What do callers want to hear once they’ve been placed on hold?
Recent online polls* conducted at BusinessVoice.com provide some insight.
Nearly one-third of callers - 32.1% - prefer to hear details on sales, specials, closeouts and rebates, while 28.3% want information and reminders about new and existing products and services. Humor is a popular choice as well, with 18.8% of respondents saying they’d like a good laugh while on hold. 15.1% indicated they would rather hear information on how a company’s products are different from those of their competitors, and 5.6% prefer helpful tips (healthy living, travel, car care, etc.).
“These poll results are a good guide,” said Jerry Brown, BusinessVoice president. “They can help companies see what types of content they should be focusing on in their On Hold Messaging and other forms of marketing.”
Humor was also the topic of a separate poll. The question: “How does the use of humor on hold affect your perception of the company you’re calling?” Nearly 82% replied “positively”: 48.4% think companies that use humor are trying to make their callers’ hold time as enjoyable as possible, while 33.3% say they like a company that can laugh at itself and its image. Of those who had a negative opinion of humor on hold, 15.1% selected this response: “I’m calling to conduct business, not to be entertained.” And 3% cautioned that humor could offend some callers.
A third poll question asked “What is the longest you’ve ever waited on hold?” Three out of four respondents – 74.7% - selected “more than 10 minutes,” while 10.8% experienced a maximum hold time of 5 to 10 minutes, 9.9% were on hold 3 to 5 minutes, and 4.5% waited under 3 minutes.
Poll Questions, Answers, and Breakdown of Response by Percentage
What would you prefer to hear while on hold?
32.1% - Details on sales, specials, closeouts and rebates
28.3% - Reminders about the company's new & existing products
18.8% - Humor
15.1% - Info on how the company's products are different from those of competitors
5.6% - Helpful tips (healthy living, travel, car care, etc.)
How does the use of humor on hold affect your perception of the company you’re calling?
48.4% - Positively. They're trying to make my hold time as enjoyable as possible.
33.3% - Positively. I like a company that can laugh at itself and its image.
15.1% - Negatively. I'm calling to conduct business, not to be entertained.
3% - Negatively. It could offend callers.
What is the longest you’ve ever waited on hold?
74.7% - More than 10 minutes
10.8% - 5 to 10 minutes
9.9% - 3 to 5 minutes
4.5% - Under 3 minutes
* Four to five options were offered as answers to each question. Each poll question appeared online for approximately three months.