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Hold Music: Why Your Business Should Entertain Customers While On Hold

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There will hopefully come a time when your business is so busy that you’ll have to ask customers to wait on hold.

Maybe this is already happening at your business, either way, you should add some hold music, or an on hold message to entertain your customers as they wait.

Customers that wait on hold with music or another message are more likely to stay on the line than those who have to listen to silence. Additionally, hold music can help influence the feelings of your customer, allowing you to control how they feel when they do reach a representative.

Ready to learn all about hold music and how you can use it to improve your business?

Read on to learn about how to retain your customers while they wait on hold.

What is On Hold Music?

Hold music is music your customers can listen to as they wait to reach a representative at your company.

Typically, it comes after they have already followed a call tree, or heard the phone ring.

They also may have already reached someone, but that individual needed to put them on hold to help another customer.


Either way, hold music is an alternative to the silence they would hear waiting to reach a representative.

Studies have shown that hold music, as opposed to silence, can go a long way toward keeping customers on the line for extended wait times.

The History of Hold Music

Hold music was invented in 1962 by accident when Alfred Levy found some loose wires at his factory.

Unknowingly, the loose wires were touching a grinder, amplifying music from the radio station next door to callers who were on hold.

Realizing he was on to something; he patented his work and this led to the adaptation everywhere of callers listening to music while on hold.

Today, most businesses use some form of on hold music, and those that don’t may not realize it but they are likely losing customers with every call filled with dead silence.

In fact, businesses which don’t employ hold music may find that 50% of their callers placed on hold hang up within the first 90 seconds of the hold.

Business On Hold Music

There are several options when it comes to business on hold music.

Of course, per the name sake, there is music you simply play while someone is waiting on hold.

But for businesses which expect customers to wait for lengthy periods of time, they may want something a little more.

Beyond just business on hold music, you can also add a voice over to give extra information to your caller while they wait.


The voice over can let them know things like the number of callers left in the queue ahead of them, or information about deals or specials your company may have.

You can also choose to have business hours information, or even an option for callers to leave a message if they don’t currently have time to wait in the full queue.

No matter what option you choose, you can guarantee you will have less customers hanging up if your businesses adopt hold music for the time customers spend waiting on hold as they will have something to listen to and think about as they wait.

On Hold Music Benefits

There are many benefits to adding hold music to your company phone number.

1. Callers Won’t Get Bored

As you can imagine, as the world becomes more and more about instant gratification, people are becoming increasingly annoyed about being on hold.

One study found that the more people use technology, the more impatient they become.

Therefore, when you put an impatient individual on a silent hold, they are likely to hang up because they don’t want to wait, especially if all there is to do is listen to silence.


When you provide your customers with music to listen to, or even a message about your specials, this gives their mind something to occupy itself with, instead of them experiencing immediate boredom.

This will help keep them on the line and from immediately hanging up.

2. Callers Won’t Get Confused

When a company has a lack of hold music, the alternative is silence, meaning the individual is stuck listening to nothing until they can be helped.

This can be confusing for many customers, especially if they have been on hold for a long time.

After 2 minutes or more of silence, they may think that perhaps they were hung up on rather than being placed on a hold causing them to hang up.

Hold music limits this confusion by giving customers an audible indication that they are still on the line.

3. It Makes It Easier For Customers to Wait on Hold

Sometimes, your business may have long hold times of 5, or maybe even 10 minutes or more.

When this is the case, the customer may wish to still wait on hold, but to do something else while they wait such as chores or send a work email.


Having on hold music shows that your company values its customers' time, as it allows them to put the phone down and do something else while they wait while still being able to hear that they are on hold.

When the music stops, they also know it is time to pick up the phone again, limiting the time your representative wastes trying to get the attention of a customer who may have set the phone down and begun another task after a really long hold.

4. It Makes the Hold Time Seem Shorter

Not only does on hold music let a customer know they are still in the queue, according to one study it even makes the wait seem shorter.

Dead silence is very boring to listen to, and when there is nothing for the mind to occupy itself with, it can make the time spent listening to dead silence seem much longer.

In the above study, it was discovered that a silent hold time made some customers believe they were on a hold five times longer than they actually were.

Then, when their call was answered, they felt aggravated because they waited on hold so long.


But, when music was present, callers actually predicted their hold time to be half of what it actually was, meaning many felt they hadn’t been on hold all that long at all.

Which completely avoids the poor attitude that can stem from waiting on hold for an extended period of time.

5. You Can Influence Customer Mood

As mentioned above, business on hold music can go a long way from keeping a customer from getting grumpy.

But it can also influence the mood of the caller overall.

Frequently, businesses receive calls from customers who are disgruntled.

When this caller is placed on a silent hold, this can make the problem worse and cause their disgruntled feelings to grow.

Music, on the other hand, can help calm an individual and even reduce stress.

So a customer who is calling upset may actually be calmed when they hear a song while they wait on hold, lessening their anger before they speak to one of your representatives.

6. You Save Time

On hold music is so effective at keeping customers on the line, you may be nervous to add voice over to your hold music.

But in the previously mentioned study, adding voice over actually helped retain even more callers.


This means that you can add voice over in combination with your hold music without worrying about losing callers.

Adding a voice message with your current specials, or perhaps an offer you have regularly can even save your representative time because the customer will already know the specials when they reach your representative.

Not to mention that they may have been calling to verify hours, or another simple fact about your business, the voice over can provide the information without them needing to take up the time of your representative.

7. You Have the Potential for More Sales

In addition to saving your representatives time, the music and voice over combination could help your representatives to make more sales.

Perhaps a customer is calling to purchase a specific product, and they hear about another product they didn’t know you offered.

Even if they don’t purchase the product that day with your representative, they may call in the future to purchase the product they once heard about on hold.


Think of voice over during your hold music as an advertisement, at a fraction of the cost you would pay for other forms of advertising.

8. You Don’t Have to Worry About Production

Maybe you are convinced of the importance of on hold music and on hold messages, but you are afraid at how difficult it will be to set these things up.

Well, the good news is, you don’t have to, as there are many professionals in the industry who can do all the work for you.

This means you don’t need to worry about how your voice sounds, or being able to record the perfect message.

Instead, you hire a professional and they handle everything for you.

You can write your own script, and they will do the rest from there, or many companies offer some pre-selected scripts to choose from.

They can also place your voice over on hold music to make the entire process easy for you.

Selecting On Hold Music

Hold music is clearly important when it comes to customer retention and hang up reduction.

But did you know the music you choose is also important?

As you read earlier, humans are largely impacted by what they hear.

While you may think it will be easy to select a peppy song for your business, know that you have to choose on hold music carefully.


There are several aspects you need to consider, from genre, to quality, to the amount of time you expect users to wait.

Consulting a professional company can help you to select a track that will be regarded positively by most people.

They can guide you through picking the right genre, and tune for your customer base that you expect to be waiting on hold.

Just because a song might be your favorite, doesn’t mean it couldn’t remind your customer of something sad that happened to them in the past, ruining their mood, or making them angrier.

Which is why a new option, which allows users to select their own music has been invented.

The New Option that Makes Your Callers Choose the Genre They Want

Allowing customers to choose their own hold music is revolutionary.

Not only will your business gain the benefit of retaining customers while they have to be on hold, but also you won’t lose any customers because of the hold music you have chosen.

Services which allow the customers to choose their hold music typically offer a few channels that have a variety of songs playing in a loop.

Customers can choose the genre they like best, then hear a variety of different tunes, something which is ideal when you expect especially long hold times.


This option also prevents customers from boredom as they will hear a variety of songs rather than the same song on loop repeated multiple times.

At Amazing Voice, we have a wide selection of music available in every genre to truly get the right tunes for your business.

Our professionals will also help guide your choice to ensure you choose songs that will keep your customers interested while they wait.

Ready to Get Your Business On Hold Music?

Whether you have decided to go with a simple tune, or perhaps a more diverse voice over message, Amazing Voice is here to help.

We can provide you with top-quality voice overs, hold music, and more.

Click here to get a quote for your voice over needs and improve your customer retention today!

Posted by Amazing Voice. September 14, 2022.
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