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Well-known music is most liked by waiting callers with 11% saying they may wait longer. 28% say music that Phone System Music may make them hang up

New Research by ICM for soh shows Well-known music is most liked by waiting callers with 11% saying they may wait longer. 28% say music that Phone System Music may make them hang up.

Service communications experts soh asked market researchers ICM to find out what customers like to hear whilst waiting for their calls to be answered.

ICM asked over 2000 consumers for their opinions on a range of non-message options including several types of original artist music such as 'Well-known popular music from the last year', 'Well-known classical music' and ‘Well-known popular music from any period’. Other things that callers often hear whilst waiting such as 'News', 'Music by unknown artists', 'Classical music' 'Telephone system music', 'Silence' and 'Ring tones' were also included.

The option that was liked by most people was 'Well-known popular music from any period'. This was closely followed by 'Well-known classical music' and 'Well-known music from the last year'.

11% of people also said that ‘Well-known popular music from any period’ would not only make their wait more acceptable but may make them wait a little longer.

Talking about the problems that Christmas presents for businesses, and their calling customers, Rob Smale, Professional Services Director at soh, says: "Christmas is the busiest time for many call centres and staffing over the holidays can be a real problem. As a consequence customers are often asked to wait that bit longer.”

“Organisations should try to make any wait as good as it can be – it makes good business sense too. An experience that’s well thought through means callers are less disgruntled when they do get through, something that may help them to keep their customers. For sales lines it may also mean less lost revenue as fewer callers will hang up before they speak with someone,” says Smale.

Commenting on the results of the research Smale says: “In simple terms what the Top 3 means is music from the likes of Elvis Presley, Luciano Pavarotti and Katy Perry. But, businesses shouldn’t run away with the idea that they can play any well-known music. They need to think about whether a track is right taking into account factors such as their brand, customers’ reasons for calling, wait times, demographics and messages – something that our research also shows can be very popular.”

The survey also asked consumers what they didn't like to hear, and what may make them hang up.
'Silence' was top of this list at 49%. But, music that often comes free with phone systems was next with 28% of respondents saying that they may abandon their call because of it.

Talking about how soh makes it easy for organisations to make well-known music work for them, Smale goes on to say: “Since MUSICLINE joined us we’re now unique in that we’re authorised by PPL to collect licence fees on behalf of performing artists and blend their music with messages. We also have a music psychologist who chooses the most appropriate tracks. We make it simple for small organisations, as well as big contact centres such as Virgin Media and EE, to use the power of well-known music on their phone lines.”

More information about the research can be found on soh’s web site.

Notes to editors on the research
ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,005 adults aged 18+ in GB, online between 10th-12th October 2014. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at

About soh
Using a mix of service know-how, consumer insight and creativity soh helps the world’s leading companies including Virgin Media, British Airways and Barclaycard to keep their customers, sell more and reduce costs by making their audio, written and conversational communications work harder.
soh - service communications experts.
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For Additional Information:
Martin Blacher, Head of Research
Direct Line: 07899 941672

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