The best and worst of music on hold writing

Filed under: Music On Hold — admin @ 5:41 pm

~ This was posted on - January 30, 2009

It’s the Razzies for Music On-Hold. First let’s start with our top three music on hold paragraphs at the studios.

The Best Three Paragraphs We’ve Ever Recorded

WHAT’S THE DEFINITION OF AN OPTOMIST? A MUSICIAN WITH A MORTGAGE. HERE AT BEACOCKS WE’VE GOT PAYMENT PLANS FOR JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING, AND MUCH MORE FORGIVING THAN A MORTGAGE. THANKS FOR CALLING, WE’LL BE RIGHT WITH YOU.

*If a toilet is over-flowing, is it just a simple clog? Does the toilet need to be repaired? Or, did your son’s favorite action figure “go for a swim” and never return? We don’t “guess” over the phone. Our technician will give you a complete evaluation and accurate price up-front … before any work is done. We’ll back it with a warranty …. Adventuresome Power Rangers excluded. J

IF YOU’RE SPENDING TIME AROUND EXTENED FAMILY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, TAKE A LOOK AROUND… THOSE WRINKNLES WILL BE COMING TO FACE VERY NEAR YOU WITHIN A FEW YEARS – BUT THEY DON’T HAVE TO. YOUR SKIN CAN BE CLEAR AND BEAUTIFUL AT ANY AGE. WE’LL BE RIGHT WITH YOU.

You can hear some of these at http://www.holdtimestudios.com/marketing-ideas.php

And how about two for the worst.. holy cow, these were bad; And in these two cases we didn’t write them … they read like a As-Seen-on-TV script….

HAVE YOU TRIED EVERYTHING TO RID YOURSELF OF CELULLITE? DID YOU KNOW THERE IS A NON SURGICAL SOLUTION FOR THIS PROBLEM? DR. ++++ KNOWS THIS IS NOT A MATTER OF WILLPOWER OR LACK OF SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS. FORTUNATELY, THERE REALLY IS A WAY TO GET RID OF CELLULITE! IT’S CALLED MESOTHERAPY, AND THE ++++ CENTER IS THE WEST COAST’S LEADING PROVIDER OF THIS REVOLUTIONARY WAY TO GET RID OF CELLULITE. IT IS LIFE CHANGING. DON’T WAIT – INQUITE TODAY ABOUT HOW YOU CAN GET RID OF CELLULITE AND SAVE 25% OFF YOUR PACKAGE!

And so much information, that you won’t recall any of it…

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS HERE AT HECHT AND HECHT INSURANCE AGENCY. WE OFFER A WIDE VARIETY OF HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES. INCLUDING BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP LIFE AND HEALTH PLANS, MAJOR MEDICAL AND EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN AS WELL AS WHOLE, AND TERM LIFE, IRA’S, AND ANNUITIES. AT HECHT AND HECHT INSURANCE AGENCY, WE BELIEVE THAT NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU FAMILY’S HEALTH AND PEACE OF MIND.

Yick. .!


Can I have music on hold with a small analog phone system? part 1

Filed under: music on hold technology — admin @ 10:34 am

~ This was posted on - January 29, 2009

If your phone system

- was purchased at an office supply store

- has four lines or less

- is plug n’ play right into the phone jack

- OR, has no brain on the back wall…

..then there is probably no “port” provided for Music on Hold. I’ve seen a lot of GE, RCA Executone, Panasonic KX series, and AT&T phone systems in this category. Installation is doable, but not as easy as with commercial grade phone systems.  We’ve got experience with this at www.holdtimestudios.com, and it’ll be easier to call us then guess at it by searching on the internet.

You’ll need an adapter that “senses” when a phone line has been put-on hold, and plays the music in to the phone line from an external player. The adapter and the onhold messaging player are different units.

Type #1 – The voltage shifter.

When the hold key is pressed on the analog phone system, the tiny electrical current within the line shifts its voltage. MOH adapters will detect the shift, and play music into the line until it’s picked up again. Hold Time Studios recommends adapters that are customized for your phone model (see www.skutchelectronics.com).

Good:

- By far the most reliable and automatic.

Bad:

- A little more expensive.

- All phones have to be the same make and model.

I’ll write about two more types of analog adapters made by Intellitouch and “keystroke” types in my next blog posting.


Marketing business transitions with music on hold

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas — admin @ 10:09 am

~ This was posted on - January 26, 2009

If you’re a business owner who has been working on a change-of-ownership, or new location for months – you’ll be surprised at how clueless your customers are. It’s a big transition to you, but bringing your clients with you will take more than just word-of-mouth. Direct mail, phone calls, emails, and music on hold advertising messages are part of an effective strategy of information dissemination.

Our expertise is messaging on hold. Often we’re called in to create a customized script that let’s every caller know that the business has undergone a significant change. For a dental office that’s moved, like www.palenadentalarts.com, frustrated patients will be showing up at the old location unless you’re successful with messages such as these:

You’re call is ringing in today at our new location in Salmon Creek. No more stairs! Now, we’ve got a elevator that takes you to one of the most advanced dental care suites in the Northwest. It’s easier to find too… in fact, if you’re on the I-5 or I-205 freeways right now, you’re less than 7 minutes from a beautiful smile. Get directions at www.palenadentalarts.com, or ask us when we return to the line!

This approach works just as well during an ownership transition, new product launch, structural change in the way that you do business that you’re customers need to know about. Use www.holdtimestudios.com ‘s custom on-hold shop to produce messages for you that work. Through inexpensive creative marketing on your phone system, your customer will learn the full benefit of why they make the right call with then called YOU.

Read more unqiue marketing ideas for business strategies at http://www.holdtimestudios.com/marketing-ideas.php


Music on hold marketing during business transitions

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas,Uncategorized — admin @ 6:41 am

~ This was posted on - January 23, 2009

If you’re a business owner who has been working on a change-of-ownership, or new location for months – you’ll be surprised at how clueless your customers are. It’ may be a big transition to you, but bringing your clients with you will take more than just word-of-mouth. Direct Mail, phone calls, emails, and music on hold advertising messages are part of an effective strategy of information dissemination.

Our expertise is messaging on hold. Often we’re called in to create a customized script that let’s every caller know that the business has undergone a significant change. For a dental office that’s moved, like www.palenadentalarts.com, frustrated patients will be showing up at the old location unless you’re successful with messages such as these:

You’re call is ringing in today at our new location in Salmon Creek. No more stairs! Now, we’ve got a elevator that takes you to one of the most advanced dental care suites in the Northwest. It’s easier to find too… in fact, if you’re on the I-5 or I-205 freeways right now, you’re less than 7 minutes from a beautiful smile. Get directions at www.palenadentalarts.com, or ask us when we return to the line!

This approach works just as well during an ownership transition, new product launch, structural change in the way that you do business that you’re customers need to know about. Use www.holdtimestudios.com ‘s custom on-hold shop to produce messages for you that work. Through inexpensive creative marketing on your phone system, your customer will learn the full benefit of why they make the right call with then called YOU.


Affordable marketing in tough times – music on hold.

Filed under: On Hold Messaging — admin @ 7:43 pm

~ This was posted on - January 20, 2009

When the economy is down, it’s time to circle the wagons in your marketing budget, and work on your best prospects – your existing customers. The same ones that call your business and are put on-hold while they’re waiting for you… If you’re short on marketing cash, delay that radio campaign that indiscriminately advertises to an unknown audience for $12-$30k. Use a message on hold system for as little as $10 a month, or a few hundred dollars per piece!  Check prices at www.holdtimestudios.com here:  http://www.holdtimestudios.com/store/

All mass media advertising channels have the same problem:

- outdoor advertising

- Radio

- Newspaper

- Phone book

- Direct Mail

…you’re paying big dollars, and not sure who it’s going to. A smarter use of your marketing budget (for far less), is targeting an audio marketing piece to people who have already initiated contact with your businesses.

If you’re already spending money on media, then why would you not put your best foot forward when they call you. Roll out the red carpet for your phone system, and use an on-hold messaging system for less than it takes for the radio ad to be produced!


The best music on hold for you.

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas,Music On Hold — admin @ 9:58 am

~ This was posted on - January 15, 2009

There is often undue consternation over what style of music should be used for a company’s telephone on-hold message. The music must support (and not distract) from the MESSAGE about your business.

1. Understand that you’ll be choosing a genre of music – you won’t be able to use that U2 song unless you’re ready to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars in copyright fees.

2. Choose a style that fits your businesses image, not just your favorite genre. It’s a classic marketing mistake to pick artistic bents that you enjoy, instead of what’s most effective for your target audience. It’s Marketing 101, folks. Once I installed a system where the Owner-Doctor of a veterinary clinic was a classical music aficionado, and insisted her on-hold messaging use the same. The “up” nature of their voiceovers was a poor match for soothing classical music.

  1. When in doubt, aim for the Lowest Common Denominator among your telephoning audience… it’s light jazz – because it’s least likely to annoy your callers compared to rap, rave, bluegrass, country, and so on…

  1. Follow the industry trend. From our experience, here it is:
    1. Banking and financial: Classical Music
    2. Veterinarian and Dental: Light Jazz
    3. Automobile: More aggressive jazz
    4. Business Services: Bluesy jazz, without blaring horns.
    5. Day Spas: Neo-classical, or New Age
    6. Manufacturing: Light Jazz
    7. Adventure Sports and Gyms: Rock to Rave
    8. Retirement Planning: Big Band (boomers love this style)
    9. Locally rooted businesses: Heavily dependent on local music influences.
    10. Businesses who deal with stressed out callers: Neo-classical.
    11. General Restaurant: Light Jazz
    12. Expensive Restaurant: Mellow piano Jazz (we call it “smoky” around here)

Our tagline for Hold Time is “Good things come to those wait.” Maybe it should be, “We think about it so you don’t have to!”.

Hear samples at www.holdtimemusic.com, and www.holdtimestudios.com


The best way to update music on hold productions

Filed under: music on hold technology — admin @ 12:26 pm

~ This was posted on - January 12, 2009

Almost everyone realizes the value of on-hold messaging after that first production is installed on their phone system – and they’ll need to replace it from time to time with relevant information. Most on-hold companies will anticipate this need by installing a player that is easy to update over the internet, through the mail, or directly through the phone system.

  1. Locally loaded: The USB thumbdrive
    1. The least expensive option, the studio will email a completed .mp3 to the customer. Drag n’ drop the completed production to the removed thumbdrive from the on-hold player, then re-insert it in the player.
    2. In another variation, like the one offered by Hold Time Studios, the .mp3 is copied to the thumbdrive in the studio, mailed directly to the client, who inserts it into the USB port on the player.
    3. Older legacy players might use SM Cards, Tapes, or CDs. These types of players are not the best technology available.
    4. Example: http://www.neltechlabs.com/messager_usb.html
    5. Good: Inexpensive, simple technology.
    6. Bad: Forget it if you don’t know what a USB is.
  2. Remote Controlled players: The vendor takes care of it.
    1. The on-hold player is connected to an accessory fax line or the internet and downloads new productions as they become ready. The customer usually receives a copy of the production by email.
    2. Example:

i. http://www.premtech.com/ruf2700.html

ii. http://www.premtech.com/net7000.html

i. Requires no customer interface.

ii. Updates are very timely.

iii. Excellent for telephone systems will multiple locations.

Bad: Expensive equipment. Harder installation.

For a two minute video that shows an installation of a remote player, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykiv0_7zwnY

how do you install music on hold on your phone system: check it out http://holdtimestudios.com/phone-system.php


How often should I refresh my onhold production?

Filed under: Music On Hold — admin @ 9:44 am

~ This was posted on - January 8, 2009

Hold Time studios gets this question a lot. Here are some tips:

  1. Messaging on-hold that changes even 2x per year is more effective than never changing it at all.
    1. Your customers are your best base of revenue – right? Aren’t they the ones who will spend the most time transferred or on-hold on your phone system? They’ll know if you’re playing the same old production every time they call… and they won’t learn anything new about your company. It’s a lost opportunity.
  2. Is your business seasonal?
    1. For some business, like Hold Time Studios customer www.beattygrouptravel.com, they’re marketing to people who want to escape the rain in the winter. An inexpensive marketing tool like music on hold can zero in on that seasonal target.
    2. Example: IT WAS THE BRITISH THAT ORIGINALLY STARTED THE SNOW-BIRDING TRADITION WITH BY TRAVELING IN DROVES IN SWITZTERLAND ON GROUP PACKAGES IN 1902, BUT WE BET THAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE SUNLIGHT. HERE’S OUR RECOMMENDATION: HEAD SOUTH. REMEMBER THAT THE ENTIRE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE – AFRICA AND SOUTH AMERICA – IS ENGULFED IN BEAUTIFUL SUNLIGHT. THE BEATTY GROUP’S TRAVEL DIVISION CAN DO MORE THAN TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT WHEN WE RETURN.
  3. Are you promoting calendar events?
    1. A 4th of July sale needs to be gone by July 5th. In many cases, this requires a new production.
    2. The more calendar events, you advertise while on-hold – the more production you’ll need per year.
  4. How often does your product line up change?
    1. Most businesses are constantly changing and adapting, the letting their customers know about new ideas in the marketplace. On-hold-messaging is an excellent and inexpensive way to keep them informed.

In my experience, industry averages look like this:

Banking institutions: 12 changes per year

Automobile: 4 changes per year

Medical Services: 3 changes per year

Government and Utilities: 3 changes per year

Small retail: 2 change per year

For Hold Time Studios customers, you’ve got all the options for packages in music on hold, see it at http://holdtimestudios.com/packages.php


How to write a bad telephone onhold advertisement

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas,On Hold Messaging — admin @ 9:58 am

~ This was posted on - January 5, 2009

We’ve all heard them… and here’s what makes an on-hold production more annoying than helpful.

  1. Paragraphs are too long… If your average caller is on-hold for 20 seconds, then why write paragraphs that take 30 seconds to read through? They’ll never hear the beginning and/or the end.
    1. Solution: Keep you paragraphs to 20 seconds or less.
  2. Poor music choice… Let’s say you’re a finanicial planner, and use hard rock. Yet, most of your clientel doesn’t like hard rock. Your on-hold will do more harm than good.
    1. Solution: Aim for the lowest common denominator, usually light jazz.
  3. Too much generic information… As in, “ABC company has provided the best customer service in our industry for since 1980.” Oh, please… you do more harm than good with that dreary pablum.
    1. Solution: Work industry statistics into good stories about your company. What do you tell people who want to know a little more about your company – this is your chance?
  4. Micro-managing professional writers… To be honest, business owners who insist on writing their own on-hold messaging even when the service is part of the package are shooting themselves in the foot. Hold Time Studios will take the time to interview you, listen to your what your company is about, then use our experienced creative writers to come up with a script that will hit the target!
    1. Solution: Let the professionals do what they’re good at. You’ll always get the opportunity to approve it.
  5. Use outdated information… Callers will immediately recognize if you’re advertising an event on hold that happened in the past.
    1. Solution: Change the production more frequently.

Get it right at www.holdtimemusic.com, or www.holdtimestudios.com!


Why the radio does more harm than good for music on hold

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas — admin @ 7:08 pm

~ This was posted on - January 2, 2009

Now that you’ve become familiar with Hold Time Studios for custom quality on-hold messaging, there’s no need to throw a scratchy radio on your phone system. Now you have the connections you need to avoid the following gaffes.

1. Having someone else advertise on your phone system

Printing Expressly For You (www.pefy.com) call me up one day… “We’ve always had a radio on hold, and yesterday one of my biggest customers was on the line. He said,

‘I was just put on hold and heard an advertisement for Documart. Isn’t that one of your competitors?’”

They were embarrassed, and decided it was worth the few hundred dollars to have a custom production done with THEIR name on it, and the best things about THEIR business… not the competitor down the street.

2. The signal drifts in and out, and half the time your calls are annoyed with static. Honestly… it happens all the time.

3. It’s not legal. http://articles.ruchie.com/entertainment/radio/legal-issues-on-music-on-hold.html Since it’s a rebroadcast of a copyrighted source that you’re using to promote your business… you owe somebody money.

4. You can do better. There are a number of on-hold custom production studios through out the US that can write a custom marketing piece specifically for your business, as Hold Time Studios has done for hundreds of companies. see www.holdtimestudios.com/marketing-ideas.php .






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