About Melody on Hold

What do you get when you cross a musician and a corporate psychologist?  

Well, we’re not really sure what happens every time, but this time we got Melody On Hold. In our case, the musician is Henri de Barteaux and the organizational psychologist is John P. Wilson, PhD.

Henri was already an acclaimed music composer when John reached out to him after a comprehensive study conducted by his team of psychologists. The study is a result of observations based on interviews with hundreds of businesses of various sizes that led the team to the conclusion that most businesses were not utilizing their phone systems correctly.

Together they formulated their company vision and mission, which is: turning a captive audience into an engaged audience.

Turning the captive caller into a captivated caller

Having come a long way since those early days, over 15 years ago, John attributes their success to the inherent understanding that “we are producing music to a captive audience, ie the caller. You must always take this into account; your caller is calling you in the middle of a busy day with a specific task to be done. They have certain expectations regarding completing this task. They will most likely be impatient, sometimes even restless while placing their call.

John continues to explain that over 90% of common “on hold” mistakes made by businesses stem from neglecting this simple fact – your caller is captive. Imposing marketing messages, loud music, greeting messages that are way too long, centered around the business rather than focusing on the callers and their needs. All these lead to more frustration in a situation that may be negatively charged to begin with.

The secret of our success

“On hold music is an art”, says Henri. “An art that involves social correctness, a lot of psychology and a deep passion for music and sound. With this approach, our music on hold turns captive callers into engaged, captivated callers”.

The criteria of social correctness is the most basic. It’s about minding your p’s and q’s and ensuring that the on hold message does not potentially offend or frustrate callers, but on the contrary welcomes them to your company in an inviting and professional manner.    

On a more complex level, our work is also grounded in psychology and research that informs how to keep people engaged. We put ourselves in the eyes of the caller and think about what would we want to hear whilst waiting on the phone, both in relation to the music being played and the content of the on hold messages and voice prompts.

However the magic ingredient is our passion for music. With several well rehearsed ears in the studio we know how to make music sound its best over the telephone medium. Our musicians and phone announcers are able to identify whether the music or voices sound too tinny or whether the base is too fuzzy and then adjust it accordingly.

Our mission…

Is to help businesses capitalize on the full marketing potential of the telephone on hold system. It is important to realize that callers are not there to listen to music or hear about promotions, they are on the phone to perform a primary function. As a form of media, it is an excellent opportunity to enhance the telephone on hold experience making it as efficient as possible, but also as pleasant as possible.



Our mission is to help businesses capitalize on the full marketing potential of the telephone on hold system - Henri de Barteaux