But let’s face it, sooner or later, everyone has to put a customer or two on hold. And what those customers hear while they’re waiting can leave a lasting impression:
Classical: You’re safe and trustworthy, albeit a little boring. Fine for a traditional brand, but if you’re a hip boutique hotel or an electronics manufacturer, you may want to spice things up.
Smooth Jazz: You’re safe, boring, and stuck in the 70′s. Lose the polyester getup, jump in your time machine and join your competitors in 2011.
Techno/Electronica: This genre is really on the fence and depends largely on the particular tune you’re using. Most royalty-free electronica is pretty cheesy and makes your brand sound like it’s trying soooo hard to be hip. But sometimes you can find a gem in those stock libraries. Rule of thumb: run it by a few music enthusiasts at your company who are the same age as your target audience. If it doesn’t get by them, it’s time to pick something different.
Rock: While the rock you listen to in your car can generate a certain feeling of bad-assedness (especially for Gen Xers and older), stock rock most definitely does not have the same effect. Quite the opposite, in fact. It might work for a retirement community or a hospital. Other than that, consider another genre.
New Age: Unless you’re a spa, a palm reader or a peyote dealer, avoid this at all costs. Period.
Is there another genre you use that you don’t see on the list? Let me know. And in the meantime, check the volume on your hold music. I had to sit through 30 excruciating minutes waiting for an All-State Insurance rep the other day with the phone held about a foot away from my ear. This should never, ever happen.
Customers are already annoyed that they have to be on hold. Keep your music low and tolerable, and the annoyance factor magically drops. Play it loud and obnoxious, and you may just have one less customer.