How to write a script for your on-hold message

If a customer calls your business and is placed on hold, what kind of experience are they having?

Are they listening to silence? Music? A recorded message?

Hate to break it to you, but if your customers are listening to silence or music,they are not having the best possible experience.

Studies show that 88% of callers prefer to hear messages on hold instead of music or silence. Customers actually want to hear information while waiting on hold — which is great news for your business because that means their wait time is an invitation for you to directly connect with a highly-engaged audience.

Here are a few tips for writing a script for your on-hold message to make sure you get the most out of your customer’s wait time.

Plan Before You Write

Don’t jump right into writing. First, make a plan.  

Figure out your timing.

Decide how long your message should be. Consider the average time your customers are placed on hold. Then make your message double that length before it repeats. That allows you to give as much fresh information as possible without losing the interest or attention of your audience.

Consider one message or two.

Decide if you need to have two different messages — one for when users are on hold waiting for an associate and one for when your office is closed. Each message may require different information and instructions.

Put together a list of FAQs.

Ask each department head for a list of questions that customer frequently ask them. You will use this information to help create your messaging.

Tips for Writing

Script writing is different than the other styles of business writing you will do.

Be conversational and read it aloud.

When writing your script, remember that you are writing for the ear. Regularly stop and read the message out loud. Listen for phrases that are confusing or hard to understand.

Use everyday language.

Speak to your audience using the language they are familiar with. Don’t interject jargon and slang that makes sense to you and your associates, but will confuse those unfamiliar with your business or industry.

Write, edit, and cut.

When you get started, just write the first things that come to mind. Get all of your ideas down on paper. Then go back with an editing eye and cut out all of the unnecessary words. You want your sentences to be short and sweet.

Write your content in short sections.

Keep in mind that the message could end at any minute. Your messaging needs to be short and sweet to decrease the likelihood of it being cut off mid-message. Write sections that are no more than 100 words.

Hit All the Major Talking Points

Outline the sections of your content by using the following themes. Depending on the length of your message, you may return to a theme more than once

Welcome and thank them for their time.

Right away, be courteous and grateful.

  • “Thank you for calling Bill’s Automotive, one of our associates will be with you shortly.”

  • “We appreciate your patience. A Bill’s Automotive customer representative will be with you soon.”

Give information the caller may be seeking.

Rather than keep your customers on hold, consider what information they may be seeking and deliver it. Use the list of FAQs you had created before you began writing, and answer those questions in a concise way. Or advise the listener where they can go to quickly find the information.

  • “Our business hours are Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM.”

  • “We are located at 123 Main Street, near the Steamtown Mall.”

  • “You can find additional information on our website at”

Highlight a new promotion, event, product, or change to your business.

Alert you audience of new additions to your business. That may include changes to your services or offerings. It could be a new promotion you are running or a new product you have recently added to your line.  

  • “For a limited time, Bill’s Automotive is offering free tire rotations when you get your oil changed.”

  • “We are proud to announce that we have added Complete Car Kits to our line of products.”

Say something you customers may not know about you.

This is your opportunity to speak directly to your target audience. Tell them something else about your business that they may be interested in but don’t know about.

  • “Did you know that Bill’s Automotive offers car detailing? Ask your associate about adding a discounted detailing to your service.”

  • “Bill’s Automotive is a proud sponsor of the Red Cross. Talk to your associate about our upcoming food drive.”

Continue to Offer Thanks

As you map out your script, continue to add messages that thank your customer for their time every 4-5 sections.

  • “Bill’s Automotive values your time and we thank you for holding.”

  • “Thank you for holding. A Bill’s Automotive representative will be with you shortly.”

Plan for Revisions and Updates

If you are going to include timely offers and information in your messaging, remember that you will need to update the information. It looks unprofessional to promote a “new” offering when it is no longer new.

Create a calendar with important updating dates that are referenced in your message so you know when to update your content.  

If writing and regularly updating your messaging just seems like too much work, consider working with a company that can manage the process for you.  

Spectrio has an agency-level content creation team that can write your script and regularly update our information according to a schedule that makes the most sense for your business.

Plus, we have a voice-over team that can read and deliver your message in the perfect tone.

Listen for yourself. Browse through the voice options that are included with a Spectrio on-hold messaging package.