4 On Hold Phone Message Tips

On hold phone tips

On Hold Phone Message Tips

Four clichés about On Hold messages you should avoid

  1. Thanking phone callers. People don’t want your thanks; they want you to answer their call. By thanking them for phone calling or holding, you simply patronise and aggravate them. Remember, a happy caller leads to a happy call (and thereby a sale).
  1. Using industry jargon. Unless your callers are in the industry to begin with, don’t use jargon that they might not understand.  For example, should a physiotherapist’s office’s On Hold ask callers if they experience pain in their Acromio Clavicular joint, or effusion surrounding their Anterior Talo-Fibular Ligament, you’ll most likely just confuse them – so don’t.
  1. Including every tiny bit of information about a product or service. The topic in question may be of no interest to the caller, so when spruiking just include the highlights and leave the nitty gritty for your staff to discuss with the caller.
  1. The “one-stop shop” line. Clichés like this are so common that it makes callers tune out. They’ve heard it all before so they’re less likely to absorb the information you’re imparting. Consider referring them to your in-house expert and let them experience the knowledge themselves, rather than you telling them about it.


Very often, clients say ‘we never put phone calls on hold”. When Captivate first started, we guessed the time on hold at 60 seconds average. Nowadays we have the actual stats from analysing over one million calls – it varies but the average is 60.5 seconds. So phone callers ARE waiting – are you treating them with respect or contempt?

If you went into a dark room and waited in silence for 60 seconds – how long would that feel?

If your website took a minute to load, how many people would wait? So, if your phone callers really ARE important to you, engage them, interest and inform them while waiting that minute on hold. Remember, it’s as much about the perception of time, as it is the time on hold itself.