top of page

GM Service Engineering Case Study


GM Service Engineering are a service-oriented company (it’s in the name!). They’re dedicated to providing support for businesses in the butchery, hospitality, packaging, processing and medical sectors – in which they have many, many years of experience.

They operate across the entire country and aim to deliver dependable after-sales support.

Their work covers breakdown repairs, servicing, scheduled maintenance, delivery, installations and/or training.

Always ready to assist, they work diligently and professionally to ensure the smooth operation of their client’s businesses.

Sounds good. But there’s always room for improvement…

The problem.

While out on the road for meetings, the director of GMSE needed to phone the office to speak with a member of the team. He was put on hold until they became available. However…

…was he really on hold? Or had the line gone dead? He couldn’t tell. There was no music. No message. No sound at all. He didn’t know whether to hang up or wait. In silence.

He was experiencing exactly what his customers were and realised that it was a problem.

It’s not often you need to phone your own company, but when you do, have a listen to the messages!

The solution.

The wall of an anechoic chamber

It’s a pretty simple one really – to replace the silence with professionally recorded on hold messages set to music.

It turned out that a few other bits and pieces were dealt with in the messaging too. We’ll get to that later.

For now, look why it's important to pay attention to your phone messaging...

  • 70% of callers will be put on hold.

  • 60% hang up when there's no message/music.

  • 34% of those callers won't ring back.

  • 90% of callers hang up after 40 seconds (this shows the importance of engaging messages).

  • 30% of customers who hear on hold marketing messages make a purchase of that product or service.

Noise from a TV screen

Bonus points will be awarded for those of you that got the links between the text and the images. Take up crosswords.


Working with the client we came up with a script that not only wasn’t silent (obviously) but also covered:

  • An alternative method of contact.

  • GMSE office hours.

  • Company background and information (on-hold marketing).

  • Christmas opening hours and dates.

While the script was being finalised, I sent across 10 pieces of music for the client to choose from. They picked one that suited them both professionally and from a branding perspective.

The first thing I do for a recording session is warm up. But I won’t bore you with that here. Plus it looks ugly.

The next thing I do is go over the script and break it down. But I won’t bore you with that here.


I look for important information so I can give it more emphasis. I look for places to speed up or slow down to increase engagement. I look for places to pause to add weight to what comes next. I look for places to make tonal changes. I think about who it’s for (both my client and their clients). I do… other stuff.

Here’s a clip of me recording the script in my Kube vocal booth. Voicing it twice or sometimes three times covers me for any errors I make that I don’t notice when I’m in the booth. Also, one take may just sound better than another. It gives me licence to chop sentences from one and put it in the other to make an improvement to the end product.

Once I’m happy with the performance and edit of the voice track, I’ll bring in the music. It’s not a case of just layering it underneath. It needs to come down in volume when the voice is there. Go back up when it isn’t. I look to match the voice with transitions or crescendos or decrescendos in the music. And depending on the length of the track I might need to find a place where I can give it a seamless loop. 

Hmm, it almost seems like voiceover isn’t just buying a microphone and talking into it in a cupboard.


GMSE now give off a more professional, informative and engaging (pun intended) image on their telephone line. This example goes to show that no part of a business should be forgotten about. But a phone line often is – because like I said, we rarely have to call our own.


Let’s take a look again at the elements included in the script and why they’re important:


Including an alternative contact method like email address or mobile number gives callers options. If they don’t want to sit on hold, they can drop you an email and wait for you to come back to them. This also filters out people who don’t have an urgent enquiry, freeing up the line for those that do.

Putting the company opening times in the message is important for customers, or potential customers for that matter. If they can’t get through when they first call, knowing the business hours means they’ll not try calling after the office has closed for the day, saving themselves time and probably annoyance!

Speaking about the company history, background and services creates an engaging piece for the caller to consume. People are tired of “PLEASE HOLD, PLEASE HOLD, YOUR CALL IS IMPORTANT, PLEASE HOLD”. Give them something to latch onto, pay attention to and enjoy.

Seasonal messaging allows you to inform customers of changes in your schedules. In this instance the client wanted on hold messages for over the Christmas period. One of the most important goals of telephone messaging, in my opinion, is to not annoy the caller further. They’re already annoyed if they can’t get through, so do everything you can to appease them. Don’t make them keep calling back ‘til the start of the new year!

The piece.

00:00 / 02:27

The quote.

That's great!

Challenges faced.

None. I'm a professional don't ya know.

Lessons learned.

Pay attention to every part of your business. Leave no stone unturned. Or in this case, no telephone message unlistened to. Or something.

If you'd like to find out how on hold messaging can help your business, let's talk.

Martin Whiskin voiceover artist talking into a Rode NT1-a microphone
bottom of page