On Hold Messages Made Easy

On Hold Messages: Hotels and Motels, B&B’s and Campsites

Hotel RoomHow to write an On Hold Message: Accommodation Providers

As an accommodation provider, hotel, motel, B&B, camping site etc, you’re in a busy industry that can quite easily place callers on hold for extended periods of time. Obviously this isn’t your prime goal and you’d like to avoid it if at all possible. But you may be surprised how often the on hold function on your phone comes into play, even if you’re totally focussed on customer service. When you need to check a caller’s booking, taking deliveries from the courier at the counter, transferring callers to other lines that don’t pick up immediately and a dozen other daily tasks, all these very common daily activities can make you reach for your on hold button often.

Now what your potential guests hear at these times is totally up to you. The options are pretty open, from plain old silence, maybe some bell-type muzac that comes with your system, your favourite radio station, a cd from your collection, or an on hold message. Literally any audio source you can plug into the input jack of your phone. It’s pretty obvious what we’d recommend and I can honestly say that’s not just for personal interest.

Any of the ones I just mentioned comes with a bit of baggage. Some may require specific licences to use and if your taste in tunes is out there or you just play silence on your line, research shows your callers aren’t going to hang around for too long.
So that’s why here at On Hold Messages Australia – we recommend you put some thought into this golden opportunity you’ve been presented. Spend a moment and think about how you can focus your on hold time to best communicate to your callers. To provide them with some benefit while they wait in a planned, effective and consistent manner. And no matter whether you run a 5 star hotel or a quaint B & B by the sea, you rely on that positive impression you present to attract new and return guests.

They Probably Know About You

Now I’d think by the time your potential guests are on the phone to, they will have already formed a rough mental picture of what they imagine their holiday with you will be like. Whether they want an adventure, romance, exploration, relaxation whatever, it is now up to you to splash more colour and substance onto that canvas that they’ve created and flesh it out with amazing things that they may not yet be aware of. Your on hold message lets you do this effortlessly to a motivated, captive audience as they await your return to their call.
Ok then, so what sort of things should you include in your message? Firstly, keep in mind how most on hold messages are structured – usually with a bit of information, bit of a gap and then another paragraph and so on. It’ll probably run for about a few, maybe four or five minutes and then loop back to that start. That gives you about six thirty second marketing opportunities, with a ten second gap between them. So you can cover a fair amount in that time. Like what?

What should you include in your On Hold Message?

Well we don’t want to spend this time relating too much of the obvious things people naturally expect you to offer but covering some of the basics would be beneficial. If you think ahead you can maybe cover these things in a single paragraph. Communicate things like your exact location, how to find you. Where guests’ can park when they arrive, how you prefer your bookings or payments to be made, when reception is open and what help they can get from there and the like.
But along with the basics now’s the time to tell them about:

Any offers or deals you currently have running and any additional services you may provide that they wont already be aware of.
The unique features of your accommodation and the great service you provide that they may not know about
Do you offer any guided tours?
Do you provide any discounts with local tour operators?
What about an airport shuttle service?
Corporate and function facilities, group discounts and so on.
Any beneficial information you can offer will go a long way towards removing any doubts they may have about coming to your place and help to make up their minds for them.
If your website covers all these things and more, point them towards it with a simple “you’ll find all this information and more at www.mysite.com”
What suggestions or advice can you give?
Can you pre-empt any frequently asked questions?
What’s the weather like around this time of year?
What things should they remember to pack to get the most out of their stay?
Tell your potential guests about the variety of activities on offer in your area, what places of interest would you recommend and at what time of year?
You could mention the wide range of dining options available in town, maybe even mentioning a few menu items at your favourite spot,
What about your own restaurant, what’s your chef’s specialty if you have one?
Talk about anything that highlights the attractiveness and uniqueness of your location, the things that set you apart from your competition.
What amenities do you have on site? “Bring your tennis racket or hire one at reception”.
What amazing history does your place share?
Anyone famous stayed there recently?
Do you have a couple of lovable bullmastiffs that welcome every arrival with wagging tails?
Personalise yourself in the callers mind.

Paint that picture and make them feel that holiday spirit before they arrive.

You can also mention any community involvement you have? Do you play in a team in the local comp? Are you involved in community programs or offer local craft, food or other such classes?

Let’s not forget any awards you have been presented? I’d love to get the reassurance that your rooms have the softest beds in the region, or the best onsite facilities according to a leading induatry body. Of course you don’t want to spend too much time blowing your own trumpet, but the occasional reference to your achievements is totally acceptable. Just do it in a non-abrasive humble manner and you’ll be fine.

Sell the Sizzle

As an accommodation provider, you’re not just selling a room, you are selling an experience and an On Hold Message can play a key part in communicating that – before your guests even arrive. It’s all theatre of the mind. Reassuring your guests of the value you offer.
To sum up things then, if you put a little effort and forethought into it, you can have full confidence that when you press that on hold button on your phone system, your callers are going to feel respected, that you value their time enough to provide excellent tips and thought out content that they can derive immediate benefit from. And leave them with a very fine impression of yourself.

When used well, an on hold message:
Enhances your image.
Ensures your guests are well aware of your key points.
Upsells your guests to other services you provide.
Answers commonly asked questions.
Sets your clients’ minds at ease – reassuring them they’ve come to the right place.
As an accommodation provider, you work hard to build a trusting relationships with your guests, which should be reinforced in everything you do … including your on hold messages. If you include some of the things we mentioned, it certainly will.

Conclusion

Use your on hold message to provide informative, motivating and reassuring information that will bridge the gap and communicate on a balanced level. Your professionalism over time builds trusting relationships with your callers, one which should be reinforced in everything you do … including your on hold messages. If you include some of the things we mentioned, it certainly will.
We hope you’ve found this information of value in helping you plan and write your on hold marketing successfully.

If you’d like any more information or have any questions, please contact us anytime – here at On Hold Messages Australia – we’d be happy to help out more.