If you're like most businesses you spend a lot of time and money making sure your business is professional. You do your best to be knowledgeable about whatever it is you do. Your showroom or shop or dining room is laid out to optimize every job or order or meal you deliver. The business cards and letterhead look sharp and the staff has been instructed on the proper way to address your customers. In all that attention did you remember your phone system?
Beyond what is said when you answer the phone, what happens when you put a customer on hold. Is it silent? Is it the radio where they could hear about your competitor? Does it make the best use of that time informing that potential client about what you do? They may have called about one service you offer but didn't realize there is something else they might want to take advantage of but didn't think to ask. This is a great opportunity to tell them.
An on hold message let's the caller know that they are still connected. It doesn't take long before they begin to think they've been disconnected if all they hear is silence. Studies have shown that people hang up sooner when they are on "silent hold" and over a third of those callers don't call back . These studies have also shown that customers will utilize other services you offer if you teach them about them.
Also, research has shown that callers like an on hold message better than the radio and are less agitated when you get to the call.
In a perfect world nobody would ever be put on hold. But, since we can't get around it, why not make the best of it. You're business deserves the best.