On-hold messages can be an extension of your customer service team just as much as they are an extension of your marketing team.

Are you scrambling to be all things to all people when it comes to customer service? There’s a lot of that going around. Here’s a piece of advice that should help: put the people ahead of the platform.

Customer service is, after all, pretty self-explanatory. It’s about serving the customer.

If you’re thinking about moving the bulk of your customer-service efforts to social media outlets, here’s something to consider before cutting the cord on traditional channels, like telephone support. Customers turn to social media for service only as a last resort when other methods fail.

Companies would be better served by improving existing communication, and so would their customers. The telephone is still preferred by many customers as the primary point of contact. That means excellent on-hold messaging matters as much to customer service as it does to marketing.

Consider these approaches to on-hold messaging that keep loyal customers happy:

New offerings: A company’s most ardent fans clamor for the latest and greatest the company has to offer. Think Apple. Update your on-hold messages with your newest products and services.

Seasonal reminders: Drivers sometimes forget to check their tires before winter driving conditions set in. Homeowners need an occasional nudge to remind them it’s time to review their insurance coverage. Adding reminders like these to your on-hold messages tells callers you are thinking about their needs and how you can help.

Operational changes: Things change in business all the time. Sometimes it’s as simple as new store hours. Sometimes it’s as complex as relocating residents of a retirement community in the wake of a major storm. Including your on-hold messages in your operational plans will keep callers informed of any change, large or small.