In April of 2021, the Wall Street Journal called on BusinessVoice - and a few of our clients - for insight into the caller experience.
For the May 20th online article, “How Companies Make Sure You Don’t Hang Up When You’re on Hold,” writer Dan Weil explained the different options available to companies, from “music, marketing and informational messages, humor, silence and an option to get a call back.”
Weil quoted our founder: “Businesses with successful hold programs ‘look at it as part of their overall marketing plan,’ says Jerry Brown, president of BusinessVoice, a firm that helps companies create those programs. ‘You have to look at it not just as a selling tool, but more importantly as a customer experience tool.’”
Weil noted that, “if customers are calling to make a purchase, there is no harm describing products and prices, industry pros say. But it very much depends on the type of company. For certain services, a softer branding message is more suitable. ‘If I’m calling Apple to buy something, I would expect to hear about products,’ Mr. Brown says. ‘But if I’m calling a nursing home to talk about whether my mom might go there and I get hard-sell marketing messages, that’s not so good.’”
A Funny Take
The article also referenced our unique use of Humor On Hold.
“[BusinessVoice client] Binkelman, an industrial-parts distributor based in Toledo, Ohio, has taken the comedic route for its on hold customers. Callers to Binkelman are often put on hold, and the company wants to keep them entertained. It’s about finding humor in products that aren’t sexy - bearings, belts, hoses. (Listen to a sample.)
“Some outsiders might find a few of the jokes off-color, but the company’s customers love them, says marketing manager Rebecca Conrad. ‘We’re in a mostly male industry, where guys like NASCAR and Bud Light,’ Ms. Conrad says. Customers often call just to get put on hold, so they can hear the jokes, she says.
A recent example: “Thanks for calling Binkelman, where we’re changing lives with our pioneering approach to male-pattern baldness,” the voice says. “We slice ContiTech Insta-Grip 300 Push-On Hose into thin strips to make fun toupees that look and feel like the mane of a real donkey. Choose from three colors and four scents. Then, just staple your new rug into place and blammo! People will like you again. Ask for the Binkelman wig shop.”
Our Humor On Hold continues to stand out! We earned a pair of Communicator Awards of Excellence during the 2021 competition.
"Jack," the work we created for Binkelman Corporation, begins with an interview with a donkey and continues with several unusual segments.
"Hold It!" is a game show parody brought to life for Lakeland Auto and Marine.
Listen to the winning productions in the videos above.
The Communicator Awards is an international awards program that recognizes big ideas in marketing and communications. The show is overseen and judged by members of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only organization of leading professionals from various forms of traditional and interactive media.
The BusinessVoice Humor On Hold production called “Hold It!” earned a Bronze ADDY Award during the March 4th online ceremony, presented by American Advertising Federation - Toledo. Listen to the winning audio in the video above.
The unusual game show parody was created for Lakeland Auto and Marine in Port Clinton, Ohio.
Scott Greggory wrote the copy and provided the lead voiceover. Chris Zaharias served as the Recording Engineer.
“With Humor On Hold, we can draw callers into the messaging, generate genuine interest and encourage brand loyalty,” said Greggory. To learn how clients and others are responding to our unique approach, read "The Serious Value of Humor On Hold" on the BusinessVoice Blog.
BusinessVoice is the most-awarded agency of its kind, having earned more than 100 honors for creative and marketing excellence from local, regional and national competitions.
During 2021's virtual ADDY Awards ceremony on March 4th, MadAveGroup / BusinessVoice Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory received the American Advertising Federation of Toledo’s highest honor, the Silver Medal Award.
Since 1959, the SMA has been given once annually to recognize those who've made outstanding contributions to advertising, while demonstrating a commitment to the industry's highest standards, creative excellence and social concerns.
In presenting the Silver Medal, last year's winner Mark Reiter called Scott "one of the most creative, passionately artistic people you'd ever want to meet. There's just nobody who looks at things the way he does."
As a copywriter, producer and voiceover artist, Scott is known for creating humorous On Hold Marketing and advertising content. His “Humor On Hold” and other work have earned more than 125 local, regional and national awards for creative excellence.
"Scott has been doing our On Hold Messaging for 20 years," said Rebecca Conrad, Marketing Manager for Binkelman, a long-time BusinessVoice client. "One of the most fun things that we hear from our customers is 'put me back on hold.'"
BusinessVoice client Chris Mitsos said, "He doesn't present false ideas that will never resonate with the consumer. It's really, really refreshing to work with somebody who has a sense of what's really going on in the marketplace."
Greggory has been a creative leader with BusinessVoice since 1993. He’s the third member of the MadAveGroup team to win the Silver Medal. It was also presented to CEO Jerry Brown in 2012 and Chief Brand Officer Terry Lesniewicz in 2005.
“With Humor On Hold™, we work to turn the negative of holding into a pleasant surprise,” said Scott Greggory, Chief Creative Officer for BusinessVoice. “And our humor is consistently honored by award shows, so that's one type of proof that the content is working - attracting attention and differentiating our clients.”
At the 2020 MarCom Awards, our Humor On Hold™ production for Lakeland Auto and Marine called "Hold It!" earned a Platinum Award, and "Jack," Humor On Hold™ we created for Binkelman, received an Honorable Mention.
"Creative Inspiration" - a video our MadAveGroup team produced for the 2020 Addy Awards - also won a Platinum MarCom Award.
In this video clip, Michael tells the story of how Jerry Brown and Scott Greggory “were right there at the beginning of On Hold Marketing and that whole experience, setting it up,” and defining what the service is and what it could be.
“Applying humor to the caller experience was a natural transition from my work in radio,” said Scott. “But humor can be even more powerful on hold because it’s completely unexpected. When we catch callers off guard, we can capture their attention, draw them into the content and encourage them to listen actively.”
Play the video to hear the quick segment about Humor On Hold™.