On-Hold Music: Fine-Tuning Your Business’s CX

Music On Hold

In the world of customer service, every detail counts, including the music your customers listen to while they’re on hold or waiting in the queue. In these moments of anticipation, the right on-hold music can turn a potentially frustrating wait into a pleasant experience, and even influence how customers perceive your brand.

Moreover, it’s not just about filling the silence – it’s about orchestrating a customer journey that begins even before the conversation does. So, how do you choose the best on-hold music for your business? Ready to change your tune and amp up your customer’s queue experience? Let’s dive in! 🎵

A Little Blast from the Past: The History of On-Hold Music

When Alfred Levy’s factory building inadvertently turned into a gigantic radio receiver in 1962, he didn’t just patent the first Music on Hold (MOH) system, he set the stage for a significant customer service revolution. Fast-forwarding a few decades, the evolution of MOH has been music to our ears—no more limited radio broadcasts. Instead, we’ve got commercial CDs, bespoke MOH, and streaming MOH, hitting the right note for every audience.

Why Your Business Should Care about On-Hold Music

Picture this: your customer is put on hold. They’re met with silence, beeping, or worse, a disheartening “your call is important to us” message on repeat. The seconds feel like minutes, and before you know it, click, they’ve hung up. You don’t want that, do you? No! That’s where the magic of on-hold music comes into play. It doesn’t just fill the silence:

  1. Minimizing perceived wait time: Who would’ve thought that jamming to some tunes could trick your mind into thinking the wait time is shorter than it really is? Well, it does!
  2. Amplifying your brand identity: What’s your brand’s rhythm? Fast-paced rock or mellow jazz? The music you choose should resonate with your brand’s personality, reinforcing a consistent and memorable customer experience.
  3. Decreasing hang-ups: No one likes being put on hold, but some catchy on-hold music can keep callers entertained and less likely to hang up.

Dance to Your Audience’s Tune

What if your on-hold music could turn hold-time frustration into a toe-tapping pause? Knowing your audience’s music preferences can make this a reality. For the hip, younger crowd, pop or electronic music might be their jam. However, the older audience may enjoy swaying to a classical or jazz tune. And don’t forget to factor in cultural considerations, as musical taste can vary widely!

MOH: A Reflection of Your Brand

Your on-hold music isn’t just a time filler—it’s an extension of your brand. Are you a high-energy fitness brand? Maybe upbeat pop music is your go-to. Or a spa promoting relaxation? Soothing classical music might be your ticket. Your MOH should be in perfect harmony with your brand’s personality and values.

Let the Genres Play Their Roles

The genre of your on-hold music plays a lead role in setting the mood for your callers. Looking to calm a frustrated caller? Smooth jazz might be your hero. Trying to uplift a tired caller? Energetic rock music could do the trick. But remember, aim for a positive and upbeat mood. We don’t want our MOH to be a melancholy soundtrack, do we?

Legal Encore: Licensing and Copyrights

The show must go on, but not without covering the legal aspects. To avoid hitting a sour note with copyrights, businesses using popular music must secure licenses from societies like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. However, for those who prefer a hassle-free route, royalty-free music is a legal and affordable alternative.

Don’t Miss a Beat: Technical Considerations for On-Hold Music

Whether your on-hold music system plays CDs or streams MP3 files, don’t miss a beat when it comes to sound quality. Imagine being put on hold to a crackling, low-quality tune. Irritating, right? So, remember to orchestrate a great listening experience with high-quality music and appropriate volume levels.

Consumer Perceptions: Making Music Matter

Did you know that 70% of callers prefer to hear something other than beeps or silence when put on hold? With 34% of callers favoring music and 32% interested in learning about the company, your on-hold system should be an orchestra of well-selected music and informative messages.

Selecting Your Music Source

Commercial CDs, custom-designed MOH, streaming MOH, or even radio stations — your on-hold music can have various origins. Each source strikes a different chord, balancing the trade-off between variety, cost, licensing, and internet reliability.

Keeping Tempo with Trends in On-Hold Music

With advancements in technology, you can now interact with the caller, offering services such as ‘polling on hold’, rating customer service agents anonymously, and more. The trend toward VoIP is also demanding changes in music-on-hold message technology.

In addition, there’s a growing trend towards personalization in on-hold music. With the help of AI and machine learning, businesses can now personalize the on-hold experience for each caller, playing music and messages that are tailored to their preferences and behavior.

So next time you put someone on hold, don’t just leave them hanging in silence. Think about how your on-hold music can enhance their experience and reflect your brand. After all, the devil is in the details, and when it comes to customer experience, every beat counts! 🎵

Picture of Noam Dorokhov

Noam Dorokhov

Marketing manager at Squaretalk

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