Message Loops vs. Hold Music: What’s Your Vote?


Hold Music or Marketing Message?

This week, I have come across more articles, posts, and rants about being put on hold than anything else. Well, all right, that’s not exaclty the case. But aside from the big news events, being put on hold seems to be bothering some people.

In the grand scheme of things, being put on hold isn’t the end of the world. But for a guest who is building up steam every second they’re waiting, it can become a pretty big deal.

What happens at your hotel when people call? Skipping the initial annoyance of being put on hold at all, if the situation arises, what is the best practice?

I had hoped to list annoyances in some sort of order, but it was pretty evenly divided. Half the people hate marketing messages, and half hate the hold music. Only one person mentioned the beeps, but she was in favor of them. Do beeps win?

Hold music: It was agreed by everyone that hold music should be soft and high-quality. No half-static radio stations, and obviously leave out anything with questionable lyrics. About half of the people said they would prefer talking over music, but those who prefer music mentioned the affect music can have on attitudes. One talked about an increasing sense of distrust after listening to the theme from “The Godfather” for a few minutes.

Marketing messages: While half of the respondents preferred recorded messages to music, none of them liked the loop about their call being important. Like it or not, a caller doesn’t feel important on hold, so being reminded of it may not be the best idea. My doctor’s office plays different news stories about health and local events, which I find to be topical and interesting. At least I can learn something while I wait.

One suggestion from my poll first made me laugh, then made me wonder if it might be brilliant. “If you need a fantastic movie guy voice for your marketing pitch during holds, feel free to employ me.”

Can you imagine? “In a world where travelers search endlessly for restful slumber and delicious meals delivered right to their rooms, a hero steps in to save them. The weary travelers’ hopes rest squarely on the epic shoulders of fluffy pillows, ultra-clean rooms, and impeccable service. One hotel, above all others, will put everything on the line for the perfect guest experience. Coming this November to a peaceful night near you.”

What do you think? Where do you stand on marketing messages versus hold music? Or would Movie Guy Voice work for you?