The average hold time for callers to one Seattle, WA-based agency was 38 seconds. Executives at many companies would argue there’s nothing wrong with that, but for this group, that much wasted time wasn’t good enough—especially after complaints about the hold music were taken to heart.
“I had heard the rumors about how bad our hold music was — and so I called and asked to be put on hold and I was really embarrassed,” said Jim Haven, chief creative officer at Creature.
After this little exercise, Creature decided to become its own client and create customized music with a more upbeat tempo. The bad news: no more napping while customers wait. The good news: now customers are treated to hold music that gets them moving their bodies.
“You spend so much time talking to people on your cell phones, you kind of forget about the main phone number and that to many people it’s the gateway,” Haven states. “At any rate, I challenged the creative department to come up with a solution.”
It took a week to create two songs—upgrades from Creature’s prior hold tunes of elevator music that came with the company’s Cisco IP 7941 phone system.
The first track, “This Next Telephone Conversation,” gives amusing scenarios that might happen during a telephone conversation. For example: “This next telephone conversation will not be brought to you by the YouTubes, the Interwebs and will not ask you to ‘just do it’… This next telephone conversation may be your chance to share your real three wishes.” The second track celebrates agency life by featuring shout-outs to project managers, vendors, and their promotional items.
The hold music was mentioned on Creature’s blog and in a series of tweets. “I think as we add more songs we’ll put out a ‘Songs to Hold By’ album, which we might promote more vigorously,” said Haven.