Have you heard from your message on hold provider lately?
If not, chances are they’ve put YOU on hold and have forgotten that you’re there. And that means you aren’t getting the customer service you’re paying for.
“Customer service for message on hold involves so much more than having your message scripted, produced and delivered,” says Alane Richardson, director of customer service at On Hold Company.
“Our customers are busy running their businesses and don’t always stop to think about their message on hold and its current relevance,” she continues. “We want our clients to get the full value of their contract so we implement a range of customer service activities that keep us engaged with them, their marketing needs and their messages on hold.”
Here are three critical customer service activities your message on hold service should provide for you.
Message on hold is just one of many areas for which a marketing director is responsible. Once that contract is signed and initial message is scripted, recorded and delivered, the marketing manager or small business owner turns his or her attention to other matters at hand.
Often, message on hold becomes ‘out of sight, out of mind’ unless there is a problem. So it’s important that your message on hold provider be proactive and reach out by telephone one or more times a year to confirm there are no major changes that affect the message.
Your message on hold provider should call to:
• Confirm the primary contact person, email address, company address, phone number and website.
“Sometimes clients forget to notify us of important changes that affect their message on hold,” says Richardson. “These phone calls ensure we’re on top of things for the client and that their message on hold remains relevant.”
• Encourage a message update
“We are also proactive in asking the client if we can write a new script, add new segments or remove older segments. And even if they don’t want any changes to the script, we’ll offer to record their message with a different voice talent, and update their background music, to keep the message fresh for their callers.”
• Make sure that administrative functions are in place.
“We also make sure reminders (also referred to as ‘auto connections’) are set up properly, that the client has access to our client portal, and that follow-ups are in place for call campaigns,” says Richardson.
Phone calls are great but it’s not always easy to reach busy marketing directors and small business owners. And often, you need to change your message more often than once a year, so email is a perfect way for your message on hold company to remind you to keep that message updated.
“We send email or fax reminders according to the program a client has chosen,” says Richardson. “We have two reminder documents that are updated regularly: a monthly reminder and a general reminder. Monthly program clients receive a reminder around the middle of the month. It features content relevant to the upcoming month as well as voice and music options. It’s an easy way for a busy client to select new options and return to us.”
For all other program users, On Hold Company uses a general reminder according to a specific schedule.
• Quarterly clients receive email (or fax) reminders in March, June, September, and December.
• Bi-monthly clients receive reminders every other month.
• Semi-annuals are sent every June and December
• Annuals are sent every December.
Your message on hold provider should monitor your messages for quality assurance two to three times per year.
“Sometimes power outages will cause a message to stop playing and the client won’t even know it,” says Richardson. “That’s a simple fix with a reboot. We also monitor the messages for quality and volume levels. If either isn’t satisfactory, we’ll create a work order and fix the problem.
Some systems require manual uploading of messages using compact discs or USB drives. But sometimes clients receive them in the mail and they get lost in the shuffle or someone forgets to upload them.
“We like to stay on top of that and remind the client if they haven’t loaded their latest message,” says Richardson. “Again, businesses have a lot of moving parts and message on hold is just one of them. We want to make sure they get all of the value possible from their contract with us.”