When you’re dealing with customers on the phone, each second counts and dead air kills the user experience. Leave a customer on the phone in silence or with only the basic ringtone, and you might lose them forever. However, play music or a unique ringtone on holds and transfers, and you can ensure your telephone-based customer service keeps people interested.
What we’re talking about here is “ringback.” Rather than leave people in silence while they wait on the phone, you play music instead. Why? Well, first and foremost it lets your customer know that you’re in the process of dealing with their request. Second, it’s about etiquette. Leaving someone in complete silence might be considered rude and disrespectful.
5 On Hold Planning Points
Not convinced? The points made in Dr. Jim Will’s “The Psychology of Telephone ‘On Hold’ Planning” might help to make the point.
1) Give Your Customer Thinking Time
Customer service calls often happen in stages. Information is given out in chunks, often by more than one person. By adding ringback to the experience, you give your customers time to think and absorb the information you’ve just imparted.
2) Speed Up Perceived Time
Time seems to move much more slowly for customers waiting on hold. Frustration grows fast. What might only be 90 seconds, in reality, might feel more like 15 minutes. That is a recipe for disaster — for both sales and customer retention.
Dead air is the main culprit; it slows time to a crawl. When this happens, customers are much more likely to give up and go somewhere else for what they need.
3) Soothe Stress and Anxiety
Particularly since the advent of the Internet, many consumers become very anxious when they have to deal with real people on the telephone. What might already be a stressful issue for the person could become doubly so during a telephone conversation.
However, ringback using the right music can take the sting out of the situation. When you put that person on hold, they have a chance to calm down and gather their thoughts. This method drastically increases the chances of having a productive conversation.
4) Impart Crucial Information
Frequently, the best way to impart the most crucial information is via a clear and concise recorded message. The latest call tracking systems can deliver a mixture of music and speech, without interference or confusion. This combo keeps the caller engaged while they wait, but it also allows you to promote your products or services.
5) Give Your Calls Structure
Consumers like structure, familiarity, and predictable patterns when they call businesses and customer service teams. If people receive the experience they expect, they’re much more likely to be receptive to what you have to say.
Choose Music That Works for Your Business
Ringback music needs to be right — both for your brand and for your target customer. It isn’t always an easy choice to make, however. Ideally, you should give your callers the power to change their music, choose a genre, or skip tracks. What you shouldn’t do is offer silence as a choice. While callers might think that’s what they want, they’ll soon become bored and frustrated.
Either choose new music that appeals to a wide range of people or something that’s “middle of the road.” Steer clear of niche genres and anything that might offend. Also, choose simple, melodic tunes that put people at ease.
Never stop checking the effectiveness of your ringback music. Some songs will work better than others. Indeed, you might find that individual tracks perform well with particular demographic groups. Keep testing your ringback music in terms of customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Call recordings come in handy here.
Different Genres Can Have Alternating Effects
People react differently to different music genres, depending on their mood, their personality, and the issue they’re calling about. But the following genres tend to provoke a very particular response:
- Classical and jazz music relaxes people
- Rap helps people with depression
- Heavy metal inspires confidence
- Country music inspires happiness
- Pop music inspires positivity
Of course, these are all generalizations. However, if you know what music to choose, you can enhance the ringback experience for the individual.
Throw in Pertinent Messages at the Right Times
Ideally, your ringback experience should be a mixture of music and messages. The music should gently fade out as the spoken message commences. Never play both at the same time, as this can confuse callers or even add to their stress levels.
Don’t limit your messages to statements such as “thank you for waiting,” and “you’re fifth in line.” Take the opportunity to talk about your latest products, services, or special offers. Lastly, you don’t have to limit the content to marketing messages. You can add trivia, news, or even the latest weather report to keep your callers engaged.
Test for Clipping and Distortion
Clipping and distortion are technical issues that can seriously damage the caller’s experience. Incomplete sentences, cutting too abruptly to music, or having too much background noise can all reduce engagement and increase frustration. Identified and rectified any distortion immediately.
Clipping happens when the music is too loud for the phone. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy to spot. If the volume of a song suddenly increases halfway through, what was once a pleasant listening experience could quickly become unbearable.
Caller Insight is a call tracking platform that takes care of all your call handling needs. Use it to manage your ringback services, and watch customer satisfaction levels and conversion rates in your business soar.