Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director at PHMG, examines how the caravan industry can use hold time and audio branding to their advantage.
Poor call handling doesn’t sit well with the British public.
Whether faced with a bad attitude or an unprofessional manner, a negative telephone experience can impact on a company’s profitability. Research of 1,000 consumers by PHMG discovered 73 per cent of respondents wouldn’t do repeat business with an organisation if their first call wasn’t handled to satisfaction.
Yet employee behaviour can be easily rectified. Telephone training and providing a set of best-practice guidelines ensures callers are met by a polite voice who is happy to help with whatever query they may have.
However, it’s not just staff conduct that can be off-putting. Very few people give consideration to the positive effect audio branding can have on an organisation and how using the wrong sounds can prove detrimental.
Sitting on hold in an automated queue is frustrating for customers. It’s unengaging, uninspiring and listener boredom can lead to hang-ups.
Using generic sounds won’t work either, nor will a piece of commercial music. People involuntarily attach feelings to a popular song so how they will react can’t be predicted. Some may love the track, while it may cause others to put the phone down.
The problem businesses face, however, is that putting callers on hold is unavoidable. There may be times when hold time is the only option, such as when documents aren’t to hand or the caller needs to be transferred to another employee.
Research by PHMG found caravan businesses leave customers on hold for an average of 32.59 seconds per call yet this doesn’t have to be an inconvenience. Instead, caravan businesses should look to create a positive experience that prevents callers from switching off.
Transforming the caller experience
For businesses operating in the caravan industry, the telephone is a key customer touchpoint and vital method of converting leads to sales.
On-hold marketing helps to improve caller retention, engaging and entertaining callers through bespoke voice and music messages played whenever they are put on hold or call outside of office hours.
The messages complement the company’s existing visual branding, helping to boost brand recognition by reinforcing the desired brand image and values. They also enhance customer service levels with PHMG research revealing the majority of Brits feel more valued if they hear tailored voice and music messages when on hold.
They also work as a subtle selling tool, advertising information like seasonal holiday offers or caravan financing plans. As well, the messages could help provide a more professional brand image by showcasing staff knowledge through advice snippets.
A golden opportunity
Whether you’re a dealer, a manufacturer or a park operator, a positive telephone experience is a necessity for business success. The caravan industry would be smart to invest in how they sound.