Getting Started Creating An On Hold Message Script

You know your business better than anyone, so creating a script with information about your business that your callers will hear each time they are placed on hold should be a simple process, right?

Well, there is a process if the material is to be effective and doing it incorrectly, you run the risk of annoying or alienating the prospects and customers you are trying to attain or retain through other marketing opportunities.

Of course, you know you need to identify your company and include your location, website address, and maybe your operating hours, company history and philosophy. You certainly also want to highlight your products and services, but how should you go about it and where do you begin?

If you do not have a lot of experience with scriptwriting, you should consider hiring a professional. There are many independent writers available who can help you craft a workable script for you. Your on hold provider also offers this service and in most cases, scriptwriting is included with your purchase of an on hold recording and/or telephone IVR prompts.

However, if you wish to take a stab at it yourself, here are some tips from experienced writers for scripting on-hold messages. Remember you already have your callers’ attention, so unlike radio or television where you need to gain your potential prospects’ attention before you deliver your message, an on-hold message program allows you to get right to the point with information about your products and services.

  • Avoid “question and answer” preludes to your message. Launch right into the details.
  • No hype needed.  Think of your on hold messages as a press release. Don’t tell callers your company is the best, tell them ‘why’ you are the best and then prove it with detailed information.
  • Don’t assume that the caller has heard the previous message. A caller can be put on hold at any point during your on hold presentation because your program is always playing even when there are no callers hold, so don’t assume they have heard the previous message. Refer to your company, products or services by their appropriate names rather than “it” or “this” since you may create confusion and reduce the effectiveness of your message.
  • Your script may look good on paper, but that doesn’t mean it will sound good, so when finished, be sure to read your messages out loud. An on hold script should be written for the spoken word, so do not include content you wouldn’t say to prospects and customers in-person or during a phone conversation.

What should you include in your script besides the basic information about your company?  Depending on the complexity of your product or service and the amount of time you expect your callers to spend on hold, consider the following:

  • Let your caller know in each message where they are… ‘Thank you for calling Our Dentist Office.’
  • Give callers on hold something to think about. “New materials and techniques have been perfected to make your smile unforgettable. In some instances, life-changing improvements can be made in just one visit.”
  • Tell callers something they don’t know about you. “Doctor Dave graduated with honors from Florida State University, where he was awarded top honors in his class for oral surgery.”
  • Is there any news your caller should know about? “Please note our new location at 1122…”
  • Be courteous and thank callers for holding. “We value your business.  Someone will be right with you.”  Do not underestimate the power of courtesy. It will be appreciated and help diffuse any irritation some people might experience for being kept on hold, even for a short period of time.
  • Give callers another option. “If you do not wish to continue holding, please press zero to leave a message. The next available representative will return your call as soon as possible.”
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