Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of the questions we’re most frequently asked. If your question is listed, click on the question and it will take you to our answer. Or feel free to call, email, or chat with us at your convenience.

Considerations For Music On Hold (5)

What’s the average length of the musical interludes in a Message On Hold program?

On average, 10 to 15 seconds of music plays between each message. Keep your audience in mind: musical breaks that are too long are boring, but too much messaging is overwhelming. In most cases, 10 to 15 seconds is just right.

Why can’t I play the radio or CD’s to my callers on hold?

It is illegal to play copyrighted music for commercial use (which includes your on hold programming) without paying royalties. Music provided by Holdcom use is royalty free because Holdcom licenses it for Message On Hold usage.

There are many common myths and misunderstandings about music licensing. We’ve compiled a list to help you make the right decision about legally licensed music – click here to read more.

Can I use the music of my favorite artist/band/performer as the background to my Message On Hold program?

In short, no. Music played to callers on hold must be licensed for this type of use. By playing unlicensed music, legal action can be taken against your business. The music in Holdcom’s vast library is fully licensed for Message On Hold usage.

This strict synchronization and performance licensing ensures all parties are legally protected.

How many different music themes can I have on my Message On Hold program?

For the typical 4-minute on hold message, we recommend no more than 2 music themes. Having too much variation in music can distract your audience. Longer programs can accommodate more music themes. To sample our music, please visit our production music library.

How do I know if I have Message On Hold capability?

Almost all phone systems* manufactured today have Message On Hold capability, but to determine exactly what you have before your purchase a Message On Hold system, it is best to check with your phone system vendor.

*This does not include phones purchased off the shelf at office supply stores such as Staples and Officemax. For the most part, these phones do not have the Message On Hold capability built-in. Add-ons are available for some models but their functionality can be problematic or inconvenient for the user. The best course of action is to upgrade to either a basic key phone system or one of the new virtual phone systems, for which Holdcom is a key audio production supplier. Contact Us for more information.

Creating And Updating My Message On Hold Program (11)

What’s the average length of the musical interludes in a Message On Hold program?

On average, 10 to 15 seconds of music plays between each message. Keep your audience in mind: musical breaks that are too long are boring, but too much messaging is overwhelming. In most cases, 10 to 15 seconds is just right.

How can I judge if the program is effective?

As an essential component of your marketing and customer service efforts, Message On Hold will reinforce your organization’s message in other mediums. Its effectiveness can be judged by satisfied callers, ready to do business. Often, our clients report that their Message On Hold programs informs their callers about products, services, or promotions that the callers were previously unaware of.

Can we incorporate one of our voices into our Message On Hold programs?

Yes. Holdcom can readily incorporate client supplied audio components (with permission and licensing) into its Message On Hold programs. Upon request, we can include messages from CEOs and Presidents, company jingles, radio excerpts, television ads, or any other existing content.

For the best results, we recommend a studio recording of your representative’s voice. If needed, we can also arrange remote voice recording via telephone or smartphone app. Most often, a “special message from the CEO/President” will be a component of an on hold program, with the remaining messages recorded by one of our professional voice talents. This maintains a “spokesperson” approach and creates a distinction between standard content and the CEO’s announcement.

How difficult is it to make changes in my program?

Changes can be made quickly and easily. Your Client Relations representative will work with your Script Consultant to create scripts that reflect your changing needs and situations. Our specialized Message On Hold equipment features advanced technology that expedites the updating process.

How often should I change the content of my on hold program?

Your Message On Hold content should be updated in conjunction with changing information at your company. These changes might include marketing efforts, customer service strategies, policies, promotions, or other news.

Working with Holdcom to keep your program up to date is easy. Just tell your Client Relations Representative and Script Consultant the information and they’ll revise your script. They can replicate your advertising from newspaper or television ads, follow your social media updates, and check your website.

If you use social media to promote your business or have a newsletter, make sure your Client Relations representative and Script Consultant are on the distribution lists, so they can be sure to include any relevant content.

How do I know if I have Message On Hold capability?

Almost all phone systems* manufactured today have Message On Hold capability, but to determine exactly what you have before your purchase a Message On Hold system, it is best to check with your phone system vendor.

*This does not include phones purchased off the shelf at office supply stores such as Staples and Officemax. For the most part, these phones do not have the Message On Hold capability built-in. Add-ons are available for some models but their functionality can be problematic or inconvenient for the user. The best course of action is to upgrade to either a basic key phone system or one of the new virtual phone systems, for which Holdcom is a key audio production supplier. Contact Us for more information.

How do I keep my program current?

Holdcom continuously monitors usage and content, and provides update reminders from your Client Relations representative and your Script Consultant.

To keep the information in your program current, you should review your script whenever your business has updated policies or procedures, new promotions or special offers, or changing customer service strategies.

How many different voices can I have on my Message On Hold program?

Although most clients select just one voice talent to read their entire script, some choose two voices for a more interesting finished product. The most common choice is to have both a male and female read the script in an alternating format.

How long can my script be?

A typical Message On Hold program is 4 minutes long. Because a voice over talent typically reads between 100 and 112 words per minute, the script for a four-minute program can be up to 400 words, allowing for four to six paragraphs or messages, interspersed by brief intervals of music. Longer audio storage and program lengths are available if necessary.

Who writes the script?

A script is the product of your message and our expertise. A Message On Hold program is more than a script with words and music, it reflects your marketing objectives, current advertising and promotions, dedication to customer service, and long-term goals. When it’s time to write your script, you have two choices: You can use your knowledge of your business to write your own script or provide your information to one of our Script Consultants who will do the writing and send the copy to you for final approval.

Who Is My Contact?

Every client is assigned a personal Script Consultant as well as a Client Relations representative

General FAQs (3)

What is the difference between Message On Hold and Voice Prompts for my telephone system?

Message On Hold is the narration accompanied by music that callers hear when they are on hold or in queue. It is an audio program that continuously loops and the caller is dropped into it and out of at random.

Voice Prompts are specific announcements that provide options for callers to navigate a phone system to obtain audio information or ultimately reach a live person. They are generally not accompanied by music.

Can you record programs using voice overs in different languages?

Yes. Holdcom has full multilingual production capabilities. We can record virtually any language you require, and if necessary, we have full translation services available.

If you don’t see the language you need on our voice talent roster, please contact us to discuss your needs, and we’ll get you the right voice for your project.

Why should my business invest in professional audio for marketing, customer service, or multimedia?

Audio marketing services provided by companies like Holdcom, including Message On Hold, Voice Prompt Production, and Website Audio, provide extremely high ROI (Return on Investment).This is because they reach a targeted, highly motivated audience: customers who have reached out to your company, your industry, or your type of services.

Audio is an extremely accessible and compelling medium that allows businesses to reach and influence potential customers like no other platform available, at extremely affordable rates. In a difficult economy (to paraphrase), Message On Hold and Web Audio, “are the marketing services you (seek and) keep.”

Professional audio can make a major difference if you’re producing videos, eLearning applications, and interactive digital content. It will help differentiate your business and send the right message loud and clear to your clients.

Overhead Music FAQs (13)

Can music play more than one zone of my store or facility at a time?

Yes. The App is capable of creating two completely distinct audio zones – with music and/or messages on each zone.

Do you require an Agreement?

Yes. All music is provided using underlying agreements to maintain compliance with U.S. and international copyright law. Our agreement is your verification to the Performance Rights Organizations (ASCAP and BMI). Your complete satisfaction is our goal.

Is this Royalty-Free Music? Are the music royalties included with my subscription?

Our solution maintains strict compliance with U.S. copyright law. Royalties are included for the purpose of ambient music and telephone on-hold music. We offer ALL Major Labels and thousand of songs by Independent Label Artists.

Can you help me make music playlists for my business?

Yes we can. Our overhead music solution come pre-programmed with professionally designed playlists that you can use as is, modify, or blend with additional playlists. Plus, our audio producers will use their experience working with sound to help you create unique playlists perfect for your clientele.

Music programming expertise is on stand-by to help you whenever you ask.

Do you install audio systems for business?

We use a network of Independent Audio Installers across the United States to help you with audio system installation.

Do I need an overhead audio system?

Yes. We provide background music content that plugs into your music amplifier or stereo receiver using a standard RCA connection.

Can my employees change the background music while I’m gone?

No. Only the Account owner, with secure ID and password, can make updates.

How fast can I hear my overhead music and announcement updates?

You can hear your programming changes (e.g. changing music, adding new messages) automatically in less than one hour!

Do you require a ”programming request” to change music?

No way! Using your on-line account, you are in 100% control 24/7/365 of all music and message playback. We’re here if you need advice or help.

Can I use a ”home stereo” or basic receiver to amplify my over head music in my business?

Yes. The output from our solution is in mono format. Just let us know you’re using stereo when you order and we’ll include a free signal-splitter to provide content for both stereo channels.

How Does Holdcom’s Overhead Music Solution Deliver ROI?

There are a number of ways that the Holdcom overhead music solution pays for itself. First and foremost, it enhances the shopping experience: customers will enjoy being in your store, and they will spend more time shopping. Your customers become a captive audience, exposed to your advertising and promotional messages delivered to them at scheduled intervals, creating buying incentives.

What Differentiates Holdcom’s Ambient Music Solution?

Holdcom’s solution stands out in three main areas:

  • First is our Philosophy. We believe 100% in the self-directed consumer. We’re not about telling you what you should have, we’re about helping you get what you want. Our role is to give you the best toolset on the planet to make that happen.
  • Second is Technology. Our Internet-based software gives you a combination of control and ease-of-use you won’t believe.
  • The third is Approach. No gimmicks. No nickel and dime add-ons. Just a great product at a fair price.

Do you handle large, multilocation system roll-outs of business music services?

Yes. No matter what the size of your business, we have a solution for you.

Technology (5)

Why does Holdcom use digital systems for Message On Hold?

Experience shows that only a solid-state digital announcer will provide the reliability and maintenance free operation necessary to take full advantage of our Message On Hold communication services. Consumer mp3 and CD Players are not built or designed for continuous play like Message On Hold digital players.

Will repeat callers hear the same message every time they’re placed on hold?

In most cases, they will not. Since a Message On Hold program is a continuous loop, repeat callers will hear different parts of the program. However, over time, repeat callers will hear the same message, which is why it is important to keep your messages current and fresh.

Does the message start at the beginning every time someone is placed on hold?

Most often, no. Your program is a continuous loop that is always playing. A person put on hold enters the message at the moment they are put on hold. Our scripts are structured to create a positive on hold experience at virtually any point of entry.

Certain VOiP systems allow for or require that the Message On Hold program starts at the beginning every time a caller is put on hold, but this is subject to system configuration. You should contact your phone vendor or IT department for more information.

Will programs play through my entire telephone system?

It depends upon your system’s setup and capabilities. The program you create can be heard by whatever lines are served by the music on hold port. To be sure about which lines will hear the message you create, you should contact your IT department or phone vendor.

How do I know if I have Message On Hold capability?

Almost all phone systems* manufactured today have Message On Hold capability, but to determine exactly what you have before your purchase a Message On Hold system, it is best to check with your phone system vendor.

*This does not include phones purchased off the shelf at office supply stores such as Staples and Officemax. For the most part, these phones do not have the Message On Hold capability built-in. Add-ons are available for some models but their functionality can be problematic or inconvenient for the user. The best course of action is to upgrade to either a basic key phone system or one of the new virtual phone systems, for which Holdcom is a key audio production supplier. Contact Us for more information.

Vanity Number FAQs (5)

Why Do I Need A Vanity Number?

A toll-free vanity number simply is a versatile marketing tool. With a good vanity number provider like Primary Wave Media, you will find a number that is perfect for your company.

Some companies ask you what you think is the best vanity number for your advertising needs. As one of the best vanity number providers, we will help you find the very best local vanity number for your company.

1-800-FLOWERS inform consumers that this company sells flowers and it provides them with an easy-to-remember toll-free telephone number to call when they want to send a gift. As your vanity number provider we find a number that fits all your company needs.

What is a bad vanity number?

1-800-592-LOAN

Numbers and letters mixed together is a called a number hybrid. Number hybrids are by far the most common mistake business owners make in choosing a toll-free vanity number. 1-800-592-LOAN is not nearly as valuable as 1-877-GET-A-LOAN. People can more easily remember words than numbers. A hybrid quickly becomes 1-800-something-something-something “LOAN” to the potential customer. A hybrid might save a few dollars on the monthly fee, but over time, you’ll throw away thousands of dollars on advertising and thousands more in missed business opportunities.

How is a vanity number helpful?

There are numerous benefits and reasons for businesses to use toll-free numbers, but the bottom line is that they just work. Toll-free vanity numbers are proven to increase the response rate to any type of promotion, to increase sales and even the dollar value of each sale. They have become a necessity and requirement for any serious business in today’s highly competitive market.

What is a Good Vanity Number?

1-800-FOOT-DOC

The number 1-800-FOOT-DOC is a great vanity number because it’s easy to remember and makes use of all seven digits—and it’s clever!

What is a Vanity Number?

A vanity number is an alpha-numeric telephone number that contains a word or phrase that is memorable and communicates a message to the audience.

We hear and see hundreds of ads a day—how many do we truly remember? Everyone knows 1-800-MATTRES and their slogan, “Leave off the last S for savings.” Why? The number tells us exactly what the company sells, lets us know that the product is affordable, and gives us an easy, quick way to get in touch—with an unforgettable toll-free vanity number.

Voice Prompts (14)

Can Voice Prompts be recorded in more than one language?

Yes.  Voice Prompts can be translated and recorded in multiple languages to accommodate multi-lingual requirements.

Can you provide translation of English into a foreign language?

Yes, with additional fee for translation.

Can you put music on a Voice Prompt?

Yes, however, we recommend not including music with voice prompts since it can distract from verbal content vital for navigation and other informative purposes.  And, since music is usually associated with MOH programs when a call is placed on hold, its presence within an auto-attendant menu could be confusing.  That being said, it’s your choice, and we can provide voice prompts with music.

How do I know if I press the keypad that it will send callers to a certain department?

Consult your phone system provider to determine if your phone system has this feature.

What is a voice prompt?

An audio file consisting of a voice recording that provides greetings, menu options, directions, and other informational messages within a telephone voice processing system.  Voice prompts can be complete sentences, phrases, or individual words, usually designed to help callers navigate and access destinations and information within a phone system.  

How do I know how many files I need?

Each Menu and Sub Menu is a file.  For example, the following is a “Main Menu” consisting of several options:

Thank you for calling ABC Company.

For Sales, press 1

For Customer Service, press 2

For the operator, press 0.

After you press 2 for Customer Service, a “Sub Menu” would repeat the process with additional options:

You have reached the Customer Service Department.

For Sally Smith, press 1.

For Roger Smith, press 2.

To return to the Main Menu, press 3.

What is IVR?

Interactive Voice Response.  IVR is a telephony technology that can read a combination of touch tone and voice input.  IVR uses voice prompts to provide callers’ with instructions and directions for accessing information via phone.

How do Voice Prompts get into my phone system?

Usually this requires assistance from your phone system provider, depending on how accessible and user-friendly your phone may be.  Voice Prompts can be “installed” in several ways…usually as appropriately formatted audio files copied onto a hard drive, or (for hosted telephones) uploaded to a server in the “cloud”.

What’s the difference between Voice Prompts & Auto Attendant?

Voice Prompts refer to voice recordings, whereas “Auto Attendant” is a menu-driven component of a phone system that allows a caller to interact with and navigate within the system.

Why do I need Voice Prompts?

Voice Prompts are a necessary component of an automated attendant, fulfilling the role of a live person.  They direct callers and help them navigate a phone system, prompting them as to what needs to be pressed or said to reach a desired location/extension/department.  Without voice prompts callers would have no option but to wait on hold for a live attendant.

What is a welcome greeting and what should it include?

In most cases, a welcome greeting (also referred to as a “main greeting”) thanks callers for contacting a company, and then provides a menu of options for reaching departments or individual personnel via extensions (e.g.) “Press 1 for the Sales Department”, or “If you know your party’s 3-digit extension, please enter it now.” Depending on how your system is set up, the menu can be a separate prompt.

What’s the difference between Voice Prompts and Message On Hold?

Voice prompts are the recordings that welcome callers and provide them with menu options designed to facilitate efficient and user-friendly call processing.  They allow for interactive engagement with the phone system.  Message on Hold (MOH) is the feature that delivers messages accompanied by music to callers when they are being transferred and/or placed on hold (waiting “in queue”).  Messages on hold are not prompts that require a response or action.  They are informative, promotional and useful messages that enhance the on hold experience with productive content.  Voice prompts are generally very brief in duration; MOH is an audio presentation, several minutes in length, which plays in a continuous loop to all callers waiting in queue.

How much do Voice Prompts cost?

A voice prompt project starts at $79 for a 100-word, one audio file requirement.  A project’s total word and file count impacts the purchase price.

Can you send me my Voice Prompt files from a previous order?

Yes, Holdcom is diligent in archiving everything we record for our clients.  A retrieval/delivery fee may apply, depending upon when your order was placed.

Working With Holdcom (3)

How much does a voice production cost?

Voice Production cost is based on the word count, number of prompts or files, and choice of voice talent. Productions can be as low as $79 at our online store for minimum word and prompt count. Volume discounts apply: as the word count goes up, the cost per word goes down.

Our best prices for jobs under 10 prompts can be found at our online Audio Production Store. You can also request a custom quote or contact us at 800-666-6465 to discuss your specific project.

Will someone review a script I’ve written myself?

Yes. Our team of content consultants reviews every script that is submitted. They will review your script and contact you if we have any questions about information, syntax, or pronunciation.

How long does it take to complete an audio production?

Once a script is approved or when we receive a studio-ready script, the production will be completed within three business days. Scripts that require development by our Script Consultants are created in a few days but are subject to the time required for customer feedback and approval. After approval, the three business days timeline applies. If you are working with a premium voice over talent, the timeline might be extended.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact us or explore our services.