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You know exactly what your customers and clients experience when they visit your business. You know because you witness it day in and day out as you spend time at your office or store. You see it right before your eyes.

But even if you spend all day watching customers in your location, it’s likely that you are missing something.

You probably don’t know what it’s like for customers when they call your business.

It’s likely that you don’t know as much about your phone messages as you do about your in-store touchpoints.That’s because you don’t experience it. You probably aren’t calling to hear your phone messaging for yourself, and you aren’t able to see customers on the other end of the line to witness their experience. So you overlook this part of your store or office.

And if that’s the case, you may not even realize that you are making these mistakes with your business’s phone messages.


Mistake #1: You Don’t Have a Phone Message

The worst mistake you can make is not having a phone message. Not having a phone message to greet calling customers and clients isn’t just unprofessional; it’s bad for business.

How so? As just one example, a study by AT&T found that sixty percent of callers hang up when left on hold in silence.

Having on-hold messaging keeps customers on the line and it keeps them on the line longer. Callers will stay on hold up to three minutes longer when there is on-hold messaging. So you can see why it is a big mistake to leave callers on-hold in silence. Doing this actually pushes away current and potential customers and clients.


Mistake #2: Your Phone Message Is Out-of-Date

While using phone messaging is vital, just having an on-hold message isn’t enough. It has to be the right message. The information in your phone message should be relevant, timely, and accurate.

Sharing out-of-date messaging (such as expired promos, incorrect hours, past seasonal messages, etc.) makes your business look unprofessional, careless, and untrustworthy. You don’t want to give that impression during a customer’s call, as that may be the first time a potential customer experiences your business.

You must update on-hold messaging because out-of-date messages may lead customers to decide that your business isn’t right for them before they even talk to a staff member or experience your store or office in person.


Mistake #3: Your Phone Message Does Not Promote

Even if you have timely on-hold phone messages, you could still be missing the mark. You may not be using your messaging strategically.

When correctly executed, you can increase revenue using on-hold messages. With the right script, phone messaging can be used to:

  • Promote products and services
  • Upsell products and services
  • Highlight referral and loyalty programs
  • Refer callers to more trackable marketing channels, like your website or social media accounts
  • Announce upcoming events and specials
  • Motivate callers
  • Stress urgency

All of these strategies help make your on-hold messages work for you. Phone messages no longer become an afterthought or necessity of business — they become a valuable sales and marketing tool.

Mistake #4: Your Phone Message Doesn’t Guide Callers

If you have on-hold messaging that is sharing up-to-date promotions for your business, you are on the right path. But, you may still be missing a big piece of the phone message strategy — incorporating calls-to-action.

Calls-to-action are what turn nice messages into effective messages. They give specific directions that tell the audience what they need to do next to receive the benefit of the message.

All of the dialog in a phone message needs to be accompanied by a specific call-to-action that:

  • Is direct and concise
  • Speaks directly to the audience
  • Uses action words  
  • Tells the audience exactly what to do next

Make sure your phone messages don’t just share information. Use them to tell your audience what they can do with that information. This guides callers to become paying customers and loyal clients.


Mistake #5: Your Phone Message Doesn’t Sound Like Your Brand

On-hold messages that avoid the first four mistakes are very good phone messages. But there is one more element that can make them great phone messages.

To have the best phone message possible for your business, you need the right content and the right delivery. You need the right brand voice and branded voice talent.

  • Brand Voice is the tone of your message. It’s a representation of your brand’s personality that is conveyed by what you say and how you say it.
  • Branded Voice Talent is the actual voice talent that delivers your messages. It’s the sound of the voice that shares your phone message.

You need a branding strategy that incorporates your brand voice into the messaging and delivery, as this will:

  • Reinforce consistent branding
  • Improve brand recognition
  • Develop brand loyalty
  • Help you stand out from competitors
  • Allow your business to differentiate itself

When you resolve this final mistake with your phone messaging, you create a fully functional on-hold message strategy that serves both your business and your customers.

This just the beginning.

There are many other ways to improve and upgrade your phone messages to make sure you position your business, shop, or office to get the most out of every caller — while creating the best possible experience for customers and clients.

Find out what other mistakes you could be making and what other opportunities you could be missing by grabbing our FREE customer calling guide.

“Is Your Customer Calling Experience Costing Your Business? Everything You Need to Know Before Putting a Customer On Hold will teach you everything you need to know about creating an excellent phone message that engages customers, increases sales, and boosts your brand.

Download your free guide today, and start maximizing the impact your phone messages have on your business!