July 28, 2014

The Secret to Pervasive Branding

Sometimes, as we go about running our businesses and just making sure everything is progressing as it should, we forget about our customers’ perceptions. As focused as we are on customer service and providing the best experience, branding may become something we take for granted. “We have a good brand. Our customers know us and like us.” While that may be your internal perception, what’s the truth in the world of your customers?


Recently, @jongaskill shared on Twitter: “For a company with the ‘industry’s best customer service,’ #directv has the WORST hold music.” This clearly illustrates that DirecTV is doing what they need to be doing to score big on customer service, but they are forgetting their overall brand appeal with one vital component: their phone image. Since many customers interact with DirecTV via the phone, this perception is instantly elevated from a “little” thing to the crux of their business identity.


Branding occurs through various outlets: the company website, social media, radio and television advertisements, public relations, direct and e-mail communications, text messaging, and phone interactions. Unfortunately, too many companies forget that branding IS pervasive, and each outlet needs to complement the others. Whether it’s a clear message or just the choice of music that runs while clients are on hold, those impressions add up to create your brand.


So take another look at the overall message you’re sending, no matter how customers are interacting with your company. Is it consistent? Is it professional? Does every component create a similar experience for your customers? If not, you may have some work to do! America On Hold can help you to enhance your overall brand with the RIGHT on-hold messaging and music, so you don’t see a tweet about your company like the one @jongaskill sent.

July 20, 2014

Integrated Marketing Reaps Huge Rewards

While the term “integrated marketing” might be a buzzword thought to be limited to those who live and work on Madison Avenue, the truth is that most business professionals practice it on a regular basis. Like most things in life, marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Every time you speak to someone, answer the phone, post on social media, or make an update to the company website, you’re marketing — and the likelihood is that you’re doing all of those things. The question then is: Are you using integrated marketing to maximize your efforts?


Branding is a huge component of integrated marketing, and the company brand should be consistent no matter how customers are interacting with the company. That impression may start, or be supported by, your customer service professionals on the phone. If you’re in a busy company, you’re probably putting customers on hold — maybe for a few seconds up to a couple of minutes. The mistake many companies make, however, is that they let that time just pass by… silently.


On-hold messages can bring that integrated marketing message to the phones, where companies have a captive audience. The brand message can be carried through in bite-sized nuggets to share extra services, specials, and even answers to frequently asked questions. The point is that you don’t want customers to be waiting in silence. In fact, studies have shown that callers will wait on hold longer AND ask about the promotion they just heard when offered some on-hold messaging.


Integrated marketing should definitely be part of your plan, and you can do that easily with the addition of on-hold messages. It’s cost effective and will give your customers something more than silence, because sometimes, it’s NOT golden.

July 9, 2014

What Is Your Marketing Call to Action?

You’ve heard the saying “the devil is in the details.” Most of the time, this is completely true. Take directions, for example: If you say, “Drive five minutes and then turn right,” the person who drives fast will take the wrong turn. But you can also get bogged down in the details, and that’s where you’ll lose your audience. This is most certainly true in on-hold messages. As with any other aspect of marketing, you need your marketing call to action: the thing that you want people to do when faced with your message.


When your customers are on hold, you have a matter of moments to market to them while they are waiting for an associate to come back on the line or their call to be transferred. Typically, they’re thinking of what they’re going to say when that person answers the phone and aren’t as tuned in to the marketing messages as you might like. This is the time to capture their attention simply and directly with your marketing call to action — and not to burden them with too many details.


For instance, choose just one marketing call to action in your message. There’s no need to offer three options for people to get in touch with you. In fact, just one would be fine: “Ask your associate when he/she returns to the line.” Assume that your customers aren’t listening with pens poised to jot down an email address, website, or different number to call.


If you follow “KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid,” you will be just fine. If you have questions on how to simply share your marketing messages with your customers through on-hold messaging, contact us. Our scriptwriters will create compelling content that says exactly what you want to say and what your customers want to hear—and at the end of the day, that’s music to everyone’s ears.

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