Why Custom Hold Music Is The Add-on Feature You’ve Been Missing
If the words Custom Hold Music bring you back to memories of decades-old music you’re forced to listen to on the phone while on hold, you’re not too far off. That being said, Custom Hold Music has vastly improved over the years (quality of music included), comes with many options, and has since become a rather important conference calling and video conferencing feature.
It’s more than just a little tune that entertains, in fact, it’s a surefire way to keep guests engaged and high vibing. Most importantly, it significantly increases participant retention.
How often, on a daily basis, do you find yourself waiting? Waiting in traffic. Waiting for a prescription to be filled. Waiting for the water to boil. If we go back in time, we once had to wait for our call to literally be connected from one wire to another via switchboard, just so we could speak to someone on the other side of the line. While the operator was only doing their job, it was at that moment they were connecting calls that “being on hold” came into existence.
Nowadays, we don’t think twice about connecting calls, conference calls or even loading a page on the Internet. It’s virtually instant. Anything that takes longer than several seconds has us worried something isn’t right. It’s because as a whole, we are so used to immediately being connected that when we are suspended in this gray area of nothingness (in other words, silence), we don’t know what to do while waiting for the next command to load. We think there’s a malfunction or we’re in the wrong place and we quickly grow impatient and bored.
And that’s the drop-off point. This is the moment of frustration where people are left confused, in a moment of what’s next? Why isn’t my page opening? What happened to my conference call? Where is everyone?
Enter hold music. While it’s not exactly clear how it came about, it’s observed that in 1962 inventor Albert Levy filed the patent, Telephone Hold Program System; The earliest account of hold music invented to bridge the gap between call connections and to keep callers on the line by decreasing their aggravation, and doubt.
Today, whether making an appointment at the doctor’s office or welcoming guests into your conference call, hold music is prevalent everywhere. It’s become a common courtesy that’s proven to increase participant retention by improving their calling experience.
In a study of 30,000 callers, the group was divided into three. Of the 10,000 callers put on hold listening to dead air for 60 seconds, a remarkable 52% of participants dropped off the line right off the bat. In the second group of listeners put on hold listening to music for just one minute, only 13% of callers dropped. It’s the results form the third group put on hold listening to a message and music-on-hold recording for only 1 minute that’s noteworthy: 2% of callers dropped off the line and 81% waited for 1-2 minutes.
It’s clear that callers prefer to have something to listen to rather than be lost in the abyss of radio silence. In a conference call, for example, if it’s a critical decision-making discussion or a big important sales pitch, guests who are presenting might be nervous. Hold music is the perfect and professional, mood-boosting introduction that eases participants into a welcoming pre-meeting environment.
It’s no secret that music has the power to shift anyone’s mood – even in a conference call! Jazz feels relaxing. Pop is uplifting. Any little ditty that is light and airy can perk up anyone’s day, and easily take the “waiting” feeling out of waiting! Up the ante with a prerecorded message or custom hold music, and you’ve just piqued participant interest. They are a captive audience after all! You can select from predetermined music choices or provide your own sample or promotional message to share.
Depending on what business you’re running and who will be present at your conference call, the music you select will impact your audience. Typically something smooth, without shifts to volume (very loud or very quiet segments) that can be jarring or unexpected is the way to go. That’s why most hold music heard has that “elevator music” quality. It’s plain and easy listening for anyone who picks up. On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be so “safe.” New music and past favorites like Nu Wave and 80s are also top performers.
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