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Music on Hold or Messages on Hold?

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

In today's attention economy, a lot of effort is put into getting and holding people's attention.

For a long time now, phone systems have made the use of hold music fill the void that would be felt by callers who have been placed on hold.

The music helped signify to the initial telephone users that the strange device they were holding was still functioning and had not been disconnected.

If you haven't updated your on hold message recently, consider exploring our new packages tailored to your business needs.

Soon after that, it became apparent to the unharnessed audience that this medium provided – a marketing and advertising treasure trove.

This discovery led to the birth of Messages on hold.

Companies could now choose what they want their users to hear, Messages on hold (announcements voiced during the waits), or Music on Hold.

The one of the two that suits a company is usually relative and open to debate.

This publication aims to give you insight and compare the two functionally.

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

Music on Hold.

Pauses occur during a call for a lot of reasons.

It could happen during a transfer to an extension or if the hold button is pressed during a call.

What occupies this void is what callers would hear while they wait.

Music on hold is the music audio that usually fills these breaks.

Why do we need music on hold?

Well, for a couple of reasons actually;

  • The music functions perfectly as an indicator that a call is still active.
  • It can be loaded independently of announcements that can interrupt the music once they come in. Examples of such announcements are "Request a call back" and "Queueing announcements" (estimated wait time).
  • A business can use this music as a means to promote and identify its brand image. They can achieve this simply by choosing the kind of music that aids or enhances the brand image.

Sources for Music On Hold

Music on hold (or hold music) usually brings an image of slow cheesy elevator music to one's head.

The creation of this kind of music is usually attributed mostly to independent artists.

The reason for the poor-quality music is that the phone system administrators need to use fully licensed music.

Royalty-free music often does not cover ongoing, necessary performance licenses.

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

Consumers dislike this kind of music, especially the tunes that come with most devices as their default hold music.

They are usually short and the type of "royalty-free" that you'd never listen to leisurely.

Most of the time, it is better if you avoid using the defaults that came with your VoIP phone service.

"Without music or messages, 60% of those on-hold will hang up, and 30% won't call back…" - CNN Survey.

Music Licensing

There is a common misconception that when music is purchased for personal use, it can be played as music on hold.

All the music used as hold music by either a call center or a phone system needs to be properly licensed.

The best music on hold would require the clearance of certain ongoing performance licensing charges.

This is done by the performance rights organization that controls the song.

How to access better hold music.

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

Know your source.

Amazing Voice provides custom on-hold production for Fortune 500 companies as well as for smaller organizational efforts.

Our clients receive responsive support, dedicated service, and the attention to detail that quality production demands in every case.

There are no licensing fees or additional costs

Use popular songs and artists.

Hit music is a variant mostly acceptable to the average individual.

You can request for custom music on hold preferences to fill the gaps at Amazing Voice and be backed with a 100% guarantee.

Messages on Hold

Another way the pauses and silences between calls can be filled is with recorded announcements.

These kinds of announcements are referred to as messages on hold.

The kind of messages passed through this medium is dependent on the purpose, which usually varies.

Some prevalent uses would be;

  • To inform the callers about the company and the services that it provides
  • Build a company image or create a perception of the company.
  • Promote the company's offers and products
  • Reduce call cancellations and abandonment.

Also, companies can use messages on hold to reduce call volume.

Messages that solve common problems and provide valuable information are usually a lot more agreeable.

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

A good example is when the company is experiencing a particular issue that would spur a huge number of people to call in search of information about this issue.

Applicably, the company can put up information about this particular issue as messages on hold.

Callers who called because of this specific issue would hang up after hearing the message, as they don't need to speak to a live person anymore.

The North American Telecommunications Association in a recent study found that callers who experienced silence on hold dropped their calls in less than a minute, an average of 90% of these callers hang-up within 40 seconds.

The information derived brought them to the conclusion that callers preferred listening to valid information while on hold and will hold for up to three minutes longer.

Does it pay?

It has been tested and proven that having voiced messages on hold recordings improve business.

The American Psychological Association compared these two different scenarios, i.e., playing only music on hold during waits and silence on hold.

Whereas many studies have tried "Music with voices" against "Just music," these studies discovered that the messages in line with the music made callers stay longer on the line.

Messages on hold provide the caller with information that may make him/her more predilected towards actually staying on the call.

Call abandonment usually improves by about 75% if you can provide a voiced announcement to your callers.

That's how effective it is.

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

Message Scripts

The information these messages would contain has to be carefully selected and targeted.

Efficient messages on hold can intuit the caller's needs and touch on them without being overly bothersome or elongated.

Some cool working tips would be;

  • Do not waste your caller's time. Be as brief as you can, without skewing the message or information you are passing on. Your callers need to know you value their time.
  • Keep informed and stay on top of trends and fresh developments. Especially on information relevant to your callers as they would be most appreciative of this.
  • Have an idea of your average hold time. With this information, you'll be better equipped to strategize a message scheme that better fills your call holds. Shorthold times usually would be more suited to frequent and brief announcements. In long hold times, the announcements are more spaced. If your hold times are very long, it's smart to address why it is that way.
  • Have a call to action attached to your information. Your information is always a lot better when you attach an actionable bit to it that the caller can respond to.
Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

The Content

The integrity of content attached to calls defines your organization to those that try to reach you through that medium.

Hence, you must avoid reminding callers patient enough to wait that they have to continue to wait.

A survey enacted in 2015 by the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business discovered that people's most disliked phrase when they call customer service is "Your Call is important to us, please continue to hold."

Understanding the kinds of things people do not want to hear would assist in making better on-hold messages.

As reported by the American Psychological Association, phrases like "We apologize for the wait" or "Thank you for holding" only slightly affect hold times.

Your messages on hold have to be well adapted to fit your exact particular company situation.

Maintaining Fresh Relevant Content for Messages on Hold

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

Many companies lack that extra depth of character that they could easily achieve by just being more intentional about the things their callers hear.

It takes a company constantly updating in response to relevant trends for hold messages to evoke effective responses.

Companies that have settled for generic content do not realize how much potential for improvement is being lost.

Generic content is boring, predictable and uninspiring.

The method of filling holds with boring music interrupted in a predictable sequence (Same order most of the times) have become old and clichéd.

You can now run a fully automated streaming system that executes a lot of the work for you. Features like:

  • A secure log-in to enable adequately protected control over the content.
  • Controlled sequencing of relevant topics, played to a predetermined order easily avoiding out of turn or out of date messages
  • Shock callers even more by being more attentive to details such what time of the day or day of the week the messages are scheduled to play
  • Better and easier workflow, especially since it's all fully automated and easy to operate.

Phone audio and Limitations

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

Mobile phones are devices designed with the intent of the purpose of voice and speech conveyance.

Phones were not made or designed for music transmission.

When music is played through it, this can lead to distortion of the media through this medium.

In common cases, due to this effect, music on hold sounds like it is underwater or warbly.

As cell towers continually congest and the internet crowded, phone service providers have cut down even more on the amount of space (bandwidth) each call takes up.

Also, mobile devices utilize software that blocks out anything else that's not Voice (Noise-canceling software).

An efficient hold messaging scheme would transition seamlessly between music and voiced messages, so your messages play with no music over them or with reduced music levels during each announcements.

This can assist in getting your messages across without interruptions.

The music functions as a transitional element fading in and out between announcements


During waits or holds what goes through the caller's mind is usually relative to the individual and the company they are on the phone with.

If a company can better understand who these people are, they can decide easily on what would be more suitable to their own particular conditions.

It's usually harder to gauge with music because people typically have varying tastes.

Music on Hold or Message on Hold?

Messages on hold need to be up to date and scrutinized properly. Harnessed and wielded with efficiency.

This tool can be a pathway to better caller experience and improved ratings.

We can give you everything you need and more at Amazing Voice.

Our business is to help you keep your clients properly engaged whilst they wait.

Our process is very simple and adaptable, and we can guide you through how it all functions in quick, and easy steps.

So, make a choice today, Choose us.

Posted by Amazing Voice. November 06, 2020.
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