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


Hold Time works with personal networking

~ This was posted on - July 20, 2011

It’s easy to get excited about the promise of digital marketing: a cool website and people TO YOU!  If only it were that easy…   Hold Time has spent a lot of effort on digital marketing, but we’ve found that the best marketing happens through personal relationships.

The quality of on-hold leads that comes through personal relationships is far better than the person connecting with you via the website from out-of-town.    Here’s an example from this week:

Online lead:  The marketing manager saw our website via search on google, emailed us for a custom sample, but would not answer the phone we followed up via phone, then email.  Most leads end this way.  Then – surprise! – she called back to verify some details; But like ALL online leads, she’s considering Hold Time with many other music on hold vendors.    Who knows if it will work out?

Personal referral lead: We were referred into a company that recently had a new phone system installed, and they needed on hold messaging to connect with their customers.  I walked in, and they were ready for me: Ideas and brochures to write a great script, even some suggestions for music!  Price?  No problem.  I am not the most expensive service in town, and they wanted someone they could trust to talk to their callers.  Everything was put together that day.  That’s how it’s supposed to work!

Gathering personal referrals is very inefficient compared to online digital media.  You have to do a lot of legwork to get a that coveted referral.   I recently bought a more fuel-efficient car to get around time to stoke those relationships which have waned over the years… I’m excited to get going!

it’s difficult to create that personal repore with through a computer screen or over the phone, so Hold Time is shifting our priorities back personal networking – to capitalize on the personal relationships we already have in organizations like OEA, and Le Tip.

Last year I was wrangling with these marketing ideas with a most excellent friend and marketing manager.  ”Which one works?” I asked.  ”Patrick!” He said, “They ALL WORK to some degree, you just have to figure out which one works for YOU.”


Hold Time welcomes Stevens Water Monitoring systems!

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas,Marketing Challenges — admin @ 4:37 pm

~ This was posted on - May 4, 2011


Hello to Stevens Monitoring Systems!

What they do:

Hold Time welcomes a unique manufacturer in to our on hold service: Stevens Water Monitoring Systems. If you’ve ever heard the news report on how high the river is, how much rain fell, or water table levels chances are the gauges they were using were made by Stevens Water Monitoring Systems. Sensors are often transmitted by cellular signal to regional databases for number crunching and reporting.

Remotely Tracking Water temp and levels

100 years ago, water levels were etched on a scroll of paper on site, but today Stevens manufacturers the digital recording devices for the on-site measurements, primarily through automated cell phone service, or the GOES Weather satellites.

It was just another one of those great moments in our business where we say, “Really?  Who knew!”

Marketing Challenge:

A lot has changed in this industry in the past 25 years with digital technology, and Stevens needs to get the word out about their latest technology “Stevens Connect”, where the data is collected and organized by Stevens, then conveniently displayed online for customers. It’s a new standard in the industry, and part of the “New Stevens” marketing campaign surrounding their 100 year anniversary. The lion’s share of Steven’s on-hold marketing is about this, with the balance of paragraphs taken up with other unique environmental monitoring products.

Equipment:

Hold Time Music installed a fax-based remote-controlled player for their updates. They update 2x per year, for $50 a month.

How they found Hold Time:

Stevens googled “music on hold Portland, Oregon”, was then referred to us by our website, www.holdtimemusic.com.


Welcome to our newest client… Allied Midwest!

~ This was posted on - January 24, 2011

Equipment:

Allied Midwest has a typical PBX with an on-hold port, and since the phone closet had an internet feed, Hold Time chose a remote controlled player that updates via internet server. The on-hold player queries the remote server every two hours, so we can assure Allied Midwest that when a new production is ready to post, it’ll be uploaded within two hours. For more information on how this player works, read HERE.

Marketing Challenge:

With over fifty years of serving primarily agricultural construction projects in the South Dakota, Allied has many repeat customers from builders in small farming communities, their problems is not establishing themselves in the construction market. People already know who they are.

What their callers don’t know are all the products and services that Allied offers. The new sales manager has started a email newsletter with current specials and manufacturer discounts, and wants to market that same information to callers through Hold Time.

Allied’s largest competitor in the area has a “cookie cutter” approach to their service, so construction material is not always delivered efficiently, and sometimes arrives later than the customer would prefer. Allied is smaller, more flexible, and can outperform their competitors on service, speed, and knowledge… they want their callers to know that through music on hold from Hold Time Studios!

Our favorite paragraph:

DRYWALL/WETWALL, PART 1 – NEW

HAVE YOU EVERY WONDERED WHY IS IT CALLED “DRY WALL”? … LIKE, AS OPPOSED TO “WET WALL”? WHEN GYPSUM BOARD SHEETS FIRST BECAME POPULAR IN THE 1950’S, THEY BECOME KNOWN AS DRYWALL BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE, WHICH HAD BEEN USED FOR CENTURIES, WAS VERY WET. WHAT WAS IT CALLED? WE’LL TELL YOU IN TEN SECONDS.

DRYWALL/WETWALL, PART 2 – NEW

WE CALL IT DRYWALL BECAUSE IT’S DRY, AS OPPOSED TO A WET WALL WHICH WOULD BE… PLASTER. LATH AND PLASTER EXISTED FOR CENTURIES BEFORE THE PAPER COVERED GYPSUM CORE PANEL THAT ALLILED MIDWEST HAS IN STOCK TODAY. THANKS FOR CALLING ALLIED MIDWEST, WE’RE PUTTING DOWN OUR SCREW GUNS RIGHT NOW TO ANSWER YOU CALL (SOUND FX)


Hold Time rolls out Las Vegas!

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas,Music On Hold,On Hold Messaging — admin @ 8:03 pm

~ This was posted on - November 29, 2010

Hold Time welcomes the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas!  Read below to learn how this unique restaurant is using music on hold to solve their marketing challenges.

Equipment:

Updating seasonally, Hold Time’s internet player was a good choice… easy installation, and remote updates from anywhere the internet travels.

Marketing Challenges:

As one of Las Vegas’ premier French Restaurants in very unique location, the Eiffel Tower Restaurant wants to host more special events in their restaurant… any group with a part of more than six for anniversaries, birthdays, special occasions, and even business events. Also, the Eiffel Tower restaurant gets a crush of callers before major holidays, including Valentines Day – their most popular Holiday. Using their on-hold messaging, they want callers to know that they can make their reservations online, and up to six months in advance.

One of the Eiffel Tower restaurant’s key marketing draws is Master Chef Joho. Las Vegas is a celebrity culture, and the marketing surrounding their famous Chef is as important is the excellent quality of food they produce.

Hold Time was referred to this unique client from a referral partner in Las Vegas, at the same time they were installing a new phone system.


The Portland economy, and free advertising on Google Maps

~ This was posted on - November 14, 2010

The Portland Economy: The word on the street:

So, every where I go I’m asking “What’s happening out there?” I got the best insight for longtime friend Jim Southwick, owner of Southwick Specialty Advertising.

“Patrick the promotional service industry is always the first in, and first out. ”

He explained that in the promotional items industry, the Great Recession really hit in early 2008, a few months in advance of the total seizure that we all saw in the last quarter of that year. Although the industry suffered being “first in” the economic downtown, the 2nd half of 2010 has been good all around…. hopefully this means the general uptrend we’re seeing will soon spread to all industries.

For Hold Time, the last two months have been very positive, lagging about three months behind Promotional Items… a good indicator to remember for the next cycle the music on hold industry goes through.  You might ask yourself, what external indicators is your business tied to?


Thanks everyone!

Patrick Bolan

M.A., M.B.A.

Can Customers Find You on Google Maps?

Dear (Contact First Name),

A friend and long-time client at Printsync asked me last week if I had registered my business on Google Maps.  Angela said that in the last six months, Printsync had picked up seven new customers from people searching for printers through Google Maps… and it’s free.  Hey, that’s worth trying!

Registering your business listing with Google Maps:

1.  Shows customers where you are, your phone number, and basic bio.

2.  Increases you web hits (a precious commodity in the marketing world)

3.  Increases your website’s organic ranking on Google.

4.  Let’s customers write reviews about you, which you should not fear if

your business is a good one.

4.  Why pass up free advertising?

keyword:portland music on hold
It’s free advertising, you might as well register!

So I registered two days ago, and Google Analytics tells me that 15 local queries have seen the Hold Time Music listing through this free Google Service.  Free free free!


Click here to get Google Maps registry started for your business.


Referral Gift Card winner announced!

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas — admin @ 12:49 pm

~ This was posted on - October 8, 2010

Hold Time Music used a gift card promotion to generate leads with our existing clients ending on September 30th, 2010.

- For a minimum of three leads, participants got a Starbucks gift card (easy to do, since you could throw a rock in Portland and a hit a Starbucks).

- Participants were entered into a drawing for a larger gift card to Fred Meyer, Nordstrom, or Home Depot.

I was alone in Hold Time’s music on hold studio, and wanted to be as fair as possible as we randomly determined the results, so I used www.random.org.   The winner was one of our friends at Riverside Golf and Country Club, who was referred to us by Integra Telecom years ago.

See the video of the drawing HERE!


Guerrilla Marketing Becoming More Mainstream

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas — admin @ 11:06 am

~ This was posted on - November 14, 2009

Looking for hold music for your business phone?  You’re not alone.  For businesses looking to leverage “alternative marketing solutions” in a down economy hold music is a no-brainer weapon for the arsenal.  The use of less expensive promotional vehicles to augment or replace traditional advertising is on the increase even as Bloomberg.com reports that newspaper circulation declines steepened in recent months.  “The Economy” is not the only reason for this trend.  Today’s marketplace is seen as more sophisticated and skeptical, and less susceptible to the impact of traditional advertising media (at least as traditionally employed).  I.e., traditional marketing is not dead, but there are new players in the game, and a “mix” of marketing channels and approaches, likely, will always be the best approach.

Couple shrinking marketing budgets with a changing consumer mindset, and “guerrilla marketing” may be becoming mainstream.  At the same time on-hold music and messaging, which was once seen as sort of a “necessary evil”… where hapless callers were unceremoniously forced to listen to instrumental Muzak™ renditions of last year’s pop music hits, has morphed into a sophisticated and viable, albeit low-cost means of communicating with – and marketing to consumers.

If, however, you’re planning to simply slap some canned hold music on your business phone, your callers might have a somewhat anachronistic experience waiting in your on-hold loop.  That is, they might think they’ve time-warped back to the era of disco dancing, leisure suits, and avocado-green kitchen appliances.  While keeping up with the times merely for the sake of “hip-ness” may not be the most effective business strategy, there is, for many businesses very real, demonstrable value in the thoughtful use of on-hold messaging.  Consider the following script written and produced by Holdtime Studios for a new client as an example of how hold music can be employed to connect with customers, inform them of relevant developments with your business, and market products and services to them while they are in a “warm” state, having called you on the telephone.

(This is an on-hold script for Halton CAT, the CAT heavy equipment dealer for Oregon and Southwest Washington.  This is one paragraph out of seven or eight in a three to four minute production.  Picture broadcast quality sound, a pleasant, soft jazz music bed, and a warm and friendly male announcer…)

“A LOT OF THINGS GET OVERHAULED AROUND HERE – ENGINES, HYDRAULICS, HEAVY EQUIPMENT, AND OUR WEBSITE…  WE’VE STREAMLINED THINGS AND ADDED SOME NEW FEATURES.  JUST HEAD ON OVER TO HALTONCO.COM TO FIND THE PRICES YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR ON OUR HOME PAGE.  EVERY WEEK, WE PUT FOUR MACHINES FOR RENT OR FOR SALE BELOW MARKET PRICE.  CLICK ON THE SUMMER HEAT LINK, OR SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL BLAST TO FIND THE PRICES YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR AT HALTON TODAY.”


Use your phone system to reduce costs.

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas,Music On Hold — admin @ 7:14 am

~ This was posted on - June 15, 2009

Hold time Studios provides custom, regularly updated music on hold and onhold messaging for a range of business types from financial services to manufacturing to healthcare – and just about everyone in-between. From the professional quality of the finished production to the flexibility to work with most phone systems (including Avaya, Cisco, Panasonic, Mitel, and NEC) to the low cost onhold messaging from Holdtime makes good sense. Why should you consider the benefits of onhold messaging for your company? Let’s use a nautical metaphor to paint the picture…

Sailing the seas of today’s business climate is not for the faint of heart! You need savvy and grit to stay the course. Jumping through all of the legal hoops and clearing the hurdles of red tape and paperwork just to be able to get your “ship” out of the harbor, is only the beginning. Endless challenges await on the open sea. Pirates (commonly referred to as “excessive taxes”) seem to be constantly on the increase plundering and extorting (and beware running aground on “hidden” taxes!) Rival merchants vie for precious customers at every port. Then there’s the cost of equipping and maintaining your ship and crew. If you’re determined to stay the course and not abandon ship, you have to find a way to lighten the load as you leverage the “wind” that drives your ship forward.

Cash flow is the wind in your sails, and the key to cash flow is customers. “Top of mind awareness” could be the “sails” in our analogy. Yes, you may need to cut back on marketing ideas that are not cost effective, but eliminate marketing entirely and you’ll likely find yourself dead in the water. For many reasons, customer retention is often as or more important to cash flow as customer acquisition. Whether for taking care of existing customers or “reeling in” the ones “on the line”, few marketing strategies match the efficiency, flexibility, and cost benefits of onhold messaging. Strategic use of your phone system through onhold messaging could be just what you need to give you the edge to “bring your ship to port”. You can listen to samples of Holdtime’s custom onhold messaging right now at Hold Time Studios.


Distinguishing your business from the competition

Filed under: Creative Marketing Ideas — admin @ 9:35 am

~ This was posted on - May 29, 2009

On-Hold Messaging is one of your most cost-effective marketing tools (minimal investment, warm, engaged, proactive audience, etc.) But what are you communicating? Features… benefits… prices… location… “about”… All good, but not as important as why… Most of what describes you also describes your competition, and music on hold is a great way to market the unique attributes of your company with this creative marketing channel.

Discovering and conveying your own uniqueness is not always easy. Turning it into a selling point can be even harder. Do it, however, or you’ll probably fail. Don’t rely on your marketing department to do it without your help. The responsibility for this critical task lies ultimately with the business owner. As for your marketing department – or whoever you expect to make your phone ring – are you “helping them help you” by providing them that singular distinction they can “write home about”? If a “selling point” elicits the response “Well I certainly hope so!” then it’s not nearly enough…

Car Ad: “All our vehicles come with warranties…!”

Prospective Customer: “Well I certainly hope so!”

Brochure for a typical retail business: “Fast, friendly service!”

Prospective Customer: “Well I certainly hope so!”

Holdtime Studios produces custom on-hold phone system messaging. Their clients who become pro-actively engaged in knowing and communicating their own uniqueness are more successful and easier to work with.

Does this uniqueness have to be worthy of the next Pulitzer Prize? No! But it does have to be something. (Almost) anything. So your dental office uses the latest, high tech equipment, etc., etc.

So your realtors are “professionals” and your website had “millions of listings”. I certainly hope so!

People do business with people. Sometimes that’s enough. Get in touch with what’s different or better about your company, product, or service. Next time you update your on-hold message – or your radio campaign – include that distinctive nugget.

Listen to samples of effective on-hold messaging that connects callers with real people and their distinctiveness at holdtimestudios.com.


Next Page »



Copyright 2008 © Hold Time Studios Site design by Doug Williams & Associates