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Marketers Say, 'Your Call is Very Important to Us, Please Hold'

Yes, Virginia, there is such as thing as on-hold marketing. . / Credit: Woman on hold image via Shutterstock

Yes, Virginia, there is something called on-hold marketing. And these messages appear to work, practitioners claim. According to a national survey, 85 percent of companies that use on-hold messaging see it as a useful marketing tool that adds value to their business.

Nearly one in four respondents to an industry survey conducted by the On Hold Messaging Association and its member agencies said that on-hold messaging generated real sales revenue for their businesses. The survey polled a total of 1,555 companies nationwide.

Respondents said they were most effective in helping them build their image and professionalism, followed by providing value to the time callers spend on hold and reducing hang-ups.

[Consumers Let Their Feet Do the Talking When Customer Service Lags]

Sixteen percent of the companies responding said they receive more than 200 calls a day, and 49 percent receive at least 75 calls daily. More than half (57 percent) of callers are put on hold, with two-thirds of those callers on hold between 15 seconds and one minute.

If a company receives 100 calls a day — and 50 percent of those calls are placed on hold with an average wait of 30 seconds — that translates into almost half an hour a day of potential marketing directlyto customers on hold, OHMA said.

Only 12 percent of respondents said they update their message six times or more a year. But those who updated more frequently said on-hold messaging has been directly responsible for sales. They also were more likely to describe on-hold messaging as a useful marketing tool and saw a greater impact on their businesses.

"These numbers show that on-hold messaging works," said Bryant Wilson, OHMA board member and CEO of On Hold Company, a provider of on-hold messages and marketing for business. "This is the first OHMA survey of this magnitude, and it is rewarding to see concrete data on the positive impact that on-hold marketing has on our clients’ success."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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