Have you ever called a local business and were immediately put on hold only to hear every few seconds this crazy annoying beeping sound or there is dead silence? You can’t tell if you’ve been disconnected or are still on hold. Or what about the business that has a radio station playing as their on-hold message, except it’s all static or playing some lame music?
What kind of message do you think this sends to your callers? What about the anxious and nervous potential new patients calling? Is your on-hold messaging welcoming or repelling?
Now, I believe the best customer service is to never put the caller on hold. However, we all know that from time to time it happens. Emphasis on from time to time. And when it does happen it should only be a brief hold. If you can’t get right back to that caller – please take down their name and number and promise to call them back. Make good on that promise. (For how to effectively answer the dental office telephone SEE How to Effectively Answer the Dental Office Telephone)
A while back I set one of my clients up with a message on hold service, created beautiful, short custom marketing messages for them and on the first day of using it, a caller said: “Oh, I didn’t know you do teeth whitening.” See how that works?
Having a quality message on hold system set up is a good thing. Use this service as an opportunity to educate and inform your callers while they are on hold. Help them to see why they’ve made a good choice calling your practice.
Every dental office has information, news, events, or dental health facts and services that should be highlighted while a caller is put on hold.
In addition to playing music, what are some things you can talk about?
- Special Office Events
- Information about your In-Office Savings Plan
- Dental Services & Products
- Dental Health Tips
- Office Hours
- Social Media Site Information (Invite callers to “like” / “follow” the office.)
- Financial Expectations
- Website Address
A message on hold system allows you to advertise to your patients and keep them informed on the latest and greatest office happenings. It will also distract them from the fact that they’ve been put on hold.
Please make sure that you keep your content fresh! One of my doctors’ offices has had the same on-hold message for years!! I think I have it memorized. Blah!
You can certainly create your own on hold-messaging but if you prefer to use a third-party source there are many on-hold messaging services out there.
My suggestions for what to look for in a message on hold service/system are:
- Quality Sound & Voice Talent.
- Inexpensive – You don’t need to spend a lot of money!
- Helpful – Exceptional Customer Service.
- Allows you to change your message and music throughout the year.
- Doesn’t lock you into a long contract.
- Will help you create effective messages.
- Makes the setup and process easy on you and your team!
- Allows you to listen to sample messages before buying.
Have you ever called your office and were put on hold? (If not, please call your office and be placed on hold) – I know your patients and potential patients have, and what is it that they’re hearing or not hearing? Make the time they’re on hold count!
Those are my thoughts on on-hold messaging.
Real quick before I go, since we’re talking about putting callers on hold, might I add, never, ever answer the phone with “hold please” or “can you hold?”! Take a quick second, find out who they are and what they need. People prefer not being put on hold. If you are habitually needing to put callers on hold, you need more people answering the phones.
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~Betty – Dental Coach
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You have shared great information on telephone hold messages. Thanks for sharing!