Best on-hold messaging service of 2023

woman using a phone in the office
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best on-hold messaging services make it simple and easy to keep your customers happy when you have to queue them in your phone system.

Many business phone systems offer the option to record your own messages for customers on hold. This is especially the case with full-scale Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). However, it's inevitable that a lot of businesses would prefer to have a customized message and answering service that sounds as professional as possible, and even better, fits in closely with their brand.

After all, customers who have to make a phone call to a business don't want to be put on-hold, so if your business has to do this you need to make the experience as painless and effective as possible. That means encouraging the caller to remain on the line as an agent really will speak to them soon, while also ensuring that the caller is calm and reassured that their call is both valued and important to that company.

Luckily, there are a number of companies out there who can record and provide the messages you need, both in terms of optimizing your customer engagement, while ensuring you project the professionalism you want. 

After all, a customer calling your company probably has a technical problem or complaint that has already left them frustrated, so any on-hold message needs to not just state that the call is important, but express the sentiment as sincerely as possible. Additionally, on-hold messages can be tailored to support marketing activities for up-selling. 

Here therefore are the best on-hold messaging services currently available.

We've also featured the best interactive voice response (IVR) systems.

The best on-hold messaging services of 2023 in full:

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(Image credit: Spectrio)

1. Spectrio

The perfect voice for your business

Reasons to buy

Multiple voice samples
Auto-attendant and IVR
Related services

Spectrio provides on-hold messaging that is intended to enhance your customer experience, by providing the perfect voice to represent your brand and inform callers, using professional voice talent. The company also looks to ensure you have the best music to suit your customer demographics, and they can also ensure any recordings are updated with your latest promotions.

Rather than just provide audio samples, Spectrio can provide auto-attendant and IVR for automatically routing calls, and ensure customers spend less time on-hold while being routed not just to the correct department but also the first available agent that can help with their inquiry. They can provide this as an add-on to an existing VoIP solution, or provide one directly.

The company provides a number of voice and music samples on their website, which includes male or female artists, voices for digital signage, as well as provide industry samples, IVR prompts, and international voice samples for different languages to English.

Spectrio advertise that they routinely work in the automotive, finance, healthcare, hospitality, salon, and retail industries. They can also provide a number of related services, not least overhead music and messaging, Wi-Fi marketing, interactive kiosks, and even scent marketing.


(Image credit: Mood Media)

2. Mood Media

Setting the right mood for your business

Reasons to buy

Brand clients
Range of industries
Related audio services

Mood Media aims to create a positive experience with on-hold messaging, in order to reduce the number of times customers disconnect, as well as engage customers to drive additional sales through promotion of relevant products and services. The company has experience in a number of industries, not least automotive, financial, healthcare, hospitality, restaurants, retail, and salons. 

To begin the process, Mood Media creative team collaborates with the client on aims and objectives, which are put to a script. Sound designers then work with voice talent to record and master the relevant on-hold messages. Once approved by the client, the recordings are then provided.

The company provides samples of messaging, music, as well as for digital signage, and can also supply related media services such as audio for digital menu boards, TV pass through, and video walls. Mood Music can also provide audio visual equipment and maintenance, as well as sound masking to help meet industry regulations for noise levels, as well as provide quiet areas for privacy and confidentiality.


(Image credit: On Hold Messaging Direct)

3. On Hold Messaging Direct

On-hold messaging with a flat-fee

Reasons to buy

Range of audio services
Flat-rate pricing
Customer service portal

On Hold Messaging Direct is a British company that supplies audio for telephone systems, not least on-hold messaging, but also IVR prompts, greetings and after-hours messages, as well as answering machine messages.

Rather than consult on scripting and execution, they provide a self-service where clients write their own scripts, then choose between a number of voice-over and music options. Once selected, the company will record and mix the audio together, then deliver it as an audio download for use on any phone system.

Because of the self-service system, On Hold Messaging Direct is able to provide a flat-fee structure that other providers usually don't, which comes in three clear tiers. 

Other pricing plans are available, depending on the amount of voice or music work required, plus the company can provide an annual project back-up service for a small fee, so that you retain the ability to access to your recording in the event of file loss or deletion at work.

For the minimum package of 100 words, pricing starts at around $120 / £110 / AU$180.


(Image credit: OnHoldInc)

4. The Original On Hold

From on-hold messaging to video production

Reasons to buy

Free trial
Campaign management
Auto-attendant and IVR

The Original On Hold is a company that provides a range of services, including on-hold messages, auto-attendant, music for stores and businesses, as well as offering video production. Although it services brand name businesses, the company claims to offer affordable services for all size of business.

For its on-hold services, while it provides skilled copy-writers to prepare your initial script, they also encourage businesses to keep their messages fresh and updated in order to cover the latest campaign and marketing messages. Clients can update recordings and request new voice overs via an online portal, as well as track the status of orders. They also offer a free trial for their services.

Key aims of The Original On Hold company include caller retention, by providing a call-to-action to reduce customers hanging up, not least by providing cross-selling product/service opportunities. This is backed up by a general statistic that a number of on-hold companies promote that upsell through on-hold marketing information can provide a 16%-20% increase in sales from callers.

They also offer auto-attendant, IVR services, and voicemail announcements, focused on promoting professionalism and company brand to callers, and customers.

No flat-rate pricing is provided on their website, but they provide a contact form on each page for a quote.


(Image credit: OMG)

5. OMG

On-hold messages by skilled writers

Reasons to buy

60-day free trial
Related voice services
Other marketing services

OMG provide on-hold messages that aim to combine the best in sales and customer support, by providing voice recordings put together using a team of industry copywriters, professional voice talent, and marketing professionals, to create on-hold telephone messages that help make for a better experience and even help develop sales.

Aside from using skilled writers, OMG use nationally known and experienced professionals, with voice overs provided alongside licensed music. Files can be provided in .mp3, .wav, .ulaw, or other formats as required, and digital software and or hardware can be supplied as required.

The company begins the process with a consultation, followed by scripting, production, then delivery. A number of audio samples are posted to the OMG website, covering a number of industries such as automotive, legal, real estate, insurance, beauty, health and medical supplies.

The company can also provide a range of other audio services, not least voice overs for radio advertising and website sampling, as well as video, digital marketing, branding, design, and print.

For their on-hold music service, OMG offer a free 60-day trial.

We've also featured the best business phone systems.

Which on-hold messaging services is best for you?

When deciding which on-hold messaging service to use, first consider what actual needs you have. For example, decide if you need any additional services on top of on-hold messaging, or even whether your existing phone service might include what you need. Larger enterprises will probably want to look to the higher-end options for the more advanced tools that are included.

How we tested the best on-hold messaging services

To test for the best on-hold messaging services we searched for a range of popular options as well as took recommendations from people we know who use on-hold messaging services regularly. We then tried each platform to see how user-friendly each was, as well as determine what range of tools and advanced options were available. Pricing also came into account when determining our best list.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.  

Brian Turner

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.