What’s wrong with you? Find out on hold

On-hold entertainment has reached epically bad proportions. Like a disease inflicting poor taste on unsuspecting ears.

Example: Call the doctor’s office, and you are treated to friendly sounding voices waxing poetic about every type of virus, disease or health malady ready to topple your body and wreak havoc on your family’s health.

Why on earth would a doctor’s office choose to inflict fear as marketing? Someone told them it was smart. That someone was woefully wrong. And the office should know better. How often do you meet people who can tell you about their impending health problems with a gleam in their eye and the enthusiasm of a happy dolphin?

How many shots can a person get?

I’d like to suggest a different approach, a healthier hold time. How about some silence? It’s good for the mind and the body. And it leaves people to think about the reason they called, so the two of you can have a nice to-the-point conversation.

Another example: Century Link bombards callers with a non-stop barrage of on-hold advertisements. I’m calling about phone service, but I learn about DirectTV (I have no television), high-speed internet (I have cable), cellular service (got that). So they are attempting to sell services I don’t need by annoying me to death? And bonus! It’s on a forever repeating loop. I guess I could call at night were I prone to loneliness.

Again, silence would be better marketing. Or maybe some nice music. All I want to do when I encounter bad on-hold entertainment is hang up and call someone else.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

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