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How On-Hold Messaging Works


On-hold messaging services allow callers to hear information about the company while waiting for an answer.
On-hold messaging services allow callers to hear information about the company while waiting for an answer.
© Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you hate being put on hold during a phone call, you're not alone. Because of you and many others like you, businesses have developed techniques to keep your wait more interesting -- like on-hold music and on-hold messaging.

Either of these options is more pleasant than dead air and can make the wait seem shorter, but on-hold messaging offers an advantage because companies can pitch themselves or their products or services. An on-hold message can offer anything from amusing trivia to information about special events and promotions.

As the marketing and messages increase in sophistication, so has the technology that makes on-hold messaging possible. Like many other electronic functions, on-hold messaging has joined the digital age.

Gone are the eight-minute magnetic tape loops that wore out after overuse. They've been replaced by disks and MP3 files that run on CD players and digital announcers attached to the messaging port of the company's phone system. And with MP3 files, replacing a message is as easy as using the Web to download the vendor's replacement and then uploading it to the digital announcer's flash memory.

What is the concept behind on-hold messaging? Are there any problems with on-hold messaging? Let's start by seeing how marketing and customer satisfaction relate to on-hold messaging.


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