Welcome to OnOne Software!

~ This was posted on - June 2, 2011

Since their software offerings are constantly being updated and improved, AND because their customers may spend a lot of time on-hold for technical support asking questions that have easy answers, OnOne software is using Hold Time to point callers to their website for FAQ, tutorials, and new stuff.

For example if Adobe Photoshop posts an update, OnOne quickly revises their plug-in to work with it.  Customers don’t need to call and wait for tech-support – just download the update for OnOne’s plug-in.  Hold Time is working to reduce their call volume in this way.

We elected to use an internet based player – the Hybrid 7600, that updates productions remotely from our Oregon City studio.   OnOne updates frequently, so getting a new production up on their NEC phone system almost instantly is part of the excellent customer service Hold Time provides!


Welcome to Rehabiliation Medicine Associates!

Filed under: Music On Hold,music on hold technology,On Hold Messaging — admin @ 7:17 am

~ This was posted on - March 4, 2011

Equipment:

Rehabiliation Medicine Associates has three faxes running almost full time, and with an abundance of accessory phone lines, Hold Time installed our fax-based unit, the RUF 2700. This music on hold player is designed to sit on the back end of the fax line like a credit card machine. Faxes pass-through the unit, but the RUF will answer when our studio dials into to upload a new production. A special DTMF code on the phone line alerts the recording software in the player to answer, and receive a new production.

What they do:

When someone’s body has been subjected to a traumatic event, like a car accident, burns, or cancer, there will be significant changes in their lifestyle. RMA’s doctors diagnose, and guide them through this process of healing, and helping them deal with the, in some cases, dramatic reduction in physical strength, or mental fitness.

Marketing Challenges:

RMA’s business is almost entirely by referral, so medical professionals and clients would be hearing the same production. A medical professional will want to know the scope and qualifications of RMA, but the patient is interested in what exactly is going to happen when they come in to an appointment.

The doctors at RMA had a problem typical to medical institutions: Although they want their patients and referral sources to know their qualifications, they’re reluctant to market themselves. I’m proud that Hold Time used a on-hold messaging paragraph format that struck a balance between the two. Here it is:

WHAT IS IMPORTANT PART 1

THANKS FOR CALLING REHABILIATION MEDICINE ASSOCIATES. WE BELIEVE WE’RE ONE OF THE BEST PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILIATION CLINICS IN THE NORTHWEST, AND WITH GOOD REASON: ON OUR MEDICAL STAFF IS THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF LEGACY REHABILIATION SERVICES, AND GRADUATES FROM SOME OF THE TOP TRAINING PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY, ALL WITH WIDE RANGING SPECIALTIES LIKE AMPUTEE REHABILIATION, , AND EVEN NARROW SPECIALTIES LIKE POST POLIO SYNDROME. IT SOUNDS IMPRESSIVE, BUT IT’S NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE. WE’LL EXPLAIN IN JUST A MOMENT.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT PART 2

DESPITE OUR MANY DEGREES, TITLES, AND SPECIALTIES… WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT WE’RE YOUR DOCTOR TODAY. WE KNOW THIS IS NOT AN EASY ROAD FOR YOU RIGHT NOW, BUT THOUSANDS HAVE TRAVELED IT WITH OUR HELP. THE DOCTORS AT REHABILIATION MEDICINE ASSOCIATES ARE HERE TO TAKE THAT JOURNEY WITH YOU, AND YOU’LL HAVE OUR FULL ATTENTION IN JUST A MOMENT.

You can see how it says, “We’re awesome, but no one here is tooting their own horn!”


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)


Welcome Schulhoff Veterinary Hospital!

~ This was posted on - October 31, 2010

What they do:

Schulhoff Animal Hospital serves an affluent community of pet lovers in Connecticut from remodeled mansion that was used (briefly) as General Sherman’s headquarters in the Civil War. It’s a family-run business, that really took the time to communicate the feel of their pet hospital; And so, our writing on this project achieved the best type of on-hold messaging content: stories!

Our Favorite paragraph:

UNUSUAL CASE, BOA CONSTRICTOR, PT. 1

DOCTOR BENYEI TELLS AN AMUSING STORY ABOUT WHEN HE WAS FIRST STARTING OUT AS A YOUNG VET, WILLING TO TACKLE ANYTHING THAT CAME ALONG. ONE SATURDAY MORNING THE EXAM ROOM WAS FULL OF LITTLE SICK POODLES AND CATS. A FEW MINUTES LATER DOCTOR BENYEI LOOKED UP AND THE ROOM WAS EMPTY, EXCEPT FOR A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD BOY SITTING THERE WITH A PAPER SHOPPING BAG. THE REST OF THE STORY, IN TEN SECONDS…

UNUSUAL CASE, BOA CONSTRICTOR, PT. 2

AS DOCTOR BENYEI WAS STARING WITH CURIOSITY AT THE SHOPPING BAG, OUT POKED A HEAD AND PEERED AROUND LIKE A PERISCOPE ON A SUBMARINE. IT WAS A SIX-FOOT BOA CONSTRICTOR WITH AN UPSET STOMACH! WELL, OF COURSE DOCTOR B. TOOK CARE OF THAT POOR SNAKE! WHATEVER’S AILING YOUR PET, BRING IT IN AND WE’LL MAKE IT ALL BETTER! TELL US ABOUT IT, WHEN WE RETURN TO THE LINE.

Marketing Challenge:

Every veterinary clinic wants their customers to do two things 1) come back for regular checkups, and 2) Use them for the scope of services that they provide. Schulhoff Veterinary Hospital has a dog and cat boarding service which is the best in the area. Cats can freely roam around on furniture in a dedicated room, and watch the action outside through an antique picture window as the sun streams through. Sounds like the perfect cat holiday for me!

Equipment:

Veterinary service has a strong seasonal aspect: Summer for vaccines and outdoor issues, Holiday for “keep your pets away from…”, and Winter for cold-weather issues. So, Schulhoff needed to update their production seasonally. Hold Time installed a player that automatically updates their productions over the internet within two hours of it being completed in our studio. Best of all, Schulhoff’s doesn’t have to do anything but approve the production… Hold Time handles the rest!

Schulhoff was referred to us through our website, www.holdtimestudios.com, but not to the home page, they told me. Curiously, the keywords “music on hold Avaya” takes the search engines to the Installation Page of our website, which lists instructions for many types of phone systems.


Using on-hold for small phone systems, and the RCA Executive Series

Filed under: Hold Music Player,music on hold technology — admin @ 3:17 pm

~ This was posted on - October 18, 2010

A few days ago, I got a question from a telecom friend about small phone systems: the little two to four line phone systems at Staples or Office Depot, like the RCA Executive Series phone systems*. Can they do on-hold?  Well, I don’t like them anymore than you do, but they do take third party adapters that add this feature to cheap phones.

We do what works:

A small California company that makes custom adapters for consumer-grade phone systems that are commonly sold in the U.S. There are a couple of methods

  • Blinking light diodes: A glued-on light sensor detects the blinking “HOLD” light on the face of the phone, and plays the music.
  • Voltage Shift: The Analog adapter is tuned to detect the voltage shift in the line when a caller is put on hold, triggering music to play.
  • Keystroke: If nothing else works, # or * will trigger the music to play, or turn off.
They run between $100-225, and Hold Time make sure you get the right one for your phone system.

What doesn’t work:

The Intellitouch OHP 6500 and 7500 players

Please, no.  I’ve got a few of these as doorstops in my garage because I got tired of customers complaining they didn’t work.

INteresting idea, but doesnt work that well...

You can find more information on small phone systems here, but I’d rather you email me for details on your system

*A special note about using RCA Executive Series 25403 (and the like) phones for music on hold. The annoying BEEP that callers hear on hold cannot be turned off.  Sorry, Frank. The best work around is to buy another small system (like this one), get a professional grade phone system.  Equipped with a music on hold analog adapter from Hold Time Studios, we can effectively mask the BEEP… but we can’t make it go away altogether.

Every phone system has a different configuration, and Patrick knows what to do.  Email him, or talk to him right now at 800-521-5570.


Using Hosted and VOIP systems with Music on hold

Filed under: music on hold technology — admin @ 8:38 am

~ This was posted on - April 9, 2009

We increasingly see more customers coming to us with VOIP technology running their phone systems. The VOIP application uses a remotely hosted phone server, with service delivered via the customers internet connection. While our experience has been that this technology is still maturing and not as reliable as a traditional business-class phone system, the music on hold technology that runs it is very stable and straightforward. However, the music on hold marketing technique in VOIP is different in one big way: It does not loop.

When a customer is put on hold in a VOIP/ hosted system the music on hold feed starts at 00:00seconds, and plays until whenever the call is picked up on other end.

[start] Paragraph #1 / music / Paragraph#2 / music / Paragraph #3 / … etc.

In a traditional phone system, the music on hold plays through an external player (usually) that loops about endlessly in a four to six minute track. You never know what paragraphs that are full of information and style about your company are going to be playing. It’s like a home system CD track on “repeat”.

[start?] Paragraph #1 / [start?] music / [start?] Paragraph #2 / [start?] ….

For VOIP/ hosted systems, having the messaging on hold track start at Paragraph #1 every time they call is a mixed blessing.

1. GOOD – Your business can get it’s top priority marketing paragraphs out first to every caller. Lesser priority paragraphs can be placed later in the 4 to six minute production.

2. BAD – If a prospect or customer calls in more than once, they’ll get tired of hearing the same Paragraph #1 all the time.

At www.holdtimestudios.com, we recommend having smaller productions for VOIP / hosted systems, and changing them more often. This makes the music on hold marketing channel much more relevant and dynamic, and doesn’t significantly increase the cost because the overall production and studio is shorter for each paragraph. To us, (4) six-minute productions is the same amount of studio time as (6) three-minute productions.


Directory and Voice mail recordings for phone trees Part 3 of 3

Filed under: music on hold technology — admin @ 12:49 pm

~ This was posted on - March 24, 2009

If you’ve spent thousands on your phone system, you can be sure that callers are going to spend some time on-hold or transferred as they do business with you. Creating an efficient and professional experience is often more important than how your front lobby looks – 80% of business callers will be put on-hold in a given day! Roll out the red carpet for your callers by enhancing these three zones.

  1. Zone 1 – Who (or what) is answering the phone? Receptionists and Auto Attendants. See our blog here.
  2. Zone 2 – Dynamic marketing: music on hold, or messaging on hold. See our blog here.
  3. Zone 3 – Directory and Voice Mail recordings
    1. Directory. Again, it’s important that the voiceover that’s on the Auto-attendant (Zone 1) and onhold messaging (Zone 2) is the same as the Directory recording. It’s sounds professional… a smooth transition to get the caller to their final extension. It doesn’t have to be dry. People appreciate a bit of warmth in the voice prompts, like this: “Here’s a list of extensions for everyone at www.elcon.com. This is a long list, so you may dial the extension as soon as you hear it!….. For John Smith, dial 111, etc….”

Voice Mail recordings. Most companies want the person that owns the voice mail to do their own recording. It’s personable, and it will be the last prompt your callers here.

Most effective are voice mail messages that are updated frequently with timely information. “You’ve reached the phone of Patrick Bolan with www.holdtimestudios.com. We’re in the studio right now working on Holiday productions… and so our ringing phones are turned off. We are very good at returning phone calls, however, so please leave a message and I’ll return your call promptly.” See? Isn’t that better than “I’m not available right now, so leave a message.” ?


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

Filed under: music on hold technology — admin @ 8:28 am

~ This was posted on - February 18, 2009

If your phone system was purchased at an office supply store, it’s not going to have a music on hold port to plug a player into. In fact, it may not even have a way to put people on hold. But there are third party adapters that can add this capability to your phone system. Installed correctly, it can be as smooth as a commercial grade phone system.

For commercial grade systems, check out this page  http://www.holdtimestudios.com/phone-system.php.  For office-depot type systems, call us at 800-521-5570 and we’ll point you in the right direction.  Really, searching about the internet is going to be harder than just calling us…

Type #2 – The keystroke

These third-party units manually activate the on-hold music with a keystroke, like #, or by physically pressing a button on the unit itself. It works like an on-off switch.

Good:

- Inexpensive and simple.

Bad:

- Require a manual keystroke everytime a caller is put on hold.

- Only works with the phone it is attached to.

Type #3

Intellitouch makes a product that emits a signal tone from a dongle attached to each phone reciever. When the phone is put on hold and the hand held phone receiver is no longer electrically connected to the base unit… the signal disappears and the player begins to play the on hold messaging feed.

It sounds innovative, but in our experience… it doesn’t always work. Hold Time Studios does not sell or support this unit anymore.

Good:

- The player and the adapter are one unit.

Bad:

- At least 30% of our installations with the OHP 6500 failed, and we ordered a Skutch adapter.


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.


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


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