. For example: "To determine the best credit card for you, we would like to find out more about your needs. To proceed with this quick quiz, say "proceed". If you prefer to listen to music while you wait, say "music"." 

IT Help desk

IT help desk contact centerOften, people are calling in to report bad news - something is broken and they need help fixing it. These callers are usually stressed out and have even less patience. To shield your employees who are handling these calls from being in a negative call experience and to transform the experience into a positive one, you can use on hold to improve the mood of the caller. Here are some ways you can provide a better experience:

  1. Help callers relax or pass time by providing music or a radio stream while they are on hold. They can switch to different channels or to another playlist containing different genre of music.
  2. Play positive informational messages. These messages could be personalized based on the caller's phone number or information they provided about themselves.
    1. For example, if the caller is calling from an office located in another part of the world, you could play information about trends involving your industry in their country.
    2. If the caller had inquired about a cloud version of the product during a previous interaction, you can play information about the latest cloud offering.
    3. Playing messages that highlight your recent successes can also serve to distract your callers and reinforce your reputation.
    4. Play answers to FAQs.
  3. The best way to distract someone is to give them something to do. Using On Hold, you can play interactive surveys or quizzes to fulfill different requirements.
    1. For example, a help desk serving your employees or clients could play a survey that gathers customer satisfaction with their previous interaction.
    2. If a laptop was repaired after the previous interaction, a survey asking about that laptop can be played.
    3. A customer quiz gathering market information could be played as well!

 

Government

government contact centerGovernment departments can better engage citizens while citizens are waiting on hold.

  1. Help callers relax or pass time by providing music or a radio stream while they are on hold. They can switch to different channels or playlists containing different genres of music.
  2. Play positive informational messages. These messages could be personalized based on the caller's phone number or information they provided about themselves.
    1. For example, if the caller is calling from a different city, you could play information about government policies affecting that city.
    2. Playing messages that highlight your recent successes can also serve to distract your callers and reinforce your reputation.
    3. Play answers to FAQs.
  3. The best way to distract someone is to give them something to do. Using On Hold, you can play interactive surveys:
    1. For example, you can gather information about citizens’ thoughts on the new recycling initiatives within the municipality.
    2. You can also conduct polls for new initiatives while citizens are on hold. 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Vivian Pow