How long should my music on hold script be?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:15 pm

~ This was posted on - November 30, 2008

Messaging-on-hold is far more than just plugging music into a caller’s while they wait. Don’t let an opportunity to go by to tell the caller about your business! However, using music can create an audio atmosphere that will make them more receptive to what’s being said.

In our experience, a typical on-hold paragraph should be no longer than 20 seconds. Here’s why:

1. Shorter than 20 seconds: It’s difficult to introduce, develop, and conclude a relevant idea. At 10 seconds, all you can get in is a web address, and “thanks for holding”.

2. Longer than 20 seconds: You run the risk of your caller not hearing the beginning and/or end of the message. If your average caller is on-hold for 20 seconds, and you’ve got a 30 second paragraph in the mix… their education will be “fragmentary.”

For businesses where no introduction is needed, like a fire department, you can get right to the point. www.ccfd6.com often is 70% scripting, and 30% music – and the scripting is concise and informative.

Most businesses need to develop a little background for the caller, like in this example for www.aact.com and their remote video surveillance:

VIDEOFIED REMOTE

JUST BECAUSE YOUR TRAILER, SHOP, OR RV DOESN’T HAVE A PHONE LINE DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T BE FULLY PROTECTED. ALARM AND ACCESS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES IS PROUD TO INTRODUCE VIDEOFIED – IT’S COMPACT, PORTABLE, BATTERY POWERED, AND RUNS ON CELLULAR TECHNOLOGY. BUT IT GETS BETTER THAN THAT – THE ALARM TRIGGERS A VIDEO CAMERA AND THE VIDEO CLIP GOES RIGHT TO YOUR CELL PHONE. THANKS FOR CALLING ALARM AND ACCESS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES!

Writing for on-hold messaging is definitely it’s own genre, and Hold Time Studios will perform it for you – just tell us the idea and we’ll run with it!


On hold music for 2 or 4 line phone systems

Filed under: Music On Hold,music on hold technology — admin @ 10:29 am

~ This was posted on - November 24, 2008

Many people believe that on-hold messaging is only for big, expensive telephone systems like Vodavi, Toshiba, and NEC. Not true! A phone system purchased at an office supply store will not have native Music-on-hold capability, but there are third party adapters available to turn a small phone system into a marketing machine!

Here’s how they work:

  1. The adapter is installed before the phone reaches the central phone unit.
  2. Sensing a “hold” signal or a voltage shift within the phone line, the music stored on the player will automatically begin to play when the caller is put on hold.
  3. In my own experience, adapters that sense the voltage shift, like those at www.skutchelectronics.com, are far more reliable than the tone-emitting adapters shown at www.intellitouch.com. They’re also custom made and cost more.

Hold Time Studios has successfully installed third party on-hold adapters for small offices, like www.lathroportho.com – they thought they were stuck with the weird background music played on their KX series Panasonic 3 line phone. “Not so!” I told them. Now they’re fitted with a Skutch CK1p and a RUF 2700 player from which Hold Time Music loads new productions several times a year.

Wiring a third party analog adapter to your phone system may take some time. If you can afford it, we recommend using a telephone tech.

Commercial grade systems are much easier, because their engineered to recieve MOH, like your computer is designed for a USB plugin.  learn more at http://holdtimestudios.com/phone-system.php


The #2 complaint about telephone hold music companies

Filed under: On Hold Messaging — admin @ 9:32 am

~ This was posted on - November 21, 2008

Some on-hold companies make their money by not providing all the productions you’ve paid for. Let’s say our client www.greshamchryslerjeep.com has paid for four productions in a calendar year – that’s pretty standard. Our sister company, www.holdtimemusic.com makes sure they get what they paid for by setting up a flexible calendar schedule for new productions and

  1. Writing new script before we contact them at the beginning of a season.
  2. Requesting their input and approval before new productions are made.
  3. Following up with the client by phone and email prior to each production period.

What do some of our competitors do?

  1. Wait for the client to call.

Yup, that’s it. So it’s up to Gresham Chrysler Jeep to request a new production, and by the end of the year only two have been delivered instead of the four they paid for. The client gets ½ of customer service, and the on-hold messaging company gets 50% profit.

At Hold Time Studios and www.holdtimemusic.com, we’re serious about keeping the promises we make. It’s our owner, Patrick Bolan, who will give us hell if we don’t!


The #1 complaint about music on hold companies

Filed under: On Hold Messaging — admin @ 3:48 pm

~ This was posted on - November 19, 2008

A recent sales call to a small chocolatier (www.jacivas.com) illustrated two common complaints with music on hold companies; 1) Long term contracts, 2) Poor customers service. The innoviative marketing solution of onhold messaging should not be difficult…. Here are some pitfalls to avoid.

Long Term contracts:

Watch out Muzak subscribers – the standard is a five year contract with payment-in-full if you attempt to cancel it. Earglue – a three year contract. (Maybe this is why they just came out of bankruptcy and were recently purchased by a Canadian company.) You’ll have to sign these before any messaging on-hold equipment is installed… I mean, you won’t even know if you like it or not, and boom: five years. Oh, and it’s automatically renewing unless you inform them in writing a few months before your current contract expires.

Solution: We’ve designed Hold Time Studios to be an easy way to update your phone system with marketing ideas that work! When a contract is necessary, Hold Time Studios only does one-year subscriptions, with the option to renew. There is a cost to this. We don’t want to provide $700 in equipment, then have the customer cancel after a one year subscription – that’s a loss for us. In exchange a flexible subscription options, we may charge a modest set-up fee, or request that you purchase the messaging-on-hold playback equipment.

Hold Time Studios also provides a single buyout production, and equipment for purchase for an unchanging production. Most customers who use this option will return within a year to purchase another production.

We’ll take a look at the #2 complain in our next posting!


Using your phone system to market your website

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas — admin @ 9:06 am

~ This was posted on - November 12, 2008

Adding an on-hold messaging system gives you another way to talk to your existing customers, and new callers – and mentioning your website several times in the music on hold production will produce more web hits. Here’s how:

A few years ago we installed a new customer that sold restaurant equipment online and in a retail store www.rosesequipment.com. They’re website was very informative, and many of the questions people were calling about were actually answered on the website. Plus, Roses Equipment had carefully photographed nearly every item in their 100,000 square foot showroom, and they wanted their customers to see it!

Our sister company, www.holdtimemusic.com, writes in their literature, “You’ve got their ears on hold, why not get their eyes too? You know their sitting in front of a computer when they call you.” Roses’s asked us to heavily pitch their website with scripting like this:

THANK YOU FOR CALLING ROSES EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLY. WE’RE GLAD YOU’VE CALLED TODAY, BUT IF YOU WANT TO SEE MORE PRODUCTS THAN YOU CAN REVIEW IN AN AFTERNOON, POINT YOUR BROWSER TO WWW.ROSESEQUPIPMENT.COM. THERE YOU’LL FIND PICTURES AND INFORMATION ON EVERYTHING WE CARRY, WE’LL BE RIGHT WITH YOU.”

The manager called me a few weeks later. From the day their telephone on-hold messaging system went live, they saw a 20% increase in their web hits. These hits are the most valuable – not some search engine or casually browsing surfer – but real customers who’ve already made the call and are actively engaged at learning more about their store. It’s a win-win for Roses and for the caller.


How to advertise to cell phone users with music on hold

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas — admin @ 10:29 am

~ This was posted on - November 6, 2008

Most messaging-on-hold companies will promise a creative advertising experience with CD quality music when your customer is put on-hold. That’s not going to happen, folks. Here’s why: Audio productions are recorded in the studio at sampling rate of 44,000 samples per second, and while that is indeed CD quality, the best sampling rate your landline phone can playback is just 8,000 samples per second…AND LESS FOR CELL PHONE USERS. Here are some comparisons:

8khz: Telephone quality (300 – 3k hz)

11khz: AM radio

22khz: FM radio

44khz: CD quality

At Hold Time Studios, the productions sounds awesome in our voiceover room, but by the time it’s played back over a ¾” speakers on a phone line that is designed for less-than AM radio quality – we’d say put your time and energy in to what’s being said about your company.. It’s not about the music, it’s about what your saying.

Occasionally we’ll put in sound FX to create an audio picture, but in the case of www.powellvet.com, they have to very clean. Barking dogs are great sound FX for veterinarians, but for messaging-on-hold, let’s keep it to one dog otherwise it sounds like static. For the rave workout music we use for www.nelsonsnautilus.com, we’ll pick music that is less-busy or it will only sound like a rushing waterfall by the time it gets to your customers ear.

Bottom line: Whether your telephone system is a Nortel, NEC, Avaya, or Lucent: the onhold messaging quality your customer gets will be no better than AM radio. Musical nuances will not come through – so use this creative advertising channel to focus on what you want your customer to learn about your company through messaging-on-hold.


Good on-hold script writing uses good detail

Filed under: On Hold Messaging — admin @ 10:56 am

~ This was posted on - November 3, 2008

Having written thousands of pages of on-hold-messaging script for Hold Time Studios, we’ve got a good feel of what works… and what doesn’t. New script writers will load up the paragraphs with superlatives and adjectives – Wrong! Here’s a badly written on-hold paragraph:

“Hecht and Hecht Insurance Agency (www.hechtinsur.com) represents a host of professionally well rated insurance options for your personal or business and automobile coverage. Let us improve your coverage and service by reviewing your policy today.”

That is awful. In fact, if you’re going to use such bad script you might as well just have music…. Nobody listens to that! Here’s a better way:

“Hecht and Hecht recently replaced an insurance carrier for a large company in Bellingham with 750 employees. The next year, they saved $1.5 million in insurance premiums – without reducing coverage. This isn’t pixie dust math – it’s providing companies with employee education and wellness programs that reduce claims. We’d be happy to pass the savings on to you when we return to the line.”

Much better! A real story, hard statistics, and a little levity give a contemporary example of what Hecht and Hecht wants every customer and prospect to know. It takes a little more time, but engaging the caller with well written script turns “silence” into a viable and inexpensive message on hold.

For a good video primer on on-hold messaging see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cmOUgjaCXY






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