For many companies, the phone queue is the only way to control the flow of calls. Of course, it would be ideal if a caller had the right expert on the line immediately after ringing once. However, the reality in hectic everyday business life often looks different.
Good telephone systems usually have a queue function, so-called intelligent virtual routings (IVRs), so that waiting for an employee is as pleasant as possible for callers and the callers also get to the right employee.
Your own queue - or: How does your company sound?
As the saying goes: the first impression counts. In this guide, we want to show you how to avoid the most common mistakes and pitfalls when putting your own phone on hold. There are often only small stumbling blocks that can be eliminated very easily. But they make a big difference.
After all, you don't want to disappoint or scare off callers who can't get through to you directly. We will show you how to receive them professionally and make their waiting time as pleasant as possible.
1. The “We'll be right there with you” queue
Beware of making false promises. If you promise your callers in the text of your queue that you'll be right there with them, then that should mean that you really can be there for them in well under a minute. If this is not guaranteed, you should refrain from using the word “equal”. Instead, if it's more like 15 minutes callers have to wait, just piss them off with a promise you simply won't keep.
The better way here is to offer your callers an alternative. For example, an indication of a time when you are less frequented, the opportunity to leave you a message or brief information on how to contact your company online.
In the bluePBX cloud telephone system the integrated waiting loop module solves this problem and easily enables professional handling of your prospects and customers who are waiting on the phone. Audio announcements can be played in a targeted manner and thus, for example, communicate further contact channels or the waiting position. A time control routes callers to the call center after a specified time.
2. “You can also reach our service at…”
If you want to offer callers an alternative to waiting on hold, avoid reading or dictating email addresses or other phone numbers to them.
The reason? Well, your callers aren't set up to take notes directly. Don't assume they'll have a pen and pad ready right away. And you can even less assume that they'll get their stationery, get it ready, and then call you right back – just so they can now take down whatever your on-hold text dictates.
Instead, simply refer to your homepage or give your prospects and customers an easy-to-remember web link that can be used to easily find your other contact options.
Or you use a professional functionality our virtual telephone system and give your callers one of the following options: Callers can either discuss a mailbox with their callback request at the push of a button or they can be forwarded to an external call center where an employee can then immediately take up their request.
3. Offers and advertisements in your telephone queue
Your callers have specific concerns. They need help from your support, advice or they want to buy from you. Nobody just calls you because they're bored. The fact that your callers end up on hold is initially annoying for them - a bad time to shower them with current offers, advertising or other company news. Something like that comes across as blatant - at a moment when you are literally not there for your customers and prospects. And it makes callers feel more turned off, which only increases their anger.
If you want to take the opportunity to refer to an offer, make it short and discreet. Again, the best way is to point to your offer website with an easy-to-remember link. And it is best to make an attractive offer that is exclusive to existing customers.
Instead of promoting an offer, you can use the bluePBX queue module you can also simply have the waiting position of the caller announced automatically. This is really relevant information in context and gives a taste of how professional your service is. It shows that you can put yourself in the shoes of your customers and prospects and understand their concerns.
In addition, details of your offers can be placed much more sustainably and promisingly in the subsequent personal telephone conversation and you can respond much better to the specific needs of the respective caller.
4. Music on Hold from Hell
If it's good, music on hold can be a great branding tool for you. For example, people actively search for “music on hold cable Germany” or “music on hold o2” on Google. This shows that these companies have managed to leave a lasting impression and arouse curiosity with the music on their answering machine.
You'll never be able to do that with "Für Elise" in the synthesizer interpretation! Please do not use this version. And neither is this song. It is used by authorities and practices in such an inflationary way that it seems old-fashioned, interchangeable and not very professional. So your phone queue has exactly the opposite effect to the one we just described. Nothing speaks against stylish classical music for your telephone waiting loop. But use a classical musician's version or the options offered by a classical agency.
The first impression counts! Music is something very emotional - it has to fit your company. And what you stand for and how you want to be perceived. With the ALL 4 YOU Creator we offer you an easy way to have professional music and announcements produced at a reasonable price.
5. Stay safe with music on hold
Be sure to check the rights situation for your music on hold! If it says that the title you have chosen is royalty free, that does not guarantee that you can edit it. It's a bit tricky, because right of use and right to edit are two different things.
Therefore our tip: Make sure you always acquire both: not only the right to use, but also the right to edit. Or you can get away with that ALL 4 YOU Creator produce professional music on hold that is really tailored to your company.
By the way: If you want to add variety to the telephone queue, you can also stream music in queues. Our VoIP telephone system bluePBX supports audio streaming in queues. Almost every radio stream or every individual audio stream can be integrated into your telephone queue.
At Gema there is a separate price model only for playing music in telephone queues. The costs depend on the number of channels. More information here: https://www.gema.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Musiknutzer/Tarife/Tarife_AD/tarif_w_t_2.pdf
6. It depends on the right sound
Crackling, hissing, interruptions: Your music is great, but you can't say that about the audio quality at all? The cause can be an incorrect audio format that may have crept in when saving the audio file. Under certain circumstances, this can even lead to the fact that no music can be heard at all.
at VOIPconnections, audio formats are more important than ever. Because with the connections via the Internet, a so-called code change takes place so that the quality can be adapted to the connection speed. To do this, the music must also be made available in the various codecs (audio formats).
The bluePBX team is happy to take on quality management, put your music in the right format and then play it straight into your telephone system. In this way, the best quality, tested by professionals, is guaranteed for your music on hold.
7. What really doesn't work with your queue
Avoid apologizing or showing regret to your callers and customers while you're on hold. Eliminate negative words like “unfortunately,” “currently,” “busy,” “regret,” “none,” “not” entirely from your phone hold message. It is far better if you inform your callers in a positive and friendly way when they can reach your company again.
at professional queues your callers can send a callback request to the answering machine at the push of a button. Or you can inform your callers periodically about the current waiting position and give them a positive signal that things are moving forward.
8. Who is speaking?
Why spend money when the nice receptionist or colleague has a good voice? That saves money! Good question and true. But we still strongly advise against it.
The reason for this is very simple and obvious: it sounds more serious and much more professional if a professional speaks your telephone announcements in a studio. Then every emphasis and nuance sits. Because professional speakers have a special education that none of your employees can top!
A professional studio should also mix the speech and music. Because only if the volume of your music on hold and that of your speaker's voice are in exactly the right proportion to each other will there be a harmonious overall impression that makes a big difference to your public image over the phone.
Would you like to experience what it feels like when a professional speaker discusses a phone hold? Then I recommend you to visit All 4 You Creator.
9. Telephone waiting loop without a happy ending
Do you know that? You've now been on hold at a company for 18 minutes, so you've spent a considerable amount of time getting your point across - and then this:
"In order not to keep you waiting any longer, please send us an e-mail or speak to us on tape".
Well, you don't have to be a mind reader to assume that such a message would leave callers disappointed, depressed and angry. She makes them feel like they just wasted their precious time.
That's why your exit strategy is one of the most important building blocks of your phone queue. Under no circumstances should the scenario just described occur!
Professional queues like bluePBX measure the current workload independently and, if necessary, do not allow any new "waiting" callers at all, but forward them directly to an overflow destination.
This can initially be an announcement that all lines are busy at the moment. Then either an external office (i.e. a person) is called or an answering machine takes up the caller’s request. In some cases, automated hanging up may also be desirable - then callers at least know immediately where they are and can try again later if necessary.
As you can see, when it comes to the exit strategy alone, but also generally with telephone waiting loops, there are plenty of options for making it as pleasant as possible for your callers until you can take their concerns. The implementation effort is manageable in each case. And the best part is that your telephone waiting loop – once it is configured with your callers in mind – does its job for you day in and day out: delivering a professional service to your prospects and customers in your absence.
If you want to take your telephone queue to the next level and give your callers the best possible service in your absence, then we would be very happy to arrange a free, non-binding exchange.