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Customise your on-hold messages

I gave a keynote talk at the Contact Centre Planning Forum last week on how to improve the customer journey. It was at the Novotel, West London. When I rang the Novotel West London to check my room was booked, I got an on-hold message that was designed to reflect the values of Novotel, which is all about big spaces to relax in with natural light and things like that.

So, the on-hold message says to me something like “While you are waiting for an agent, take these few seconds to breathe deep, refocus, relax, refresh.” Too many organizations might think a branded on-hold experience means having a recorded sales message. That isn’t a pleasurable customer experience. It’s doubly irritating to be kept waiting and then have corporate messages thrown at you while you are a captive audience.

But, the whole idea of adapting your on-hold message to reflect your company values, as Novotel has done is…refreshing. My friend Shaun Smith says the new frontier for contact centres is creating a distinctive branded customer experience to replace the generic experience most contact centres offer.

It’s small but memorable – and low-cost, incidentally – things like customising your on-hold message to actually add value to the customer that will, step by step, move us towards next generation distinctive experiences delivered through the contact centre.

I asked the 450 or so people in the room if they used on-hold messages. They all put their hands up, of course. I asked them if they used a customised message that reflected their organisation’s values, or that added value to the customer, or at least was memorable for being different. No hand went up.

Sounds like an opportunity to me.

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