Hold the Phone Music, Please

For callers placed on hold, is bad music worse than no music at all? Research by Basking Ridge, NJ-based communications services provider Avaya found that in some cases, the sound of silence is indeed preferable to poor or inappropriate hold music. More than half of all callers on hold will hang up if the company does not provide on-hold music. Then again, they’ll also hang up if they don’t care for the tunes, according to Avaya. So what examples of “bad” or inappropriate hold music did Avaya uncover?

  • a hospital casualty unit found to be playing Chopin’s Funeral March
  • a large-size women’s apparel marketer playing Queen’s “Fat-Bottomed Girls”
  • a catalog company playing “Hanging on the Telephone” by Blondie

One company advised its callers that their call would be answered shortly. Callers were then played the chorus from Elton John’s “Rocket Man”: “I think it’s going to be a long, long time….”

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