Want to lower your bounce rate? Your on-hold music matters…

April 24, 2019

High angle shot of a group of call centre agents working in an office
This is the second of a two-part series in how to keep your on-hold callers on the line longer.


As we mentioned last time, in the interest of lowering bounce rates, studies have shown that playing a combination of music and information is the best strategy, as it keeps callers interested for longer periods of time, making wait times seem shorter. Last time we discussed what content your messages should contain. This week we look at the music.


The main thing playing music for on-hold callers is it helps to manage their anxiety. Music calms people down. Not only does playing music make them less likely to hang up, it makes them friendlier when one of your employees does pick up the phone.


For years, companies played short songs with repeated melodies, but now we know that variety is key, and playing music that is more complex delivers better results as well.


There are a variety of services that offer hold music, and each one offers several options. When choosing a genre of music, you want to try to match what your callers will enjoy. This is easy if you sell Cowboy boots, but is could be more difficult for most FMs. In general, you want calming, but positive music. Songs by artists like Whitney Houston, Cher, or Celine Dion are popular choices.


World music is always a popular choice as the music tends to be upbeat, and there is little chance that it will be overly familiar. Other great choices are outlaw country (artists like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings), bebop jazz (Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie), or ‘50s-era blues (Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Etta James). If you don’t have access to “brand name” artists, choose music that closely mirrors your music of choice. Many hold music services have excellent selections of electronic music.


Ideally, you want your hold music to be pleasant without being saccharine, inoffensive without being wimpy, upbeat without being aggressive. It’s a fine line to walk, but with a little thought, you can choose the perfect music to keep your on-hold callers hanging on.


For more help with improving your customer service, contact Vanguard Resources.