Our Humor On Hold™ must have really stood out to the judges of the 22nd annual Communicator Awards.
More than 6,000 entries competed for the coveted international honor, but only 16 in the Audio category received a Gold Award of Excellence.
Ours was one of them.
“Interviews” is the name of the winning On Hold Marketing production we created for Binkelman Corp. It features three goofy interviews related to the company, along with other humorous content.
Scott Greggory wrote and produced the winning entry.
"The style, copy, voices, sound effects and music all come together to produce a unique on hold experience, one that callers would likely enjoy and remember longer," he said. "And when an audience enjoys your marketing, they associate that good feeling with your brand."
We’ve received a lot of client testimonials over the years, but never one quite like this.
It was an email sent to a company by one of our clients - Daniel Doxey at International Translating Company. To protect the company Daniel was writing to, we'll call it XYZ Inc.
Daniel forwarded the email to us as well. The subject line was 'On Hold Time Remaining' Announcement is Torture.
Can you relate to Daniel’s experience? Here's the email he sent.
Hey there, XYZ Inc. I’m sending this feedback because [one of your] reps said people at this email address care. I care, otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time with the following.
I was on hold [with your company] for 21 minutes this morning. In general, that’s not good. You should fix that. I know - easier said than done.
However, worse than that is that the voice announcing the remaining hold time was telling me how long I had to wait about every 15 seconds. Being told how long your wait is every 15 seconds is torture.
This summarizes my experience on hold.
You will be waiting 21 minutes. [Me: That sucks. But I have to talk to someone because our website that you host is down.]
Hey, just in case you forgot, your next 20 minutes are going to really suck.
Hey, there. I’m back. I know you’re trying to work on something else while you have this on speaker, but I wanted to let you know that the experience you are going to have with us today is really going to be bad.
I know I told you 15 seconds ago, but you’re still not even close to talking with someone.
Hey, I’m back. Same message. [Me: Why are they telling me this so often? It’s super annoying.]
I’m back to remind you that someone at XYZ Inc. didn’t schedule this customer service shift right. [Me: Okay, wait a second. How often are they doing this?]
Hey, I’m back with my sweet, chipper voice. Blah, blah, blah. [Me: That was about 15, maybe 20 seconds.]
Here again! Did you miss me? Big kiss from XYZ Inc. [Me: Okay. That was a little longer.]
Hey, there. I’m baaack, reminding you again. [Me: Wow. Back to 15 seconds.]
It’s me again. [Me: Okay, it’s confirmed. They have a setting that sounded like a good idea, but they should have listened to it themselves for 21 minutes.]
Yoohoooo! I’m back. [Me: I have never wanted hold music so badly. Universe, you win!]
Hey, there. Did you miss me? [Me: Very bad thoughts.]
We are Borg. Resistance is futile. [Me: Try to be professional when they answer.]
Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. [Me: Try to be professional when they answer.]
Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. [Me: Try to be professional when they answer.]
Why do you resist? We only wish to raise the quality of life for all species. [Me: Try to be professional when they answer.]
If you’ve made it this far:
1) Fix the timing of your reminder!
2) Reduce your hold times!
4) Here are two samples of their work:
A) BusinessVoice’s Humor On Hold™
I did this in less time than I was on hold, but I am not sure it will make the world a better place. I hope you fix it.
Winning is contagious. Kinda' like the flu, without the excess mucus.
So, when our Humor On Hold™ won three MarCom Creative Awards in October of 2015, it inspired us to do even more great work.
"Being recognized by our peers and award competitions is motivating, absolutely," said our Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory. "It's exciting to know that our work is standing out in a huge crowd of great creative work.
"If our On Hold Marketing can catch the attention of a busy panel of award show judges, we have a great chance of making positive impressions on our clients' callers."
And yes, that extra motivation has kicked in every time our work was been honored – more than 100 times now.
Here's a look at this year's winners:
What rhymes with BusinessVoice?
The On Hold Messaging Association's MARCE Awards began presenting Judge's Choice awards in 2009. Since then, nine Judge's Choice trophies have been awarded, and BusinessVoice has earned five of them! That includes the only Judge's Choice award given at the 2015 ceremony in New Orleans.
Our winning entry was an On Hold Marketing production we created for MyOpenHouse.com. It included four scenarios, five music beds, several sound effects, and more than a dozen voices. (Listen to the production in the video on the right.)
Long-time BusinessVoice Creative Consultant Bob Seybold conceived and wrote the winning entry, served as one of the announcers, selected the music, cast the voice talent, and even assisted with production.
The Judges' Thoughts
The production received very high scores from two of the three judges: 99 and a perfect 100. They also shared a few comments:
- "This was creative and [made] good use of the voices. It gets the point across for the caller..."
- "Good mixing on this one. The goals [that were] stated were met."
The MARCE Awards is an annual competition that recognizes marketing and creative excellence within the On Hold Messaging industry. BusinessVoice is the nation's most-awarded On Hold Marketing agency, having won 100 local, regional and national awards for On Hold Marketing.
Our unique approach to On Hold Marketing was honored by the judges at The 2015 Communicator Awards.
We entered two humorous productions that we created for Binkelman Corporation, and each won a (Silver) Award of Distinction. (Listen to the winning work in the videos above.)
"Despite the fact that the word 'Distinction' includes the sound 'stink' right in the middle, we're pretty happy about this," said Scott Greggory, writer of the award-winning productions.
"Our use of humor in On Hold Marketing has been consistently recognized by clients, callers and award shows since 1995, but we still get a jolt when our work is celebrated," said Greggory. "It's great to know that people enjoy it, and that it stands out."
The Communicator Awards is "an international awards program that recognizes big ideas in marketing and communications." With more than 6,000 entries, it's one of the largest competitions of its kind.
The Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts sanctions and judges The Communicator Awards. AIVA consists of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms.
Great phone skills and etiquette are essential to building successful long-term customer relationships. That's why we've renewed our commitment to helping our clients develop those abilities.
An Exciting New Program
BusinessVoice has partnered with Steve Ferrante, producer of the Pinnacle Performance Training program, to provide on-site CSR training and etiquette training seminars across the country.
Ferrante's program helps frontline phone staff and salespeople maximize their effectiveness on the telephone. That can lead to better customer relationships, more sales, and increased revenue.
For more than 25 years, Ferrante has combined his passion for sales and training. His nationally acclaimed Pinnacle Performance Sales / Customer Service / Leadership Training program has helped companies in many industries improve their sales, customer relations, and corporate culture. He also serves as a contributing editor for the "Selling Smart" section of Tire Review magazine, as well its sister publication, Shop Owner.