May 2006 – Client of The Month – Hunter Douglas Tupelo

HOLDCOM congratulates Hunter Douglas Tupelo as our “Client of the Month” for May 2006! Since 1998, Hunter Douglas’ Tupelo Center has greatly benefited from HOLDCOM’s Message-On-Hold services.

Located in Tupelo, Mississippi, Hunter Douglas Tupelo is committed to providing customers with window fashions and related products of superior design, exceptional quality, and high-perceived value. Bill Hughes, Director of Human Resources at Hunter Douglas Tupelo, states: “The entire Hunter Douglas organization is built around total and complete customer satisfaction. The Message-On-Hold communication reaffirms our philosophy and commitment to meeting every need the customer may have.”

At the beginning of each season, Hunter Douglas Tupelo updates their on-hold message to market products and services appropriate to the specific time of year. Their Message-On-Hold program also allows them to promote interesting facts about their logistical location (for example: Tupelo, Mississippi is the birthplace of Elvis Presley).

But more importantly, their Message-On-Hold program acts as the perfect solution for their diverse caller base. Hughes cites: “Based on the fact that we have two divisions situated in one location, our structure can be somewhat confusing for customers. The Message-On-Hold system allows us to the opportunity to share information to callers on the separation of divisions and discuss what products and services each division exclusively offers.”

In conclusion, Hughes had this to say about working with HOLDCOM: “Our relationship with HOLDCOM has been great. Our partnership has enhanced our business through creative and exciting communication possibilities. Our account representative, Rob Lefever, does an outstanding job of keeping our message fresh and polished. Always personable and caring, he goes the extra mile to ensure our satisfaction with the service. Hunter Douglas would encourage every organization to consider HOLDCOM. Look at what they can do for you and your business!”

Congratulations once again to Hunter Douglas Tupelo!

Escape from Voice Jail

This article was inspired by Boston based blogger Paul English & Mark Long of newsfactor.com.

We’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to get personalized assistance via a telephone’s automated call processing system….only to be sent spiraling through prompts and options that lead to dead ends, or worse, back to where you started. Self proclaimed “phone geek” Paul English had plenty of people talking in December when he posted his IVR Cheat Sheet, which reveals the steps to take, words to say, and buttons to push to talk to a live human when negotiating the automated systems at more than 250 companies.

Shortly after Paul’s cheat sheet started to get attention on the internet, Mark Long of newsfactor.com published a great article on the state of automated call centers and some solid ideas on how to improve your automated call center prompts. For the complete article, visit: http://www.holdcom.com/newsletters/voicejail.pdf .

As a communications company directly involved with providing professional recordings for IVR and ACD applications, HOLDCOM prides itself in offering our clients the best practices when developing an IVR call flow to create the most positive outcome for callers. Here are several suggestions:

Limit Your Options – It’s tempting to load your upfront greeting with a laundry list of main menu options but research indicates that callers get frustrated after 3 options. Distill the caller options into 3 separate and clearly different groups, and use the submenu for more specific selections. . But beware! Research also shows that callers’ patience wears thin beyond a depth of 3 menu levels.

Escape Up Front – If there’s an option to go directly to someone’s extension off the main menu, or you have predetermined that a majority of your calls go to a particular department or extension, give that option first. Don’t subject callers to a long list of options that hold them hostage by delaying their immediate routing needs..

Less Is More – Keep the script short and don’t use extra or redundant words. Words like “please” and “thank you” are often over used, resulting in negative impact and loss of sincerity. Remove all extraneous words so the caller understands exactly what’s being said.

Pace & Clarity – Perhaps the most import thing you can do to improve your IVR and auto attendant greetings is to make sure they sound the best they can. Too often employees with less than appropriate voices or recording skills are used to record
greetings and announcements. Announcements recorded by professional voice talent in a pro-audio studio environment will not only improve the image of your organization, but will also improve the clarity of each announcement. (Need professional
recordings? Check out this month’s feature article about HOLDCOM’s Grand opening of our New Voice Production Store)

Redirect For Self Help – If your organization utilizes self help assistance on your website, let your callers know where to log on. Redirecting them to the website where they can get step by step instructions or download a manual, will help reduce the amount of calls your agents will need to handle.

Before you record your next set of IVR announcements, speak to your HOLDCOM Client Relations representative for a complimentary review of your script You and your callers will be happy you did.

Voiceover Spotlight: Roberto

This month, HOLDCOM is proud to introduce Roberto, one of our authentic Spanish voiceover talents. After studying Broadcasting at Montclair State University, Roberto began his career as a professional voiceover. Thanks to a referral from a friend, Roberto contacted HOLDCOM, had a very successful audition, and immediately joined our roster of voiceover talents. For Roberto, the most rewarding part of his career is having his voiceover work reach a wide range of people.

Hopeline: Help Fight Domestic Violence!

HOLDCOM would like to take this opportunity to recognize Verizon Wireless’ commitment to fighting domestic violence. In 1995, the company – then Bell Atlantic Mobile – introduced HopeLine – a multifaceted program that includes a successful phone recycling and re-use effort that provides financial support for local and national domestic violence organizations, community and corporate awareness programs, andpartnerships with law enforcement agencies, professional sports teams, educational institutions, and corporations nationwide. Verizon Wireless chose the name HopeLine because it embodied the positive difference the company intended to make in the areas of domestic violence awareness, prevention, and victim recovery.

In October 2002, Verizon Wireless launched #HOPE nationwide. By dialing #HOPE from any Verizon Wireless phone on their nationwide network, the toll- and airtime-free call is routed to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) where victims of domestic violence are able to access professional support quickly and confidentially.

In 2001, Verizon Wireless encouraged its customers and the public nationwide to donate no-longer-used wireless phones as a key element of the HopeLine program. By the end of 2004, Verizon Wireless had collected about 2 million phones and donated more than $1 million to organizations engaged in raising the awareness of domestic violence and in its prevention.

After a decade of focusing its community service efforts on domestic violence, Verizon Wireless remains more committed than ever to the cause. While the company continues to implement the programs that have proven successful – like phone donation drives – it also challenges employees to seek creative new ways to assist victims and urges others in business and in all walks of life to join the fight against domestic violence. Verizon Wireless believes that together we can continue to make a difference.

For information about HopeLine, please call 1-800-426-2790 or visit: http://www.verizonwireless.com.

Audio Production Store

NOW ONLINE: HOLDCOM VOICE PRODUCTION STORE!

Attention: HOLDCOM clients, telephone interconnects, system integrators, consultants, media and marketing personnel!

HOLDCOM is proud to announce the launch of our new online Voice Production Store. Now, if you need a professional voice production for any nonbroadcast application including telephone system prompts, IVR, auto attendants, Flash or PowerPoint® presentations, or the Internet, just point your mouse to the HOLDCOM Voice Production store at www.voiceprompts.com or one of the links you’ll find on our main website at www.holdcom.com.

Easy and even fun to use, our store allows you to audition and select talent, paste in your copy*, choose the application format required, and get a Quick Quote. Made a mistake? Discovered that professional voice production is less expensive than you thought? Got a more ambitious idea for your project? No problem. A click of the button and you can revise the project, add copy, change voice, whatever. And until you decide to proceed past the View Quote page, there’s no contact information to provide. When you’re satisfied your job is right and you’re happy with our super-competitive quote, move along to Checkout, make your Purchase, and receive your production via Email or FTP within three business days or less.

Got a PowerPoint® presentation that you’ve always wanted to enhance with professional narration? Want to replace the voice of your wonderful, but less than professional sounding secretary on your telephone system auto-attendant? Looking to add audio to your website to drive traffic and increase stickiness? The HOLDCOM Voice Production Store is open for business and the time is now.

This month, to celebrate our Voice Production Store Grand Opening, we’re offering a super promotional discount to everyone that reads this newsletter. After you View Quote for your job and see the great price, go to Checkout and input the word “GRANDNL” in the promo code field and get an additional 10% off. This is a limited time offer, so if you’ve been sitting on a voice production job or an idea for a voice production job, act today!

Even if you’re not ready with a voice production job, visit our store anyway and check it out. Stay as long as you like. No sales person will bother you. No one will try to get you to sample cologne or try out a new waffle maker. Instead you’ll get to audition one of the widest selections of voice talent in the industry, ranging from American English to Brit and Aussie, while experiencing the future of business to business audio production purchasing, backed and provided by HOLDCOM, the recognized leader in our industry.

If you need help creating copy for your project, speak to a Holdcom representative at 800-666-6465.