Employee Spotlight: Pam

Joining the HOLDCOM team in May, Pam Litke is an integral part of our Client Relations Department. She uses her expertise to help clients troubleshoot their equipment, understand how the updating process works, assist them with the purchase of additional equipment and programs, and explain our services to them. Learning new technologies and working in a diverse department are some of the most rewarding aspects of working at HOLDCOM for Pam. What does she attribute HOLDCOM’s success to? “I feel the success of HOLDCOM is due to the management and the camaraderie of the people here. It is a wonderful atmosphere to walk into in the morning.” In her free time, Pam enjoys spending time with her eleven-year-old son, knitting, and reading.

December 2006 – Client of The Month – Midstate Tool and Supply

HOLDCOM is proud to feature Midstate Tool & Supply Inc. as our December 2006 Client of the Month. Midstate Tool & Supply is a Master Warehouse Distributor supplying professional quality hand and power tools and equipment to a wide variety of wholesale companies – nationally and internationally. Their warehouse stocks over 350 U.S. based manufacturers’ product lines, totaling over 130,000 different items.

Www.midstatetool.com, EDI, toll free fax and phone lines, and numerous catalogs and tabloids, coupled with national and international sales representatives, provide strong marketing support for their diverse customer profile.

Utilizing HOLDCOM’s Message On-Hold services since 1993, Rob Halbritter, Executive Vice President said, “Message On-Hold has served us very well in announcing our annual trade show and exposition, monthly specials, new products, and promotions. One hold message reminds our [new and existing] customers of the availability of our “pull through sales” tabloids and catalogs, as well as other sales and customer support services from Midstate Tool & Supply.”

Halbritter went on to explain how seasonal promotions are effectively announced to customers with the On-Hold messages through the multiple updates available in their contract and how Message-On-Hold informs callers about any key personnel and sales representatives changes that take place at Midstate Tool & Supply. Halbritter also acknowledged how callers on-hold can be directed to the company’s website where they can utilize many convenient on line services.

“We especially appreciate the close communication with HOLDCOM’S customer service and script consultant representatives,” Halbritter concluded, ”They are always punctual in keeping us up to date with needed changes in our messages and renewals of their services. The quality of their On-Hold voice messages is first class.”

Congratulations Midstate Tool and Supply!

Fishing for Customer Service

While driving to work today I had the company of Gilad Odinak, the CEO of Spoken Communications. Although I could have been driving with Kathleen Federico and Pat Krippendorf, both Senior VPs at National Leisure Group. Yesterday I drove in with best selling author Michael Lozier. It may sound like I’m namedropping, but the fact is you could be commuting with the same Cast of Characters. Instead of filling your head with the same mind numbing songs that are played over and over this time of year, consider a productive alternative: Podcasting. Get out your mp3 players and point your browser to “Talk About Service”. It’s an on line radio show which is hosted by friend and industry insider Ed Horrell and focuses on Customer Service.

Ed is known for his lively comments and compelling interviews. He loves to recognize good customer service, hates the current state of most customer service, and is not reluctant to call out those companies that “don’t get it”. Ed ponders powerful questions with industry insiders and business leaders with Podcasts that include: Is Effective Self Help Possible for Customers? Are Your Customers Loyal? Are Bad Attitudes Destroying Your Company? and many other topics. From Donuts to the Dog Poop Initiative to an interview with the Kindness Crew, Ed’s Podcasts lead you through insightful and relevant information in the Customer Care space.

With roots in the Telecom industry working for ITT & Northern Telecom, Ed served at the largest bank in Memphis as one of the first Telecom Managers in Tennessee. He soon began freelance writing with Network World in the early 80s , which led to his professional speaking engagements at conferences and conferences and groups around the country. Ed touched on a hot topic in Customer Service (or the lack thereof) 4 or 5 years ago, and began exploring the topic for his current book “The Kindness Revolution”, which was released last August. The idea for bringing his customer service content to a local Clear Channel live weekly radio show in Memphis led him to Talk About Service.

If you’d like to learn more about Ed and his cast of characters or if you’d like to book Ed to speak at your group or conference, check him out online at talkaboutservice.net.

Dance of The Lights

Wurtsboro Electric Service recently submitted an online order at HOLDCOM’s Audio Production Store to broadcast a professional announcement for their annual computerized Christmas light show – Dance of the Lights.

The recording was intended to capture the audience’s attention before the light show to prepare them for the event & explain a few safety rules. As the leader in audio productions, HOLDCOM is always eager to find unique uses for audio throughout various industries around the globe. If you have a unique idea for audio, give us a call to discuss, it or place an order at www.voiceprompts.com.

Words Count

One of the most underestimated aspects of the script writing process involves the relationship between content and delivery. Will a script be expressed as printed text or the spoken word? Perceived via sight or sound? Intended for a reading or listening audience?

Answering these questions is critical in achieving successful communication. Scripts conceived and written with the ultimate application (sight vs. sound) and objectives (e.g. selling, influencing, challenging, pacifying, etc.) in mind will ultimately better suit the planned medium. For example: wordy, cluttered, technical text would not ordinarily work well in the context of a radio commercial. Likewise, a colloquial, conversational script would not generally be appropriate for a scientific journal. Ideal solutions are those that satisfy multiple settings in a variety of media, including print (newspaper, magazine, journal) and audio (Message On Hold, radio, TV).

Time is an important variable in the distinction between the written and spoken word. Our Script Consultants’ greatest example of this is the inclusion of website addresses within our client’s programs. Consider www.HOLDCOM.com for a moment. Visually, your eyes fly over the ever-present “www.” prefix. But when spoken, our voice talents must say: “double-u, double-u, double-u, dot” et cetera. Similarly, with written phone numbers, they appear in print as 800-666-6465. However, when recorded, it’s “eight hundred – six, six, six – six, four, six, five”. In essence, the time taken to speak a phrase is inevitably longer than when that phrase is being read silently.

Just as there may be spatial limitations when it comes to the printed word, there may be time limitations when dealing with the spoken word. For instance, with Message On Hold scripts, consider that 100 written words equates to one minute of audio time. To help you remain within these guidelines whenever creating or updating your audio production scripts, scripts, HOLDCOM offers a convenient on-line Word

Counter. Just visit www.holdcom.com/wordcount and type away…or paste in your pre-written draft and click the “Count Words” button.

Speech conveys meaning via tone, inflection, timbre, and dynamics. Beyond just the verbiage, a voice talent’s expression of audio “body language” is also a vital element in conveying meaning and achieving effective communication. It is this vital element of communication that HOLDCOM directors, producers, and engineers carefully consider when recording scripts for Telephony, Message On Hold, Power Point Presentations, and Internet Audio.

November 2006 – Client of The Month – Advancial

HOLDCOM is proud to feature Advancial Federal Credit Union as our November Client of the Month. Since 1999, HOLDCOM has been providing Message On Hold services for all of their locations throughout Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

According to Jenny Calvery, Marketing Specialist, “Using Message On Hold has given us just one more way to communicate with our members. The on-hold system allows us to promote products and services as well as relate important account information to those who call in.”

Despite the growing world of on-line banking, account holders will still have questions and a need to phone their branch, which is why HOLDCOM is proud to be the leading Audio Specialist for hundreds of banks, mortgage companies, credit unions, and investment institutions including Advancial Federal Credit Union.

HOLDCOM has been honored to promote the services for Advancial Federal Credit Union throughout the years and throughout the evolution of banking.

Calvery concludes with “The staff at HOLDCOM is always accommodating to our needs and our schedule. They have all been incredibly easy to work with as we create messages to promote the Advancial brand and products. Message On Hold has become a valuable tool for member communications.”

Congratulations Advancial!

Holdcom Harnesses E-Commerce

Following months of programming and beta testing, HOLDCOM has released the latest version of its on-line Audio Production Store. The on line store, dubbed “Project Super Store” was unveiled at a ceremony at HOLDCOM’s weekly staff meeting on Monday October 23rd. The entire organization was in attendance to see and experience the latest version of HOLDCOM’s Audio Production Store.

Open for business at www.audioproductionstore.com, the store has a new look, new features, and a new department for production of Voicemail Greetings. The store is the perfect place to get your voice production job for your call processing, web audio, or Powerpoint turned around quickly and efficiently.

Resellers should be sure to ask about the new password protected Resellers Store, which includes our complete range of products and services, as well as branded, partnerstore opportunities for select resellers, associations, and affiliates. (Contact Andy Begnoche’ at andyb@holdcom.com or 800-666- 6465 x205) It’s a whole new, virtual world. Be part of it with HOLDCOM, the leader in Message On Hold and Voice Production services, worldwide.

Tales from Toronto – 2006 SOCAP Symposium

Neil Fishman (President) and Andy Begnoche (Director of Operations) recently represented HOLDCOM at the 2006 SOCAP INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL CONFERENCE, held from October 15th through 18th at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Canada. As with previous SOCAP conventions, this three-day conference offered numerous opportunities to learn, network, interact and get inspired by members of one of the most “customer centric” organizations in the world…the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals. General Session keynote speakers included author/coach Barbara Sanfilippo, former game show host Bob Eubanks, and the “superfantastic” motivational dynamo Keith Harrell!

SOCAP is dedicated to “advancing customer care through education and networking”. HOLDCOM has been a member and exhibitor for over three years and hosted breakout sessions at previous conferences. SOCAP has numerous Chapters through the United States, as well as affiliates internationally, including Europe, South America, Canada and Australia. Included among SOCAP members are HOLDCOM clients DANNON, JVC, PEPSI, INTELLIVERSE, GROUPCAST, VIEWPOINT BANK, CUSTOMER FIRST, PROSODIE, TELERX and LLE.

We look forward to attending the 2007 SOCAP ANNUAL CONFERENCE scheduled for April 15-18 at the Symposium in San Antonio, TX, and the Annual Conference in Palm Springs, CA, October 7-10. If you would like to learn more about SOCAP and how your business and customers can benefit from this valuable organization, visit their website at www.socap.org, or speak with Neil or Andy.

Voiceover Spotlight: Jody

November’s featured voice talent is Jody – a fresh newcomer to HOLDCOM but a veteran of voice over work. After graduating from Boston University, Jody worked as a journalist with a radio station in Massachusetts. Soon moving into voice over work, she has for gained over 20 years. Reaching out to HOLDCOM on an unrelated matter, her phone voice prompted an audition request.

Jody finds that one of the most interesting aspects of working as a voice over talent is “looking at the profile directions and trying to be that person…these are great challenges”. However, using her voice is only a small part of her career. She worked as the Director of Film and Video for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC and at the New Jersey Vietnam Era Educational Center. Besides working with HOLDCOM, she writes, produces, and directs educational media for Pearson Education.

Her family is a crucial focal point in her life. Her husband and two children are the greatest interest in her life. She explains, “they make every day special…we take many interesting and exciting trips together”. Sample Jody for your next project at www.holdcom.com/voice_talent.php.

October 2006 – Client of The Month – Atlas Model Railroad

Since 1994, HOLDCOM has provided Atlas Model Railroad Company with Message On Hold services by enabling them to convey information about their model railroad products in a clear and enthusiastic way. According to Jarrett Haedrich, Marketing Coordinator, Atlas receives about 100- 150 customer calls per day – each presenting new challenges. “Calls can range from a simple repair question to a complicated railroad layout wiring explanation,” explains Haedrich. “While we try to be attentive to each call, sometimes they require more information than we have at our disposal and the customer needs to be placed on hold until the information is procured. While the customer waits, HOLDCOM and its Message On Hold services allow us to excite the customer with benefits and features of Atlas’ Model Railroad products.”

Atlas Model Railroad products are great for the novice and experienced hobbyists. Perhaps this holiday season would be a great way to introduce someone to the wide array of detailed products available. Simply visit Atlasrr.com or AtlasO.com today! Haedrich goes on to state, “It has been a pleasure working with Megan, Steve and the rest of the HOLDCOM team. They are professionals who take pride in producing high quality audio marketing products. They are constantly keeping up with emerging technologies and the latest Telink technology makesuploading new on-hold messages a snap. Thank you for your help HOLDCOM, you make waiting a pleasure!”

Congratulations Atlas!

Voiceover Spotlight: Amy

The HOLDCOM Voice is proud to feature our bilingual voiceover talent Amy, who brings 11 years of experience in flawless Spanish and English. Amy worked as a radio personality since 1995, and then branched out into voiceover work after her children were born.

Within this career transition, Amy found she most enjoyed the versatility her voice could provide. “Monday I could be cartoon character, Tuesday a valley girl, Wednesday a soccer mom, Thursday a hip-hop teenager, Friday a waitress with a Spanish accent. The world of voiceover is unpredictable and fun,” explains Amy. She especially enjoys the voices coming to life through animation.

Sample Amy’s voice for your next project at www.holdcom.com/voice_talent.php.

2006 SOCAP Annual Conference

Come join us at SOCAP International’s 2006 Annual Conference in Toronto. HOLDCOM will be attending the 3-day conference October 15th-18th at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto. The conference will provide a global perspective to customer care and feature timely, relevant presentations on the major issues facing today’s customer care professional. As the premier member organization for leaders in consumer affairs and customer care, SOCAP International will offer exceptional networking opportunities for professionals interested in growing their careers and increasing their knowledge of industry best practices. We hope to see you there. For more information go to the SOCAP website at www.socap.org.

New Orleans Library Media Drive

One year after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the media portrayed a city still under repair. There are so many needs and often the overwhelming feeling to assist can often leave people feeling helpless as they’re not certain where to direct their efforts. HOLDCOM would like to introduce our newsletter readers to the New Orleans Public Library Rebuilding Campaign. The library has been overwhelmed with the generosity of books from citizens around the country, but is still seeking monetary and media donations – i.e. CDs, DVDs, and Audio Books.

HOLDCOM is sponsoring a Media Drive for new and gently used CDs & DVDs to help with rebuilding the New Orleans Public Library. Remember that CD you bought just for the single? How about the “Hair Band” phase you went through in the 80’s? Remember that DVD your Mom gave you which you still haven’t opened? We all have CDs and DVDs we no longer listen to or watch, just cluttering up precious media space. Please use this opportunity to clean out your entertainment center and your glove compartment and donate your CDs & DVDs to help rebuild the New Orleans Public Library.

If you don’t have any thing to donate but want to help, financial donations can be made to NOPL Foundation: New Orleans Public Library Foundation, 219 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112 and media shipments can be sent to: HOLDCOM at 955 Lincoln Ave. Glen Rock, NJ 07452. Please mark your shipment NOPL.

Or for more information visit www.nutrias.org.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

With just a little bit of work and creativity, a Halloween party can be great fun whether it’s for kids or adults. Get the party started with lots of color. Decorate by using the black and orange balloons, tablecloths, and napkins. Also, you can use a white tablecloth or sheet to create ghosts throughout your home or place of party. Check out your local library for a Halloween CD and play it in the background. Or make your own Halloween CD.

Looking for more fun? Have a pumpkin carving contest and give out prizes for funniest, scariest, and most original. (Click on the images below to download HOLDCOM pumpkin carving templates):

How about bobbing for apples, pin the leg on the spider, or guess the weight of a pumpkin?

For more Halloween ideas, check out the links below.
http://familyfun.go.com/parties/holiday/minisite/halloween-main/
http://www.familymanagement.com/holidays/halloween/party.ideas.html
http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/halloween/party.html

Here are some creative ways to serve Halloween treats for your partygoers:
·  Cupcakes with orange icing and a spider ring on top for decoration
·  Jell-O mold with worms sticking out of it.
·  Bug juice (use a green colored juice)

The Early Bird Gets the Free Gift!

The Early Bird Gets the Free Gift!

The leaves may have just started to change color, but it’s not too soon to start making plans to change your Message On Hold program for the holidays. Beat the holiday rush this year and order your holiday program today. And if you’re an active client or new client we’ll include a custom professional cell phone greeting or web page greeting for FREE. Not sure if your account is active? Check with your Client Relations representative. They’ll be happy to help you HOLIDAYIZE your Message On Hold program.

New Store Rising…

Be on the lookout for the launch of the new, improved HOLDCOM online Audio Production Store, coming soon. The new store will vastly eclipse our current store (www.voiceprompts.com) with new departments, new design, and a host of new features and options, offering audio marketing services that will help and enhance the way you do business. Resellers should be sure to ask about the new password protected Resellers Store as well as branded, partner store opportunities for select resellers and affiliates. (Contact Andy Begnoche’ at andyb@holdcom.com or 800-666-6465, x205) It’s a whole new, virtual world, and you can be part of it with HOLDCOM, the leader in Message On Hold and Voice Production services, worldwide.