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Culture

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Let’s talk about hold music for a second…

At MilesHerndon, we like to talk about brand touch points. Whether we’re discussing your logo, website, or collateral, it’s important that every time someone interacts with your brand, it reflects who you are and why it matters.

So why is everyone’s hold music so terrible?

In our office, we had been using the same, pre-packaged hold music that thousands of other companies use. It was bad. We hated it. Our clients hated it. The salespeople who called us hated it. Despite all that hate, however, we never changed it. Why? Because it was what everyone else does. Boring hold music is an immutable law of the universe. Don’t believe me? Just listen to the soothing sounds of Cisco’s hold music:

So let me get this straight… Cisco is worth $121 Billion and there is a popular recording artist who GOES BY THE SAME NAME, and they couldn’t figure out a way to make their hold music entertaining?

There has to be a better way.

That’s why we recorded our own hold music.

Well, let me be clear. I recorded the hold music. By myself. On my phone. With no blessing from the organization whatsoever. Then, after posting this file in Slack, Josh and Daniel decided it was extremely important that we update our hold music.

Consequently, over the past few weeks, just about everyone we’ve put on hold has ended up laughing. Several have asked to be put back on hold so they can hear the rest of the song. Others have called us and asked explicitly to be placed on hold to hear the hold music.

Personally, I like to think I’m an excellent singer. My colleagues may disagree, but the fact of the matter is that people have loved our new hold music, and it underlines an important aspect of the branding process.

Finding Unique Ways to Surprise and Delight

As much as I hate to admit it, what makes our hold music so effective isn’t my beautiful singing voice. The reason people have been clamoring for our hold music is because they were expecting something mundane and, instead, they got something unique. They were anticipating the same old, bland hold music that they hear every day from every company. Instead, they were greeted with a voice that some have described as “What would happen if the lead singer of Nickelback got drunk and gargled rocks.” 

They were surprised. They were delighted. Their call felt a little bit more important because we added that little touch.

This experience begs the question, what other mundane or tedious touch points does our brand have that we could improve? If you’re a retail store, how could you make waiting in line a little more bearable? If you’re in the B2B space and are constantly invoicing clients, how could you make the invoice a little more fun? These touch points are so small that they’re often overlooked by everyone. How can your organization find ways to surprise and delight in these small areas?

We hope you achieve all your dreams. 

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