Welcome St. Vincent De Paul!

Filed under: testimonials — admin @ 3:56 pm

~ This was posted on - April 20, 2014

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL

Now that all of the holiday 2013 productions are wrapped up…. Here’s a moment to tell you something important to us at Hold Time:

Hold Time has a huge variety of on-hold clients – tanning salons, engineering firms, and several nonprofits like St. Vincent de Paul of Portland.   I’m convinced that the economic trend of “hollowing out” the middle class is accelerating now after the recession, and it should not fall to the government solve that problem.  Many are less fortunate than we are, and live in a constant state of genuine need … And it isn’t necessarily their fault.   If you’ve got a little extra money left over this year for charitable purposes, consider feeding the hungry here in Portland and volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul.

Those of you with been around for a while, may remember the multitude of thrift stores St. Vincent de Paul used to run.   Several years ago, St. Vincent de Paul decided that they were not in the business of thrift stores… But rather here to help the distressed, and hungry.  Now, their food distribution warehouse in Portland delivers almost 1,000,000 meals a year, and $.97 of every dollar donated is spent on the needy.

Some receive their food directly from St. Vincent de Paul, but of their perishable and nonperishable items are distributed through intermediary charities like Meals on Wheels.  In areas where people are hungry but unserved, they own a kitchen bus to deliver meals to distressed groups outside the metro area, like Estacada and Mollala.

Their headquarters are not fancy, and as I got to know them I can see that every available dollar was going out to someone who needed it.  I was particularly impressed with a large number of volunteers that work in the warehouse, and staffed the office part-time.   We’ve also been delighted to have their director, Anna Plasterer, over for a Musical Potluck at our home!

From Bolan house, we thank you for using our little family business – Hold Time Music.  I often say to new customers, “I can’t promise to solve all of your marketing problems, but I effectively get the word out for everybody who uses your phone system.”  That’s what were good at, and we are grateful that you agree!


The #1 rule of music on hold

~ This was posted on - March 21, 2014

Our customers are in the midst of receiving their suggested scripts for the spring 2014 season.  For retail establishments, this is a great time to highlight upcoming promotions and sales… In keeping with the first rule of on – hold messaging: keep it real and relevant.

For one of our customers, the bike gallery, these “mostly” dry 55 degree days herald a drove of customers to their six locations, and the Spring Warehouse sale… posting shortly to their phone system.

SPRING WAREHOUSE SALE – NEW

IF IT SEEMS LIKE THERE ARE MORE BIKES ON THE ROAD WHEN IT’S NOT RAINING…YOU’RE RIGHT!  MANY OF OUR CUSTOMERS COME IN TO OUR LOCATIONS IN EARLY APRIL TO GET WHAT THEY NEED TO ENJOY PORTLAND’S GLORIOUS SPRING AND SUMMER SEASONS.  LET’S MAKE THIS EASY FOR YOU: AT OUR HOLLYWOOD LOCATION ON APRIL 3 THROUGH THE SEVENTH, JOIN US FOR OUR SPRING WAREHOUSE SALE, AND GET THINK YEAR AND EQUIPMENT THAT YOU NEED!  WE’RE ALL ABOUT GETTING MORE PEOPLE ON BIKES MORE OFTEN, AND LET’S START WITH SOME GREAT PRICES AT OUR SPRING WAREHOUSE SALE, APRIL 3 THROUGH THE 7TH.

This is a great example of how on-hold can be used effectively: by keeping it real, and relevant.  Keep that in mind as you review your scripts this season.

 

Patrick


Our favorite script for SS 14: The Grotto here in Portland

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:51 pm

~ This was posted on - March 11, 2014

Our most popular paragraph from the holiday 2013 series of productions came at the intersection of two unlikely bedfellows: the Union Pacific Railroad and Catholic Church. When people expected to hear boring drab when put on – hold, many of them were treated to a special piece of Portland history… That I visited with my children last Saturday afternoon, actually: The Grotto.
The Grotto was actually a quarry where most of the rock that forms the bed of railroad lines across the Northwest, but now a catholic shrine. Here’s the paragraph.
RAILROADS AND SHRINES
THERE IS ONE PLACE IN PORTLAND THAT WILL HAVE OVER 150 CHORAL PERFORMANCES THIS YEAR IN CELEBRATION OF THE HOLIDAYS. DO YOU KNOW WHERE IT IS? THE ANSWER IN 10 SECONDS.
MOST OF THE ROCK FOR UNION PACIFIC RAILROADS LINES IN THE NORTHWEST CAME FROM A QUARRY IN NORTHWEST PORTLAND, AND THE ACREAGE WAS SOLD TO A YOUNG PRIEST FOR A DOWN PAYMENT OF $3000 IN 1923. RAISING MONEY FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THE QUARRY IS NOW KNOWN TODAY AS THE GROTTO – A NATURAL CATHEDRAL THAT WAS DESIGNATED A SHRINE IN 1983, AND HOME TO OVER 150 CHORAL PERFORMANCES IN CELEBRATION OF THE HOLIDAY EVERY YEAR. WERE CELEBRATING TO, AND LOOKING FOR THE TALKING TO YOU IN JUST A MOMENT.

Patrick


Welcome to Hallmark Inns!

Filed under: On Hold Messaging,Uncategorized — admin @ 12:39 pm

~ This was posted on - February 21, 2014

Welcome Hallmark Inns!

  Who they are:

Hallmark Inns at Cannon Beach

 

If you have ever seen Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, you’ll know that any lodging nearby is prime real estate, and an excellent place to vacation.  Hallmarks Innsis the closest hotel to Haystack Rock – less than a block away!

Four vacation homes, and a complete renovation of all suites make this a popular vacation for couples and families in the Summer…

Marketing challenges:

 And also in the Winter too!  When a large storm is forecast, storm watchers stream to the coast and reservations actually go up at Hallmark Inns.   Like most companies that use Hold Time, Hallmark Inns is trying to increase customer’s understanding of what they already offer; and in this case, it’s small and large suites that are available year round.

 

Hallmark Inns is using Hold Time to get the word out about improvements to their facility, and service.  For example, all rooms have a small half window so guests can listen to the surf anytime without getting to warm, or cold.  Gift packs

Dogs are very welcome!

specifically for dogs await their owners and they arrived, and locally – sourced cookies are available in the lobby free of charge.

It’s difficult to communicate these added touches on a webpage, but through Hold Time Music Hallmark Inns can create an atmosphere of quality and friendliness to callers, before they ever arrive.

Our favorite paragraph:

 “IN 1966, A MOTEL OWNER HERE IN CANNON BEACH FENCED SOME DRY SANDS ABOVE THE HIGH TIDE LINE AND RESERVED IT FOR THE PRIVATE USE OF HIS GUESTS.  THERE WAS A PUBLIC BACKLASH: AND TWO YEARS LATER, LED BY GOV. TOM MCCALL, THE OREGON LEGISLATURE PASSED THE OREGON BEACH BILL – ESTABLISHING EVERY BEACH UP TO 16 VERTICAL FEET ABOVE THE LOW TIDE MARK – AS PUBLIC PROPERTY. THAT, ALONG WITH THE COMPLETION OF HIGHWAY 101 AND 36 STATE PARKS ALONG THE COASTAL HIGHWAY, HAS TURNED THE OREGON COAST INTO A WORLD RENOWNED TOURIST DESTINATION… AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND PHOTOGRAPHED OF IT ALL IS OUR BACKYARD: HAYSTACK ROCK.  NO WONDER YOU WANT TO STAY WITH US AT HALLMARK RESORT AND SPA!”

Equipment:

 Phone systems at hotels are expansive, but with no ethernet available in the phone room hold time piggybacked our modem-to-modem remote-controlled player to the office fax.  In this way, we can update their production seamlessly… All they need to do is approve the script!

How they found us:

 Hold Time Music works with many telecoms in the Portland area: In fact, we just did the on hold for Integra telecom; but this customer came to us by the kind referral of Matrix Networks.  Probably like you, we don’t have $1 million to advertise so we are very grateful for word of mouth referrals upon which our family business is built.  Thank you!

 

Patrick

The Owner

www.holdtimestudios.com


RV Sales are up!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:06 pm

~ This was posted on - February 11, 2014

NPR listens to on-hold

So, I know that on hold messaging doesn’t have the same pop or popularity as – say – the Academy Awards, but I think about it all the time… How to make it better, and what type of music to choose. Favorite tracks might be in rotation for several years, and – as a voiceover artist with an undergraduate and master’s degree in music – I want to listen to music day after day that won’t make my ears cry.

Several weeks ago, I totally geeked out on NPR’s This American Life episode Stuck in the Middle, which featured one of the most popular on hold tracks ever, a default file on a Cisco phone system. You might recognize it: Opus Number One.

They actually interviewed the composer, who wrote the piece back in the late 80s, then got it on to Cisco’s default music on hold source through a friend who worked there. The story is classic on-hold: the most ubiquitous thing you’ve never heard of.

Love it.
Get a decent RV cover.

As the economy continues to recover (for some), RV sales and service have been quickly recovering. Based on the referral of Laurelhurst Distributors, we did new on-hold installations for several RV dealerships, including Thompson RV in Pendelton, and Al’s RV in Bellingham, Wa.

Marketing Challenges:
When you purchase an RV, delivery costs from the factory can amount to several thousand dollars. For

Thompson RV, this is actually a selling point: and one they wanted their customers to know about. That’s because their RVs are manufactured in the same city as their dealership so…. No delivery costs. It’s not uncommon for people to drive up from as far as Texas to receive their new RV, and save several thousand dollars! Naturally, that little gem is on their on-hold!

Al’s RV in Bellingham is under new management, a new phone system, and anxious to portray themselves as affordable, and friendly. You can get a feel for it in this on-hold paragraph about adequate covers for RV’s in the storage area, and using it to cross sell quality covers for their customers:

WHEN AL’S RV MOVED INTO ITS NEW LOCATION, WE ADDED AN ACRE OF RV STORAGE. MANY RV OWNERS ASKED US TO INSTALL COVERS ON THEIR RVS TO PROTECT THEM FROM THE WINTER WEATHER. IN SOME CASES THE RV OWNER PROVIDED A CHEAP COVER, AND WE FOUND THAT EVEN WE WERE TEARING THEM BECAUSE THEY WERE SO BADLY MADE. FORTUNATELY, WE FOUND A LOCAL COMPANY THAT OFFERS THE LONGEST HASSLE FREE WARRANTY IN THE INDUSTRY – CLASSIC ACCESSORIES. NOW COVERED WITH DURABLE, WATER RESISTANT FABRIC THAT RESISTS TEARS, THE RVS STORED IN OUR LOT WILL BE LOOKING GOOD IN THE SPRING. THANKS FOR CALLING AL’S RV!

Equipment:
All three companies are equipped with a Premier Technologies hybrid unit, that allows us to upload new productions via the Internet in real time. Let me tell you, the remote control technology is a godsend for customer service and efficiency here in the studio!

How they found us:
Good work gets around, and and in this case we were so pleased to receive the referral of Laurelhurst RV to several of their customers… who then called us.

Thanks!

Patrick
The Owner
www.holdtimestudios.com
800-521-5570


Welcome TAB Answer Network!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:51 am

~ This was posted on - March 11, 2013

Welcome TAB Answer Network!

 

TAB is our first answering service, and one might think that an answering service would need a generic on hold message. That’s true, but only for the main line. They, like many other businesses with sophisticated VoIP phone systems, run multiple on hold sources; and their main marketing line needed a good message to promote the company while prospective customers are on hold.

What they do:

The TAB Answer Network answers phones during the day and after hours for a range of businesses including, healthcare and property management companies.  Each operator is trained in the specific procedure to contact their customer, especially when calls are urgent. It may be by email, texting, calling, or paging (yes, they still do that), but the TAB prides itself on doing exactly what their customer asks with courtesy and professionalism.

50 years of business:

TAB’s old switchboard.

TAB Answer Network was established in 1954, when the range of forwarding numbers could only extend 10 miles due to limitations in technology and copper lines. They would scout locations for offices based on the density of office suites in any given area of Los Angeles, and at one point had 21 offices. It’s hard to imagine it now, but this was only in the 90s. Today, technology has caught up to make dialtone and port forwarding global to open a worldwide market for answering services.

Marketing Challenges:

Rather than ship their customers calls to India. The tab answer network consolidated its 21 offices into a single location in Los Angeles… Still family owned, and locally operated. One of our favorite on – hold paragraphs for their marketing line is:

 ”Your call is not parked beneath the ocean in a fiber optic cable somewhere between the United States and India or the Philippines (not that other companies don’t do that…) But this is a family business in California that’s been answering your call for the last 60 years…”

All telephone, all the time:

As a company that deals exclusively with their customers over the phone, it’s important for them to “Roll out the red carpet.” for their phone system.  By demonstrating good telephone marketing, they can overcome their prospects objections with – say – an auto attendant system. This on hold paragraph deals directly with that objection in the sales process:

 ” Some companies have tried to use an automated system to route calls, then called us. That’s because so many of their calls were winding up in the wrong mailbox, and details were getting dropped. When a thinking person from TAB answers the call, it will get to the right person, and your callers won’t hang up when they hear a live person answer the phone.  It’s easier than setting up a phone tree, and will show you how very quickly!”

Equipment:

Probably one third of all of our new customers do not use a player, because their phone system is computer-based and often tied into a VoIP system. These customers are serviced by Hold Time Music more affordably, because they do not require any equipment!

One of the limitations of VoIP / cloud-based phones (especially of Asterisk systems) is their inability to loop the on hold message, so every production starts at the beginning for every caller… Thus first paragraph suffers from overexposure in every phone call, and the production gets stale. We are looking forward to the day when the phone software keeps up with the practical use of a looping on hold message.

How they found us:

The Internet Gods smiled upon us for this one, and we were delighted to handle their needs via our website.


Untitled

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:20 am

~ This was posted on - February 6, 2013

Welcome Storage Structures!

 

What they do:

 

A general contractor of self-storage buildings in North America.

 

Hold Time got an education in the self-storage industry, which covers 1.5 billion square feet of building space in 44,000 storage facilities nationwide.   It’s been one of the first industries to bounce back from the recession showing double digit growth in 2011.  Actually, the self-storage industry gathers more revenue than Hollywood; But unlike the motion picture industry, it’s very diversified in ownership: the top ten companies only own 10% of the entire square footage in the industry. 

 

Costing between $25,000 to $2.5 million, sheet metal storage building are a specialty, and Storage Structures is very good at it.   Like any rental unit, every day the job goes over schedule is a day that you’re not collecting rent – so scheduling and on-time delivery has been key to their success.

 

 

What we do for them: 

 

Storage Structures started by only providing turn-key self-storage units in single-level, multi-story, and mezzanine configurations, but their expertise in sheet metal-style building projects has created other opportunities:

 

  1. Reroof USA: Replacing old standing seam gavalume roofs, retrofits, and storm damage replacements with a 10 year warranty.
  2. Disability products:  5% of all storage units have to provide handicap access according to the ADA, and hardware – sold by Storage Structures can address most of these issues:
    1. Opening for of rollup doors
    2. Easy grasp door hardware
    3. Thresholds at doorways for wheelchairs    

 Marketing Challenges:

 

Their marketing challenge is to cross-sell the ADA compliance hardware, roofing services, and general contracting to all of their customers, who are typically just calling for one of their services.

 

For ADA compliance , here’s how we did it:

 

HANDICAP PART 1

THANKS FOR CALLING STORAGE STRUCTURES.  LET’S TALK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT THE AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT.  ALTHOUGH SELF STORAGE OPERATORS HAVE TO FOLLOW ALL ADA BUILDING ACCESS REGULATIONS, THERE WAS A SEPARATE PROVISION IN 2010 THAT APPLIES TO AT LEAST 5% OF YOUR TOTAL  STORAGE UNITS: THINGS LIKE THE OPENING FORCE OF ROLLUP DOORS, DOOR HARDWARE, AND THRESHOLDS AT DOORWAYS, AND IT APPLIES TO NEW AND EXISTING STORAGE UNITS.  IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE A HEADACHE, WE’VE GOT THE ANSWER IN TEN SECONDS..

HANDICAP PART 2

IT’S NOT EXPENSIVE TO BRING YOUR STORAGE UNITS INTO ADA COMPLIANCE WHEN YOU VISIT OUR SISTER WEBSITE,WWW.STORAGEDISABILITYPRODUCTS.COM.  THERE YOU’LL FIND VIDEOS, USEFUL KITS THAT ARE EASY TO INSTALL, AND THE DETAILS ABOUT HOW MANY OF YOUR UNITS NEED TO BE ADA COMPLIANT.  WE’VE GOT ALL THE ANSWERS AND SOLUTIONS TO ADA COMPLIANCE ATWWW.STORAGEDISABILITYPRODUCTS.COM, AND WE’LL RETURN TO YOUR CALL VERY QUICKLY.

  

Equipment:

 

For all of installations outside our hometown, we use theHybrid 7600 internet remote-load.  This player loads up new productions remotely from our studio in Oregon via the internet.   The manager at Storage Structures installed it without any problems. 

 

How they found us:

 

Via our website.   The type of customers that resonate with our website are looking for an on-hold vendor that will provide a custom production and friendly experience for them.   If they’re looking for a warehouse full of monkeys typing on-hold script that takes six weeks to get a response… they can call Muzak!  That’s not us, for sure.

 


Harmonizing your phone system with one voice

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:55 am

~ This was posted on - November 5, 2012

Move your callers with one voice.

  

Did you decorate your office tastefully,  then why is your phone system a hodge-podge of voices from your phone technician, a long-gone employee, and the current receptionist… especially when you’ve got such a great on-hold production to usher callers to the person they’re trying to reach?

 

Does your phone system sound like this? Awkward.

 

 

Here’s what it could sound like.

 

Although a live person is preferable, I’ve seen customers save money by removing a receptionist who would answer calls, and have the automated phone prompts do it instead.  In our experience, about 30% will have an up front day-attendant that guides callers through a directory of options that could be 1 to 4 levels deep before they reach a live person.

 

In the last few weeks, we’ve done the prompts on phone systems for Toklat‘s new NEC phone system, Taylormade Labels‘ Altigen, Southwick Specialties‘s NEC and Western Partition‘s Avaya. 

 

It’s not expensive, and often the recording can be remotely updated after hours, or uploaded from the studio.   If we don’t have to leave our studio, Hold Time charges $40 for the first prompt, then $15 for each prompt thereafter in the same session.  You probably pay more than that on window washing!

 

Connect with me on the specifics of your phone system, and “Good things come to those who wait!”

Patrick of Hold Time Studios
800-521-5570

 


Welcome to Power Flow Systems!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:19 am

~ This was posted on - October 8, 2012

What they do:

Just like with cars and motorcycles, personal aircraft can also be modified with accessories that improve on the manufacturer’s original design. Power Flow Systems manufactures tuned exhaust systems to provide more power and fuel efficiency than the stock system.

Today, there are over 3,400 aircraft fitted with a Power Flow

It’s the shiny part.
exhaust system that have up to 15% more power, and better fuel efficiency than when they were originally built.  Plus, they
.

Marketing Challenge:

These systems cost more than a few dollars, and a potential buyer has to be convinced that the investment will be worth it.  Power Flow tries to remove every objection from the sales cycle by:

  1. Offering a 60-day refund, even on installed products.
  2. Providing a promotion program to encourage current Power Flow users to recommend it.
  3. Giving a discount to customers who are willing to wait a few days more for their new system.  (This helps them manage output on the factory floor.)
  4. Making Power Flow standard on somenew aircraft models.
  5. Creating a snappy website.
  6. Attending several fly-ins every year.

What we do for them:

Since callers are frequently put on-hold for technical support or transferring to sales, Hold Time highlights all of the aforementioned items for almost every caller, with paragraphs like this: (Hear it here.)

A BETTER OPTION THAN A NEW ENGINE

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET A LARGER ENGINE TO ENJOY MORE POWER.  A TUNED EXHAUST FROM POWER FLOW SYSTEMS WILL INCREASE YOUR SPEED AND CLIMB, EXTEND YOUR CEILING, AND EVEN SAVE MONEY ON FUEL AT A FRACTION OF THE COST OF A NEW ENGINE.  NOW, IF THAT SOUNDS TOO GOOD BE TRUE, POWER FLOW WILL PUT A NO-QUESTIONS ASKED MONEY BACK GUARANTEE ON YOUR POWER FLOW, STARTING ON THE FIRST TIME YOU FLY WITH IT.  THE DETAILS ON OUR WEBSITE,WWW.POWERFLOWSYSTEMS.COM, AND COMING BACK ON THE PHONE IN JUST A SECOND.(Hear it here.)

Equipment:

For all of our installations outside our hometown, we use the Hybrid 7600 internet remote-load.  This player loads up new productions remotely from our studio in Oregon via the internet.   The manager at Power Flow installed it without any problems.

How they found us:Like Power Flow, Hold Time also has a snappy website for music on hold.  We don’t see much traffic on it – for reasons only known to the Internet Gods – but the CEO liked the way we presented ourselves on the website.  He said, “I could tell you guys were a cut above a regular advertising thing… that’s what I wanted.” And so he called me!  He and I had wide conversations about the economy, the election, exercise, and our other customers… I like to be friends with our clients.    Our service is that much better when there is a personal connection, and the monkeys we had typing Shakespeare in the back can enjoy a better life in the jungle.

Patrick B


Persistence Pays.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:12 am

~ This was posted on - September 3, 2012

I’ve never been the guy who makes million dollar deals over breakfast, then lose it all a year later.   A boss told me, “Patrick, you’re nothing if not persistent.”  At the time, I was chasing down signatures and change orders on Fred Meyer construction projects with the dogged determination of a bill collector.  It suited me.  What I lack in charisma, I make up for in persistence.

 

It works for Hold Time Music too.  For the next 20 years we’ll stare at the ceiling and think about your company, then do about 800 productions a year from our little studio: each one personal, and a demonstration of quality, and persistence.   So after one MBA business plan and seven years of labor, I’m delighted to announce that a few weeks ago we installed our 200th subscriber, Salem Family Cosmetic Dentistry!  That’s been our golden number from the beginning.

 

Persistence pays in the sport of Triathlon too, as no one rolls out of bed one morning and says, “I think I’ll do an Ironman today!”   Besides having to register one year in advance, just the 700 miles of running to get fit for the 2.4 mile swim / 112 mile bike / 26.2 mile run at Ironman Canadalast weekend shows that great satisfaction comes with great effort. 

Finishing in 12 hours, cutting two hours off my personal best two years ago!  That was a long day.

 

… and it doesn’t always go smoothly.   I was nearly killedwhile running by texting driver, and then the next day got cut up falling on a bad sidewalk in Gladstone because I was too afraid to run closer to traffic.  On those days, Ironman felt like a bridge too far.  And like anyone in business, I’ve been yelled at, stood up, ignored, and belittled; But I’ve received tremendous kindness - such that in my heart I feel I could never repay - from people who helped us.

 

Hang in there, and do what you know how to do.   Hard work is rewarded: Maybe with money, but always by the strength it builds within you.  Chasing down those signatures for my boss, he paid me half of what everyone else earned but I didn’t have the right degree; But persistence pays.  


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