As a born and raised Texan, my favorite food is of course what we like to call Tex-Mex (although pizza is a close second). I could eat fajitas for dinner every night of the week and not be upset about it. I got to thinking… have I ever been to a Mexican restaurant that didn’t offer up unlimited free chips and salsa? After pondering this question, I still cannot come up with a single restaurant that doesn’t start with this appetizer. Free chips and salsa has become “the standard” for Mexican restaurants; if a place doesn’t offer it, then they are suddenly an outlier, and not in a good way. And now that I’m hungry for a taco and a margarita, I’ll get right to my point.
In general, businesses that utilize office telephones to conduct business play some type of music on hold. No matter if it is Maroon 5 or elevator jazz, playing on hold music is a common practice that has become the standard. People expect it. And if you don’t have it? You’re sunk. All of a sudden, someone is tweeting ugly comments that tar a company’s reputation for customer service. But businesses stand to gain very little by playing on hold music. Just like our Tex-Mex restaurant friends, successful businesses won’t thrive just by adhering to the standard, because the standard is just that for a reason. Failing to meet a norm means you are frowned upon and even admonished by society. Simply meeting a standard will get you overlooked because you’ve done nothing special to stand out.
Creating an atmosphere that caters to your target audience is the key to successful entrepreneurship. What a customer hears on hold is part of that atmosphere in both B2B and B2C businesses. When an on hold message starts playing, a customer or prospect perks their ears because they weren’t expecting it. Placing people on hold is a normal part of everyday business, and it’s a wonder why more companies don’t use this time. While there is little advantage to playing music on hold, there is certainly a lot of value to gain through custom on hold message productions to engage your callers, create an image, and win more business.
Don’t be like everyone else and just offer free chips and salsa... start thinking of ways to improve the approved model and standard set for your business.