VoIP

Cell phone and VoIP technology are amazing, no doubt. But they do have at least one obvious limitation: they don't provide users with high-quality audio.

That leads to a question we hear every now and then: “Why does my On Hold Marketing sound bad?”

Chris Zaharias is an audio expert who's been the Chief Recording Engineer for BusinessVoice since 2012. He studied at the Recording Institute of Detroit, and has served as a private studio and recording consultant, and as a Pro-Audio Product Specialist for Avid Technologies. 

“The age and quality of the cell phone, the frequency response of the phone, the distance the user is from the nearest tower - they can all affect the quality of a phone's sound,” said Zaharias.

“The cellular network also plays a role. It may restrict audio quality or limit frequency response to save bandwidth, or it may not support current audio codecs. Heavy traffic can affect the quality of the sound, too.” 

And most VoIP systems don't help the situation either.

“VoIP systems are typically optimized for the human voice, not for music,” said Zaharias. “And they often require low-resolution files for On Hold Marketing or Music On Hold applications. That factor alone will contribute to lower-quality audio for callers.” 

Our Solutions

Despite all the network and hardware limitations that are beyond our control, we still take steps to maximize the quality of our On Hold Marketing audio. 

“We limit the frequency response and dynamic range of the voice and music,” said Zaharias. “We also choose music that will translate well on the phone.”

When researching a VoIP telephone system, ask about its ability to deliver higher-quality audio. Then, once installed, is the hardware and/or software configured properly? And are you receiving the right type of audio files for your VoIP system?

Remember, audio quality is only as good as the weakest link in the chain, whether the signal is wired or wireless, a landline or cell phone, and may be different for every caller.

Our team can make recommendations, so please contact us before you invest in a VoIP system. 

VoIP Problem

If you work in marketing, you likely have marketing-centric goals and priorities.

And it's just as likely that your company's I.T. staff doesn't share those goals and priorities.

That can present a problem if you value the timeliness and flexibility of On Hold Marketing, but have a VoIP telephone system.

Here's an email we received from a client. (She's a Marketing Specialist at her company's corporate office.)

I spoke with [our I.T. Manager] briefly in the hallway:
He has not yet uploaded the previous on hold messaging update.
With that in mind, I feel like we need to hold off on [content] updates for a bit.

That company has more than 25 locations. They take several hundred phone calls each hour about their products and services. They use their On Hold Marketing to deliver season-specific messages to potential buyers.

But because I.T.'s schedule and/or priorities didn't align with Marketing's, the company may miss opportunities to share valuable information with its callers.

If you're considering a VoIP telephone system, please let us know. We don't sell VoIP systems, but we can make recommendations that will allow you to take full advantage of both VoIP technology and your On Hold Marketing. We can also work with your I.T. staff to make uploading your On Hold Marketing updates on time as easy and convenient as possible.

Talk with your BusinessVoice Account Manager or contact Steve Evert at +1 800.473.9005 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

RELATED POST: 3 Things to Look for When Switching to VoIP

 

Audio Logos

People are busy. They're also exposed to a lot of marketing messages.

That means it's tougher than ever to make a lasting impression on your audience.

But there is one way to leave a mark on their memories. It's quick, it's unique, and because it's audible, it doesn't require visual engagement.

It's an audio logo.

Also known as a sonic logo, sound logo or audio mnemonic, it's a brief sound or combination of notes that's used as a branding element.

An audio logo can help create instant recall of your brand. Need proof? Listen to the quick montage of famous audio logos in the video on the right. 

If you're like the majority of people, you can identify most or all of the brands those quick sound bites represent.

Why You Need an Audio Logo

An audio logo helps a product or company stand out, and can create real value for a brand. It can be used as an element in commercials, on a website, in On Hold Marketing, and anywhere else audio files can be played. Our in-house musicians, recording engineers and Creative Consultants can develop an audio logo for your brand.

It begins with a conversation about your brand identity and what you want to convey to potential customers. Then, our team works together to create an audible representation of that identity.

For more details, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +1 800.473.9005.

 

Callers On Hold

You want to believe that your company doesn't put callers on hold, right? Or that you only keep them on hold for a very short amount of time.

But is that really the case? And, if not, what is that miscalculation costing you?

We spoke with a marketing executive from a national auto parts retailer about her company's On Hold Marketing needs. "We don't put people on hold," she replied. 

We hear that a lot, actually, but we had a hunch that it wasn't an accurate perception, so we conducted an experiment.

We called a dozen of the chain's locations in different cities and recorded our conversations with the counter people. You can listen to one of those calls in the video on the right.

The total hold time in that call was 3 minutes 51 seconds! Other hold times lasted over three minutes as well, and the average of the 12 calls was about 90 seconds.

The silence is almost hard to take, isn't it? It's uncomfortable. And listening in, you don't know if the caller has been disconnected or not.

That Silence Represents Missed Opportunity

Every day, this company loses countless chances to cross-sell and up-sell to customers, reinforce its unique value to callers, and improve the customer experience. All because they don't have an accurate perception of their hold times.

Even if your average hold times actually are short, some callers may be forced to stay on hold longer now and then. Our On Hold Marketing makes the most of that time for both your callers and you.

We Can Make a Difference

We're ready to talk about turning your silent hold time into a valuable marketing opportunity. Contact Steve Evert at +1 800.473.9005 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Google Change

You can't ignore how prevalent mobile Internet use is, mainly because the world's leading search engine isn't ignoring it. (Check the stats here.) 

Google will implement a change on April 21, 2015 that will impact how easily your website is found by people conducting online searches with a smart phone or tablet. Yes, change can be frustrating and even costly, but there's sound logic behind Google's shift. Plus, it represents an opportunity for you to move up in search results, while those who ignore the change are sure to slip in the rankings.

Read this WebArt blog post to learn what Google is doing and how you can benefit from it.

Inside the Box

In a February 2015 AdWeek interview, Cadillac's Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus was asked why his brand would not be taking on the better-selling German luxury vehicles head to head.

His answer: "We need to build the brand on things that make it different [from] the Germans."

Some On Hold Marketing companies provide a generic list of messages to all of their customers that are in the same vertical market, and then say "Choose a few of these and we'll use them to put together your next OHM production."

But your brand is unique. It deserves more than "what everyone else is getting."

And it's worth the effort that's required to elevate it.

Differentiating your company. Creating memorable impressions. Those are custom processes; solutions that can't be selected from a communal list.

It may be quicker and easier to follow in the footsteps of competitors, but it won't help you stand out from that competition or allow your brand to make its own impression on your shared audience. (We can.)

To learn about a custom On Hold Marketing program for your company, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +1 800.473.9005.