Hold, Please: Agency Creates Pain-Free Music For Phone Waits

The average hold time for a caller to the Seattle-based agency Creature is 38 seconds. The agency decided to become its own client and create customized music with a more upbeat tempo. The bad news: no more napping while you wait. The good news: you're subjected to hold music that moves your body.

"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. "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. At any rate, I challenged the creative department to come up with a solution."

It took a week to create the two songs heard here -- definitely an upgrade from Creature's prior hold tunes of elevator music that came with the agency's Cisco IP 7941 phone system.

The first track, "This Next Telephone Conversation," gives amusing scenarios that might happen during said 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. My favorite line: "if you want to bring 'em, we won't fight 'em, we love all your promotional items." I'd be laughing if I was on hold and that song came on.

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.

2 comments about "Hold, Please: Agency Creates Pain-Free Music For Phone Waits".
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  1. Tim Orr from Barnett Orr Marketing Group, Inc., January 3, 2011 at 3:51 p.m.

    OK, I'll bite: Why exactly do people have to wait 38 seconds (on average) to be connected to someone? Seems like a mighty long time. Presumably, about half the callers get connected in less time, but half must wait even longer than that.

  2. Mickey Lonchar from Quisenberry, January 3, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.

    I agree with @Tim. If the agency is indeed representing itself as a "client," the first thing you tell that client is to cut the wait times. You don't jump in and rearrange deck chairs.

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