I’m on the road today visiting a client. I was just listening to Radio 4 and they had a segment about the DWP replacing their ‘hold music’.

They currently play I think it’s Vivaldi – The Four Seasons and there’s obviously an article on the news today talking about how they’ve identified that that’s causing some stress and anxiety. So they’re going to be replacing that with something more calming and soothing which is great.

However, having to put a customer on hold is the result of a failure of some sort whether it’s a failure of capacity. So, you’re on hold because we don’t have enough agents to answer the call, or it could be capacity in another area so I can answer your call but I need to speak to someone in that team and I’m on hold trying to get through to a person in that team.

So, therefore, trying to get through to a person in that team. So therefore, you’re going to be on hold so another different version of capacity or it’s a failure of knowledge and learning and training where I don’t know how to handle your enquiry. So I’m going to place you on hold while I ask someone to help me with what’s going on with your account or your problem or your service.

So I think I’d rather see DWP invest in trying to resolve all those root causes and use hold time less, than looking at better hold music.

That said though, the absolute far and away the best hold music I experienced I’ve ever had, I think for a bank back in Australia and it was probably 15 years ago. I called the bank and there was an issue with my account they put me on hold and what I got instead of elevated Muzak was stand-up comedy from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Robin Williams. It was brilliant!

I was on hold for 10 minutes and I found myself in an absolute fit of laughter. So, when the agent came back on to resolve my issue, I was in terrific mood because I’ve just been laughing for the last 10 minutes. So, maybe something to think about if we’re changing hold music.