Choose the Right On-Hold Music to Keep Customers Happy

Improving the On-Hold Experience: Forget the Sound of Silence

Research shows that most customers will become frustrated and hang up within a minute if they are waiting on hold in silence.

However, the wrong on-hold music can also irritate them. Optimum Virtual Receptionist lets you choose from pre-recorded music options to play for customers waiting to speak to the next available employee.


Nothing can frustrate a customer like being put on hold — except being put on hold in silence. Consider the results from one study1:

  • More than half of people left on hold in silence hung up within 60 seconds.
  • 27 percent of those people thought they'd been hanging on the line for more than 5 minutes!
  • When people listened to soothing music on hold, only 13 percent hung up.
  • None of the people listening to music thought they had experienced excessive wait times.


While playing music for your customers is a good idea, the type of music you play is equally critical. A study2 in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that people on hold for a call center became angrier when they were subjected to instrumental "elevator" music.


Surprisingly, songs with pro-social lyrics — which talk about helping people — irritated callers as well.


So, what type of on-hold music works best? Standard pop with neutral lyrics that provide no social message. This not only satisfied the people on hold; call center operators, who didn't hear the music, reported they felt less emotionally exhausted when dealing with these customers.


With Optimum Virtual Receptionist, you can place callers in a queue waiting for the next available employee, rather than voice mailing, while listening to on-hold music from pre-recorded options. The service will let you to pick an option that keeps your customers happy and willing to wait a bit, which should be music to any business's ears.


To learn more about Optimum Virtual Receptionist and how we can help, call or chat today.


1 "The Impact of On-Hold Music for Improving Customer Retention," Musicworks(

2 "Can Music With Prosocial Lyrics Heal the Working World?" May 2015, Journal of Applied Social Psychology(

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