Have you ever been put on hold when calling a customer care number to make an important enquiry or report a complaint, while the voice on the other line gets replaced by a jarring tune? Been irritated by it? Has it made you feel reassured, or even comforted? Like it or not, all of us have sometime or the other experienced ‘hold music’ as it is called, or music that callers have to listen to while they wait in a queue to get connected to a representative or agent, or when an agent puts them on hold. There are several theories about how hold music helps—or hinders—the calling process, making it smooth in some cases, or more frustrating in others. While many believe in its benefits—increasing caller retention, helping calm agitated people down, and giving callers an emotional boost—others feel it has a reverse effect, and could in some cases, even aggravates a bad situation further. So, what’s the right kind of hold music for a company to use? Muzak? Country? Pop? Rock? We decided to ask some seasoned musicians themselves what they think about hold music, and noted some of their choices about what they feel is best to play while one waits on a call. Juris Klavins, a young musician from Bulgaria, says that background music played during the delivery of services does not infuriate him and in fact, can perform multiple functions—for example, playing classical music at metro stations during late hours has shown to reduce crime rates and create a more enjoyable experience for the public. “Hold music has the inherent capacity to improve the quality of customer service and thereby, the overall goodwill and impression of a company,” he says. As per the choice of music, Klavins elaborates that it is important for an enterprise or service to choose a genre that is relevant to its business. “I imagine that the last thing a customer wants when put on hold is to be subjected to silly attempts to create a false impression. That would be irritating,” he adds. Some of Klavins’ top recommendations that could be applied in a multitude of instances include “Blue in Green (Take 3)” by Bill Evans, “Arpeggione Sonata” by Franz Schubert, “Life” by Ludovico Einaudi and “Cello Suite no 6, Prelude” by J S Bach. He also recommends another popular relaxing ballad “Autumn Leaves” which he feels could be performed by any of the most notable jazz musicians such as Chet Baker or Miles Davis. Grammy-nominated Indian-American singer-songwriter Falguni Shah’s music blends classical Indian with contemporary western. She too feels that hold music—of the Beethoven kind—is soothing to listen to when put on hold by a teleservices company. Her top recommendations when calling to book an appointment is music by Mozart, and Bach for when calling to complain about something. “A two-minute clip of the composition ‘Rabba’ from my first album FALU would also make for some great hold music,” she adds. Seventh generation musician from the treasured Etawa [...]
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