on hold marketing


Why on hold marketing messages should not badmouth competitors

As this blog has mentioned in the past, on hold marketing messages are a golden opportunity for businesses to set themselves apart from the competition. Once a potential customer is on the phone, it’s up to the company to keep them from hanging up and calling a competitor. There are many strategies that can help accomplish this, but there are several that businesses should not consider, including “trash talk.”

You’ve probably seen commercials from brands that attack the other other guy. You see it in political ads all the time and there have been some classic Pepsi vs. Coke advertising battles in the past. However, as an article in Search Engine Watch explains, it’s not necessarily the best practice.

Not only can this violate a number of FTC regulations, it can hurt a company’s image more than its competitors. Lisa Barone, the author of the article, says that bashing the competitor can turn off a consumer because, to them, it shows that the company doesn’t have much faith in its own brand.

“If you need to spend your time trashing your competitors to convince users not to use their product, you have a [poor] product,” Barone writes. “If you didn’t you’d be too excited talking about your benefits and features to worry about someone else’s. But you’re not. You’re spreading negativity about someone not even in the room.”

Suppose you are a mechanic and a potential customer calls because they need their brakes worked on. They want to know that the company they are calling will be able to fix their brakes. They aren’t interested in what the garage on the other side of town is doing, or else they would have called them.

If the hold messaging is nothing but attacks on the cross-town mechanic, the caller might be turned off and hang up. Moreover, mentioning the name of a competitor could plant a seed in the customer’s mind that eventually leads them towards that particular company.

By constructing effective on hold messages that concentrate on the benefits of the brand, organizations can enjoy a successful campaign.

Publish Date: March 14, 2013