Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sick and Tired

Judging from the number of people who are sick these days it's that time of year again. The flu's, colds and sniffles are going around. Getting a little help around the office can be a challenge sometimes. I have a solution. Your on hold message. That's right, an on hold message never gets sick. For that matter, it never takes a break, never goes on vacation and you never have to pay overtime. The pluses don't stop there. Your on hold message only says what you want it to say and how you want to say it. There's never an "attitude." It's an up sell expert too. You have a slow moving item going on clearance, your on hold message never forgets to remind the caller about it. How about your new hours? The on hold message can mention that too. And you feel a little embarrassed telling everybody about that award the Chamber of Commerce gave you? Let your on hold message do it. If you can imagine it, your on hold message can say it.

Now all you have to worry about is keeping yourself healthy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Can Do That...

I've been in radio for years. It's where I learned the skills to write, voice and produce on hold messages. You often hear people saying what a cool job it is. "Sitting around playing music, answering the phone, that's great" is something you hear a lot. Just for fun sometimes when someone says that I'll just start walking towards the door and tell the person, "When that song is done just start the next one for me..." Have you ever seen someone turn white in an instant? It happens under this scenario in a heartbeat. The "apprentice dj"starts to stammer and stumble and say things that are unintelligible for the most part. All of a sudden it's not so much fun I guess. The best story was one time a buddy of mine was on the air and the janitor came in to do his rounds and he had a guest or trainee with him. My friend overhears the guy say "See, he just listens to music and reads the paper". The point of all this is when someone does something well, you feel like it's so easy you could do it too. It's not until you're faced with the prospect of really having to do it that you realize that you're ill prepared to take on the task.

When I'm producing an on hold message the delivery is a result of many years of reading countless thousands of pieces of copy and interpreting it the way it makes the most impact. When someone hears it they don't give that a thought. However, if I was to have them read it the difference would be highly noticeable.

And don't even get me started on all the other tricks of "sweetening" the voice track and mixing the music to sound just right. Many of the little things that give your message the polished sound it deserves. Nobody really gives it a thought, but hears the difference in an inferior product.

Now, excuse me, but I have to get back to listening to some music and reading the paper...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

National On Hold Month

I guess this means there really is a month for everything. March is "National On Hold Month." What does this mean? Well, officially it's a month to recognize everyone who has been placed “on hold” after calling a place of business, and to honor those businesses who make this hold time more enjoyable by supplying informative messages and music for their waiting callers. One thing i would like to clarify, an on hold message and a phone tree are 2 different things. Sometimes I've heard them interchanged in conversation. What's the difference? An "on hold message" is a way for the business to let you know you are still on hold and have not been disconnected. At the same time many businesses use this time to tell you a little bit about their business, maybe some things you didn't know but would like to know. Where as a "phone tree" is that device where you get a myriad of options (sometimes they don't fit your situation) to help the business route calls through an automated human free system. And as we've all learned, you sometimes can end up going in circles and the ultimate destination too often is a little place I like to call frustration. So, enjoy National On Hold Month, in some circles the traditional way to celebrate is with a trip to Las Vegas. Sounds good to me. For you would like more information about a business building on hold message for your business, call 909.226.1375.

Doug V.