Every brand is engaged in a race to become the champions of customer service. The call centers are spending a lot of effort in recruiting and training agents to make them sound professional and empathetic. But the customer experience starts even before they have heard the voice of an agent. It starts as soon as a call enters into the system. This is what many call centers fail to understand. They overlook the experience that pre-recorded telephone tones provide. There are many elements that can be classified in the pre-recorded telephone group such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Call Sequencers, Voice Mail, Automatic Call Distributor (ACD), on-hold players and auto attendants. All the equipments come with pre-loaded voice prompts. There is a huge array of voice prompts in each of the systems. But where the call centers fail to utilize the pre-recorded telephone environment is that they do not update the voice or message or at times the voice recorded is in an inappropriate voice, accent or pitch. So, the voice represents the brand in a poor light.
Problems with On-hold Music
Most of the modern phone systems come with an external on-hold port where the calls remain when they are on-hold or being transferred. This is when the call centers play a suitable music for the customer on-hold. The music or pre-recorded speech can be played by plugging the analogue music source to a port. The telephone systems come pre-loaded with some default jingles which can be directly used by the call centers to prevent the customers from waiting in silence. But a recent survey of customers stated that the callers liked to listen to something more relevant to their call then the music. Does that mean the call centers should allow the callers to be left in silence? No, that would not be wise; it will shoot up the abandon rates. Maybe it is time to shun the music and give the customers idea about some offers or new product launches.
The Playback Hardware
Many call centers use a typical CD player to play music to their callers. But the CD players are not designed for non-stop playing. The players typically run on a rubber band and a laser beam that tracks back and forth across CD. These CD players can breakdown with constant use and thus leaving callers in complete silence until they are fixed. With the CD players there will be a gap between the tracks and after the CD ends. This is why the CD players are not ideal sources for on-hold players in a call center. There are other digital announcers that are very reliable. These announcers range from the basic MP3 players, Multi Port Local Area Network (LAN) based devices for storing various messages, etc. There are some production houses who are dedicated to developing music and messages for the on-hold and in-queue audiences.
Ideal Items to Play
It is decided that call centers need to play music to keep their callers entertained, but what music? The music choices of every person are different from the other even when they are from the same family. So, how to select a music that keeps everyone happy? Well, you cannot make everyone happy no matter what you play, so do not think about everyone when selecting music. The first thing to playing music is getting the license. If you want to play music from the standard CDs then a Performing Right Society (PRS) license is required. The license is very easy to obtain. As mentioned before the CD players are not at all reliable, so you would ideally want to record the music on a MP3 player. This again will mean that you are mechanically altering the music piece and thus you will have to talk to Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS). This nod is hard to achieve and very expensive. So, the simplest and most affordable way to play ideal music is to select copyright free music. When choosing the copyright free music you should select with care as most of them are bland and not attractive enough.
Dispersing Marketing Messages
Advertising and marketing are the most essential tasks for a company. Often the marketing literatures that are printed by the companies have no appeal in it for the customers and thus they are ignored. Moreover, an advertisement can be overlooked and a marketing brochure can be left unread by the customers, but when they make calls to the call center they can listen and even enjoy the promotional messages while waiting to be sent to the right department. Often the messages can prove useful for the callers and it would make the customer-brand bond stronger. If there are no marketing messages then maybe you could include some answers to the commonly asked questions or ideas to help the customers in some ways. If you run a product ordering or purchase process then it would be ideal to inform the customers to get their credit card and other essentials ready at hand.
There are many companies which have the voice recordings done in a unique manner. They create a personification for the brand and decide on the type of voice that would suit best. Then there is a competition launched and the lucky winner, among the employees, gets a chance to record his/her voice for the brand. The only problem in this arrangement is that there is no back-up plan once the employee leaves. This is why it is much better to have the voice recorded from a voice artist in a perfect studio.
Hope, selecting an on-hold music or message would not be a problem for you. It is essential that best technology is used to create a great first impression.