March 5, 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the BusinessVoice News Network. By mixing three brief news stories each weekday with your On Hold Marketing (OHM) content, the BVNN adds a unique and valuable dimension to the caller experience.
A decade ago, the first edition of the BusinessVoice News Network informed callers about plans to reuse a stockpile of the H1N1 flu vaccine. We also shared the story about the extension of the federally backed Home Affordable Refinancing Program, which was created after the financial crisis of 2008. And on the lighter side, we let callers know about a new catcher's glove being tested at spring training camps that year. Made with a stronger composite material, the glove was designed to make 100-mile-per-hour fastballs a little easier to handle.
The BusinessVoice News Network has evolved into a daily resource for "news you can use." The stories we covered on our 10-year anniversary included a look at the side-effects you might experience from the switch to Daylight Saving Time, as well as new concerns about young children's second-hand exposure to screens when they see parents using devices. We also provided a simple formula to calculate how much mortgage you can afford.
Senior Creative Consultant Bob Seybold (pictured) has written and presented all 2,533 editions of the BusinessVoice News Network, since its debut in 2010. Bob says, "My goal every day is to give callers something that can help make life better or put a smile on your face."
When your company is a BVNN subscriber, we'll intersperse three quick stories with your existing On Hold Marketing content each weekday. You don't need to lift a finger. We deliver each update remotely. (Read the BVNN content here.)
You still get the marketing value of your OHM, plus the added benefit of content that's updated five times per week. The BVNN is a great feature if you have long hold times or customers who call frequently. And it's remarkably affordable.
BusinessVoice has been recognized by the MarCom Awards once again. Our Humor On Hold™ won four times during the 2019 competition. You can hear the winning work in the videos below.
The On Hold Marketing we created for Lakeland Auto and Marine called "Previously" (top left video) won a Platinum award. The Binkelman production titled "Time Stands Still" (top right) also earned a Platinum win. Our Binkelman entry called "All Roads" (bottom left) received a Gold award. And our work for Med-Line known as "HIPPA-tastic" (bottom right) won an honorable mention.
BusinessVoice is the world's most-awarded provider of On Hold Marketing.
If you agree that making the most of each contact you have with customers is important, then you can't ignore the caller experience.
And to turn the negative of holding into a positive, you need people who see the opportunity in On Hold Marketing and then leverage it for your benefit.
That's why you might like to know about the compliments we received at the 2019 MARCE Awards, a competition that celebrates the best On Hold Marketing in the world.
This year's MARCE Awards judges panel consisted of three former owners of On Hold Marketing agencies - our one-time competitors. They offered lots of great comments about our work and how effective they found it to be.
In addition to the quotes above, here are a few of the other thoughts they wrote on their judging forms.
- "This is an excellent production. Funnier than all the others I reviewed."
- "Callers obviously listen to the messages to hear the punchline of each joke, engaging them during the hold time."
- "The announcers do a good job being light-hearted, portraying the company as fun to do business with."
- "Great casual male voice. Very conversational and entertaining. Love the humor. Love the music."
- "Excellent and funny. I like the sound effects. Love the multiple voiceovers."
- "I like how you changed up the pace of the music. Energy levels changed throughout. I liked that aspect of the production."
Our work for International Translating Company called “Take a Bath” earned a Gold Award, while the production for Lakeland Auto & Marine called “Just West of France” won a Silver Award. Listen to both winners in the videos below.
For 25 years, The Communicator Awards has recognized big ideas in marketing and communications. Each year, more than 6,000 companies and agencies enter, making The Communicator’s one of the world’s largest creative competitions.
According to their website, “The Communicator Awards honors work that transcends innovation and craft – work that made a lasting impact, providing an equal chance of winning to all entrants regardless of company or agency size and project budget.”
The BusinessVoice team took three honors from the 2018 MarCom Awards, a competition that recognizes excellence in the world of marketing and communication.
An On Hold Marketing production we created for Omega Force won a Gold MarCom Award. Jason Webber wrote the copy. Steve Lovvorn and Amy Scott provided the voiceover. Don Binkley was the Recording Engineer.
And we earned an Honorable Mention for work we produced for our longtime client, Binkelman. Scott Greggory was the copywriter and voice talent. Amy Scott provided additional VO. Chris Zaharias engineered the project.
The MarCom Awards is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, an international organization whose members include thousands of marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, digital and web professionals.
In August 2018, BBC.com published an article called "The Art and Science of Being On Hold." Written by Damian Fowler, the piece featured input from BusinessVoice team members Jerry Brown, Steve Evert and Scott Greggory.
Here is an abridged version of the article.
Hold Music as a Branding Tool
Nowadays, hold music isn’t left to chance. There are companies like BusinessVoice, which specializes in On Hold Marketing for mid-to large-size companies. They see the On Hold experience as an expression of brand identity, mixing music with a verbal message - which sounds closer to a radio advertisement than, say, an easy-listening jazz number.
When creating an On Hold Marketing plan for a new client, BusinessVoice initiates a “caller experience” audit. They will determine things like how frequently the same person calls and the longest time a person will be put on hold. If the average hold time is five minutes, for example, a caller doesn’t want to hear a three-minute loop. The company also determines the caller demographic and from there creates its plan to make the call experience better. “You really want to use the time that people wait on hold to make them feel good about your company,” says Jerry Brown, the founder and CEO of BusinessVoice.
What this means is that on hold music and messaging is necessarily curated according to the needs of the client and the customer. The music and the message are tailored to ensure a positive On Hold experience.
According to Brown, it gets quite scientific. For a company that has a queue for sales and a queue for services, BusinessVoice would create two completely different messages and formats [for] those separate call experiences. “A lot of time we pick out music based on beats per minute of a song. So, if you’re a customer service line where people are holding for 10 minutes, we don’t want to have high beats per minute. If it’s a sales queue and you’re trying to move people to action, we want to increase their heart rate a little bit,” explains Brown.
The company also pays attention to whether hold music should be in a major or a minor key, offering subtle emotional cues to the caller on hold.
The Grammys of Hold Music
The world of on hold music and messaging even has its own awards. The MARCE Awards is an annual competition held by the Experience Marketing Association. This year, the “Most Effective” prize went to Behler-Young, a distributor of heating and cooling products based in the U.S. Midwest, for its hold message tagged “I’m Sworn to Secrecy.” Created by BusinessVoice - which has scooped up many MARCE awards over the years - it’s a highly produced sequence featuring spoof spy music, and a humourous voiceover that channels Mission Impossible.
Humor On Hold is another important concept for engaging callers. “If somebody can make me laugh in that space where there’s usually an ad, I feel more of an affection for that company,” says Scott Greggory, the Chief Creative Officer of BusinessVoice. With a background in radio, Greggory pioneered the idea of making On Hold Marketing palatable with what he calls the “spoonful of sugar” approach.