on hold marketing


On Hold Messaging Program – Here’s Why You Need One

We’re often asked “Why do I need a on hold messaging program for my business?”

We’re glad to have the question asked because the phrase “on hold messaging” is not self explanatory. The phrase “on hold messaging” refers to an audio program that features pleasant music and custom designed scripts or “messages” that are professionally voiced. The music and voiced messages are strategically mixed to create an engaging listening experience for the purpose of focusing the callers attention away from the wait time.

The answer, and the solution, to the question of “Why a business will need on hold messaging?” is different depending on whether the business is retail, wholesale, professional services or medical. It’s safe to say that no matter what kind of business or practice we’re talking about, if the caller hangs-up before they can place their order or set an appointment or ask for information, that’s bad. Not only is the profit from the call lost, the marketing money spent to attract the caller to make the call is wasted.

Here’s Why Your Business Needs An On Hold Messaging Program

Businesses and practices use their on hold messaging program to keep callers on the line until a representative can return to their call and help them. Only then does your marketing money come back you in profit from the new relationship, be it an order or an appointment.

If you don’t happen to be a student of inbound telephone call statistics, you may not be aware that every day there are many hang-ups before they can order the goods or services they intended when made the call. Why? because callers don’t like to wait…and they won’t wait if they perceive the wait time to be exceeding long…and they will hang-up!

Yes, there are other reasons why people hang up early. Maybe their tea-pot started whistling, or the baby’s crying, or the dog was eating their homework…but most of the time, it’s because the caller felt like they weren’t receiving the service they felt they deserved.

Meaning their perception of the time in waiting was too long…and their response is to hang-up, terminating the sale or inquiry… and possibly the relationship.

 Here’s a fun visual illusion: Two lines the same length, but one seems longer.

Lines showing how on hold messaging can be perceived as too long

Our perception of things isn’t always reality…and your company’s hold time may not seem long to you, but it could be perceived as too long by an impatient caller wishing to order or make an inquiry.

It’s all about the caller’s perception!

Did Albert Einstein Really Consider the Effects Of A Poor On Hold Experience?

It’s not likely, but he did give considerable thought to perception and relativity. Albert Einstein commonly expressed this famous concept as E=mc2. Thankfully for us non-quantum folk, has also been expressed something like this:

“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute-and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.” (source)

  • The way your callers perceive their hold-time is relative.
  • A pleasant On Hold experience will be perceived as less time than actual
  • An unpleasant On Hold experience will be perceived as m-o-r-e time than actual.


Making your callers On Hold experience more painful than it needs to be is bad for business… especially when there are intelligent, proven, and cost effective methods to cause hold-time to be perceived as shorter than it actually is.

Want to create a more pleasant On Hold experience that’s seems shorter rather than l-o-n-g-e-r? Get in touch with a real studio specializing in On Hold message creation. We’re right here 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. Call us at 800-342-0098.

About Dan

Dan is one of five seasoned professionals here at On Hold Marketing where we all have over 10 years’ experience. We’re a diverse group of broadcast, music, copywriting, marketing, and telecommunications professionals. We write and produce audio programs for business and practice telephone systems that engage callers with carefully designed messages about how your company makes their life easier, while reducing their frustration about the time on hold.


Publish Date: March 5, 2021