Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of making business phone calls is being placed on hold. While the vast majority of consumers say that they would prefer not to be placed on hold to begin with, they also consistently report that they would prefer to listen to music or a spoken recording than to be placed on a silent hold. With time spent on hold sometimes stretching past the 15 minute mark, consumers across America are demanding that their business calls be dealt with in a more timely manner.
In general, small businesses need to work harder to gain an audience; smaller budgets for advertising and fewer employees mean that customer service has to take precedence with every consumer contact. Voice over production companies can often work to lend small businesses a more professional advertising tone: having a professional voiceover actor provide narration for television commercials or radio announcements can actually attract a larger customer base.
Voice narration and voice over services can also help small businesses retain customers on the phone. Statistically speaking, about 90% of callers placed on silent hold hang up in less than 45 seconds. A professional voiceover recording can work to deliver consumers information about the business, and should prompt them to stay on hold up to four minutes longer, on average.
Once a customer is lost due to silent hold times, they tend to stay lost. Unfortunately, statistical surveys indicate that about one-third of customers who hang up due to silent holds do not call back, choosing another business instead. With advertising personnel working to attract and retain new customers, losing one-third of them in under one minute is not an acceptable plan for most small business owners.
In addition to providing narration to customers who are placed on hold, small businesses are finding success with answering services. Dedicated to answering after-hours customer phone calls personally, answering services can provide the human contact that customers are looking for.
In the modern world, interacting with a computerized voice is becoming all too common; customers want to hear a voice providing narration while they are on hold, want to hear a professional voice over actor even in local commercials, and want to hear a live voice prompt instead of a computer-generated voice by phone.
Small business owners do not want to alienate their customer base, and they may not realize that professional voice narration and live voice prompts can go a long way toward making customers feel like they are receiving personalized service. A customer who has to spend 20 minutes navigating a computerized reception service — and who cannot figure out which buttons to press to talk to a live operator — can and will find another business that is willing to provide a more personalized response to their business needs.