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Brand Music On-Hold: How Do You Choose It?

22 March 2023


Most people will have heard of infamous Cisco on-hold track, accredited to their great success in selling over 100 million phones as at 2020, but what made this music track so successful? Opus No. 1 is a song by Tim Carleton with a tempo of 85 BPM. Some would think it’s the ideal BPM,  keeping the listener calm and happy. Other’s would say it’s 70’s genre evokes a sense of nostalgia (there is great power in a song that can prompt memories from important moments in someone’s life).  However, this isn’t always the case for ALL callers – especially if they’re already irritable and have been informed they have been placed in a queue to speak to someone! In a study by T&T, 70% of business calls are placed on hold for about 45 seconds. 60% of the callers hang up in this time and from that, 30% of the callers never call back.

Marketing your brand does place a pretty big emphasis on how your business presents itself and the 70’s vibe won’t be the perfect fit for everyone. So how do you decide the right music choice for your brand?

  1. Genre for your industry

Your company’s visual identity should be reflected in their sound identity. You want to be relevant to your customers. If your brand identity has a professional and calming imagery, your music choice would be a Laidback relaxing style. Whereas if you have loud colours and present yourself as an exiting young and dynamic brand, a more up-tempo track would probably suit the vibe you would like to achieve. E.g. a medical practice would have calm, peaceful and reassuring music to comfort a distressed caller, while a bowling alley would have some fun and upbeat tunes on-hold to get the caller excited about the activity ahead. Other factors you could consider is the general demographic of your callers and customers. This can include age and the geographical location of the caller.

2. How long are your Caller Wait times?

Studies have shown that the perceived time wait time to speak to someone on the phone is on average 2.5 times longer than the actual time spent on the call. The purpose of music on hold is to reduce the callers perception of wait time, resulting in an enjoyable and positive customer experience . It’s best to avoid generic ambient sounds and anything too repetitive, which might further aggravate a caller. The longer the caller wait time, the less repetitive your on-hold content needs to be.

3. Music Serves the Message

Lastly, as a brand, you need a music track unique for your business to demonstrate that you care how the business is represented. Showcasing everyday-hits on the radio for music on hold is a big no no; you will be accruing a huge amount of dollars in royalties/composer fees before you know it. You also wouldn’t want to record a royalty-free music track directly into your phone –  as a result of doing this, the quality would deteriorate. When you get the right music with the right audio file format for your phone system – its GUARANTEED to be appealing to your customers when they are waiting to talk to you.  

McGirvanmedia Music Library

McGirvanmedia Audio Solutions has over 200 music tracks suitable for corporate use – ranging from Laidback and Uptempo to Australiana and Rock genres. We also recommend adding marketing voice messages to your on-hold branding; it’s a great opportunity to advertise your services and products, which will give your callers a focus, making them fully aware of what you are all about. Check out our audio library and have a listen for yourself.

Contact us today and we’ll be able to suggest some great musc…PLUS voice content to complement your brand, so we can produce and supply the full package for your business.

Call us today on 1800 777 428 or email us at enqiries@mcgirvanmedia.com.au

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