Messages-On-Hold are professionally produced voice recordings with background music that your telephone callers hear while they are on hold. As you’ll learn, these messages can be leveraged to support current marketing campaigns, build your credibility, and educate your customers. To help convey how and why almost any business benefits from adding Messages-On-Hold, we sat down with Marketing Messages’ Business Development Partner, Jim Giebutowski:
Why does a Messages-On-Hold subscription make sense?
More and more people are using on hold messages as a vehicle that integrates with other marketing vehicles. You might do a press release. You might do a user event. You might do an advertisement of any kind. Messages-On-Hold is a low cost media or vehicle to reinforce those messages so that they’re consistently heard multiple times for any given customer. The cost per exposure for Messages-On-Hold is relatively low if you compare it to other mediums. And you have a captive audience, so you might as well communicate to them when you can.
Things are changing all the time, and the mistakes people make with Messages-On-Hold is they record it once and then it’s the same forever. It’s not used as a marketing asset. What you want to be able to do, is when you have a new product that’s being introduced… when you have a promotion that you’re doing… if there’s a development in your industry that might be of interest to your customers… you want to be able to reinforce or add to the customer’s knowledge through another mechanism, which in this case is the telephone. And that’s why Messages-On-Hold can be so powerful.
A lot of industries are using Messages-On-Hold not just to cross-sell products or services, which is really what it was originally designed to do. In other words, make a customer aware of a product or service. You already have a customer that’s buying one thing, right? You may want them to buy some other thing that they may not even be aware of. One example is an airlines company might have planes to lease, for example, and the customer may not know that even though you’re calling an airline. There’s all sorts of examples. But more and more people are starting to use it as a way to convey information that is helpful to customers, independent of the sales process. So for example, hospitals often times will use Messages-On-Hold to say, “Hey, we have this new orthopedic practice now that we didn’t have.” But now we’re starting to see them do things like put in information about stroke symptoms. “These are the symptoms of stroke…” It has nothing to do with selling something, but has everything to do about patient care. Same thing with preventing falls, “We’re doing a blood drive,” things of that nature. In a product company it might be tips for how to best maintain your product. In a financial services company it might be, “Here’s a new regulation that you might not be aware of and here’s what you need to do about it.” So you’re using it to build credibility, as opposed to trying to build revenue. Of course the two things are related. But that’s the thinking behind it.
The other reason why you want to have a subscription is in cases where you might have messaging that’s time sensitive. Let’s say a competitor does something and then you do something in response. You want to be able to get your message out there relatively quickly. You don’t want to, necessarily, have that same message implemented in January when the change was made in November of the previous year. It’s just too late. Things are moving way too quickly.
The key is the ability to get messages out there that are consistent with and reinforce other things that you’re doing with your sales and marketing program, or if there’s some event that’s happening that you need to inform your customer about.
Our Messages-On-Hold subscription service is called VoiceCentral. We have a couple different alternatives based on the number of times that you want to update for a given year. We have 4 updates a year, 6 updates a year, and then we have monthly as well. We can also customize that. For example, we did one recently where they wanted 10. So we can custom price that.
With a subscription, you can use one of your recordings at any time, right?
Yeah, that’s the key thing. You don’t have to do it quarterly, per say. You could do two in the beginning of the year and then two at the end of the year. You’ve got some level of flexibility around that.
We have automated reminders to update your Messages-On-Hold, because sometimes people forget. So part of the service is providing those reminders.
Irrespective of whether you use on premises phone systems or systems that are based in the cloud, we can accommodate you. We also have an alternative that enables us to stream messages directly to your phone systems via the Internet, using a device called ILink, so that you don’t have to manually load the system. The system will automatically update your system once we record, without requiring someone to manually load the system. In addition, the platform allows you to forward schedule a particular message or paragraph with start and stop times in the future. So if you’re offering a promotion from November 15 to December 15 and you have the script ready on October 31, you let us know the dates, and the system automatically swaps the message in and out.
We also have the ability to give you a digital announcer that’s loaded via USB. And if you employ cloud-based, we can give you a Messages-On-Hold file in a format where you can just upload it directly into the internal memory of your phone system.
Now that you’ve heard from Jim, you may be ready to reach out and speak to one of us about adding professionally recorded and mixed Messages-On-Hold to your telephone system. Contact us to send us your information or to schedule an informational call.