Inventor of Cassette Tapes Dies

Want to blow your mind?

Try to imagine all the thinking, research and invention that's gone into the technology you rely on - and take for granted - every day.

Everything you use to do your job was developed out of thin air or as an outgrowth of a previous innovation.

In both large and small ways, we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.

All of us at BusinessVoice stood on Lou Ottens' shoulders.

But we never met Lou. In fact, we never even heard Lou's name until March 10th when we read of his death at age 94.

Lou Ottens invented the cassette tape.

While the head of new product development at Philips in the early 1960s, Ottens saw the potential in a portable, affordable alternative to large reel-to-reel tapes. So, he invented it.

In 1963, Philips released his first cassette tape. It launched a revolution in easy home recording that impacted a wide swath of musical genres, from punk to hip hop to garage rock.

If you grew up in the 1970s or '80s, chances are you made at least one mix tape, compiling your favorite songs from your own record collection or by capturing them from the radio.

BusinessVoice, too, owes a huge debt to Lou Ottens.

When we were taking some of our industry's first steps in 1989, we relied on his cassette tapes to distribute content to our clients. We've since advanced to digital, no-touch remote download systems to send On Hold Marketing productions to companies all over the United States, but it's no exaggeration to say that our agency wouldn't exist today without Mr. Ottens' foresight.

You never know how what you think and do might impact others, today or years into the future. We consider On Hold Marketing an opportunity to connect with people; a chance to turn the negative of holding into a valuable touchpoint.

We use our time with your callers to share your company's unique perspective. In the process, we hope to spark fresh ideas and ignite new inspiration, adding yet another set of shoulders for those to come, just like Lou Ottens did for us and so many others.

Podcasting Questions

Thinking of starting a podcast for your brand? Here are a few questions to consider.

1) Why are you doing it? Producing a great podcast consistently takes a lot of work, so it's important to believe in its mission. Is your goal to educate your potential customers or the community at large? Do you want to create awareness of your industry and encourage a larger conversation about it? Are you hoping to tell stories about your company's employees or showcase your products in action? Whatever your motivation, make sure everyone on the team understands and is committed to the same purpose.

2) How will you serve - and build - your audience? There's no shortage of podcasts these days, so it's important to differentiate your content and/or the style of your presentation. What's your plan to create must-hear audio for your target audience? Does your brand have a unique perspective that's likely to engage listeners long-term? Then, how will you spread the word about your podcast? Develop an ongoing marketing plan to maintain your fans and attract new listeners.

3) Do you have the resources? Depending on the budget, your podcast might have a large production staff or the effort might be yours alone. At the very least, you'll need a host; a producer to generate topic ideas and book guests; a writer / researcher to create questions and provide background information on those topics and guests; and a tech-savvy person to record, edit and distribute your podcast. Selling advertising or sponsorships? You'll need a salesperson, too. If only one or two people will handle all those tasks, remember to consider their other responsibilities. The podcast will require a lot of time.

4) What's the end game? How do you hope to benefit from your podcasting efforts? How will you define victory? By the way, there's no rule that says your podcast has to live forever. You could design it to have a limited number of episodes or a specific end date. Later, you might start another podcast with a different focus or personality.

With our team of writers, recording engineers, voiceover talent, strategists and account managers, we can serve as consultants or help you design and execute your podcast. For details, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him directly at 419/724-7311.

Don't Let the Radio Station Produce Your Commercials

This is an image of telephone CSRs

We are drawn to people who care for us; people who take a sincere interest in our well-being.

So, when you and your team provide exceptional customer service - in any form and at any touchpoint - you’re letting people know you care about them and their experience with your company.

National Customer Service Week is celebrated each year during the first full week of October. It’s a reminder to renew your commitment to delivering a high level of care to those who keep you in business. When you do, you’ll encourage customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth advertising about your brand.

You have many opportunities to wow customers: face-to-face through friendly, helpful interactions at the point of sale; online through intuitive design and valuable content that helps visitors make smart buying decisions; in your advertising by providing practical information your audience can apply; even through your company’s telephones.

When your prospects and customers are treated to a thoughtfully designed caller experience, they can sense that they’re in for a higher level of service from your employees, and that can encourage them to stay on the line longer and call more frequently.

That positive caller experience consists of clear, efficient contact center messaging that’s professionally written and recorded; short hold times; caller-centric On Hold Marketing content that provides actionable information; and well-trained CSRs, each with a heart for service.

When you work hard to build a better product or deliver a smarter service, you can’t afford to lose potential customers to a weakness in your call handling. A caller experience audit will reveal your comapny's opportunities for improvement. Schedule yours today by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 419/724-7311.

National Customer Service Week was established in 1984 by the International Customer Service Association and proclaimed a national event by the United States Congress in 1992.

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Audio Logo Survey

You may not know the term “audio logo,” but I’ll bet you know an audio logo when you hear one. And so does everyone else.

(Watch the video to listen to samples. Can you name the brands they represent?) 

Those few seconds of music, voice or effects that accompany, support or even stand in for a brand name can be an important element of a company’s marketing. Along with a visual logo, a slogan and a distinct color, an audio logo serves as an identifier that reinforces brand personality and strengthens recall.

Veritonic is a company that measures and quantifies the effectiveness of audio logos. In May of 2020, they released their fourth annual Audio Logo Index. It’s an analysis of 56 of the best-known audio logos in the U.S. and U.K.

A Few Takeaways

• Audio logos that incorporate the brand’s name are five times more effective at generating brand recall.

• In the U.S., audio logos with a melody outperform those without a melody. In fact, 75% of the top 20 audio logos feature a melody. The Veritonic index defines a melodic audio logo as one that can be sung, as opposed to a tone, a sound effect or spoken words, such as Little Caesers’ “Pizza Pizza.”

• For brands that don’t use their name in their visual logo (Ex: Starbucks and MasterCard), audio logos can effectively reinforce that name.

• As is typically the case with any brand element or message, high frequency and cross-channel use of an audio logo build its familiarity and recall.

Our Creative team includes strategists, musicians, writers and recording engineers who can develop your audio logo. We’ll lead a discovery session to define your goals and identify your company’s unique traits that will flavor the final piece.

For details, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him directly at 419/724-7311.

RELATED POSTS: Here's the Reason You Need an Audio Logo
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Calling as a Business Strategy

“We are craving [the] human voice.”

Amid a worldwide quarantine, that's a statement most of us can relate to.

It's a quote from FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel that's featured in the New York Times article "The Humble Phone Call Has Made a Comeback" by Cecilia Kang.

Kang's reporting confirms just how much we crave connection with familiar voices. She notes that Verizon now handles 800 million wireless calls each weekday. That's twice as many as the company typically sees on Mother's Day, historically the busiest calling day of the year. And callers are talking with each other 33% longer than they did prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. AT&T's cellular traffic is also way up - by 35% - and their number of Wi-Fi-based calls has almost doubled.

Before social distancing, "wireless calls typically peaked in the morning and evening rush hours," Kang wrote. "Once people got to their offices and schools, the call volumes fell. Now, voice calls are high throughout the day. While Zoom and Google Hangouts are a popular replacement for meetings with multiple colleagues, the phone is easier for one-on-one conversations and doesn’t buffer and break down like video."

Weekend phone calls have also jumped. "Even young adults who grew up with texting and messaging apps as a primary form of communication are embracing voice calls," wrote Kang.

Difficult situations often reveal hidden truths. This surge in telephone calls reminds us of what increasingly impersonal technology has covered up over the last twenty years - we yearn to talk with people, voice to voice. And that inherent desire won't recede once a COVID-19 vaccine is developed. It will always live within us.

So, as a business strategy, answer that call; address that human need. Pick up the phone to reach out to your customers and prospects. Make the effort to connect with them in that more personal and meaningful manner. Start a new conversation in an old, familiar way.

RELATED POSTS: Isolated by COVID-19? Pick Up the Telephone
Think of All That Your Company's Telephones Can Do
Building Trust with Callers 

The Benefits of Conference Calls

Did you see the video of "poor Jennifer," the woman who was caught using the bathroom while on a video conference for work? She forgot to turn off her laptop's camera while...umm...taking care of a different sort of business as her colleagues looked on.

Admittedly, that specific issue is not likely to reoccur too often, but a general lack of privacy is one of the potential drawbacks with video conferencing.

For example, people using streaming video to join meetings could unintentionally expose sensitive information on neighboring computer screens or white boards.

And what if a few of your staff members are - okay, I'll say it - slobs. Do you really want clients to associate your employees' messy or disorganized homes with your brand and the service those clients are paying top dollar for?

Marcia Yudkin is one of our favorite marketing writers. She posted recently that people working from home may also be "struggling to accommodate school-aged kids going stir crazy. Expecting them to put on appearances in such a stressful time is unreasonable. Telephone calls are less demanding in this respect."

She also noted that some workers may encounter technical challenges with video conferencing due to a lack of broadband Internet at their home.

During our own on-site meeting last week, a dozen of our team members joined in by video conferencing. From the start, there were connection issues and people at home who couldn't hear those of us in the office. The problems delayed the start of the meeting by 15 minutes, and we eventually switched to an audio-only option.

And let's face it - watching a lot of people on a screen at once can be distracting, whether you see them shuffling around their desktops and moving out of frame to re-fill their coffee cups or you notice their cute dogs walking back and forth behind them.

Want people in your meeting to focus? Want consistent control over the impression you leave with customers? Consider using the conference call feature of your telephone. The speaker phone option still works, too.

For years, you've likely heard people wonder about the need for meetings: "Can't we just take care of this with an email?"

Consider a similar question before gathering via video conferencing: "Will there be anything attendees actually need to see during this meeting?"

Yes, it's nice to connect face-to-face - even if it's only remotely - but is it necessary each time you get together? Remember to factor in the possible negatives of video conferencing when clients are involved.

Just because the tool exists doesn't mean it's right for every application. Re-think the telephone as perfectly appropriate technology for getting everyday business done.