Archive for March, 2011

Virginia National Bank chooses a brand new Caller Experience

We are very excited to be transforming the caller experience for Virginia National Bank throughout Virginia with a new Custom On-Hold message! Virginia National Bank is a true community bank, meeting the needs of the communities it serves, and sharing in it’s growth.

VNB opened in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1998 with more than 900 local shareholders. Their mission has always been to provide great personal service, local access to decision makers, and continuity in your relationship.
The people at VNB really do know you by name, and work hard to make your banking relationship with them a great one! At VNB, it really is “all about people, and always will be.”
Virginia National Bank also believes in supporting local nonprofit organizations– organizations that serve as advocates for those whose needs could easily be overlooked.

VNB was playing generic, built-in music that came with their phone system to callers who had to be On-Hold. Through understanding what their goals were for phone interactions, we were able to design a custom On-Hold solution that carries the VNB message to their customers…unifying the contact points across VNB with the same messaging.

Virginia National Bank also uses the On-Hold message to highlight community involvment and activities they sponsor, like the Charlottesville 10 Miler, and other arts and crafts events.

Prosound has used the customer’s time On-Hold to extend the warm, caring experience of Virginia National Bank to each caller.

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FedEx “gets” telephone customer service

I’m trying to call FedEx to schedule a pickup, and while they provide their number on the website, I found that it was a link.

When I clicked on it, I was presented with this page:

A visual representation of what options are available, and where they will take you. Along with what you can say to get you there.

What a fantastic way to help your customers navigate through your phone system!

This is SO much more elegant then forcing your callers to listen to: “Please listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed…”

Not only that, but if you decide to try to use the Online service, instead of the phone, they provide a link to the service you are calling about…the link takes you directly to the correct place on their site!

FedEx “get’s” it when it comes to integrating their phone system with their website. A visual representation of what options are available, and where they will take you. Along with what you can say to get you there.

Kudo’s to FedEx!

Your Brain is a Mountain Lion Eating Bags of Money

Or: “The 5 Weirdest Ways Music can mess with your Mind”

But the title got you here, didn’t it? And music works kinda the same way. Distracting you from what you are doing…causing your brain to focus on something else.

It’s especially useful when you’re not doing anything important…like waiting On-Hold or waiting in line. And it’s at that exact moment that retailers, banks, and doctors offices want to distract you from realizing that you’re waiting. has a recent article in which they explore the 5 weirdest ways music messes with your mind. (…the newest scientific journal, right?)

But seriously, check this out:

#5 It Changes Your Ability to Perceive Time

Hold music — the stuff you hear on the line when you call everyone from the bank to your local bail bond agency — didn’t fall into America’s phone lines by accident. It’s designed specifically to reduce the amount of time you think you’re waiting, so that you’re less likely to hang up in anger. Other places that involve waiting, such as doctors’ offices, use a similar trick. Time shrinkage is also the aim of most retail stores, which is why you’ll rarely enter a mall, supermarket or clothing store without hearing some sort of music in the background.

To understand why exactly music makes it seem like less time has passed, think of the human brain as a mountain lion that is eating a bag of money. It doesn’t matter what the zookeepers distract it with — food, shiny objects or just shouting and yelling. All that matters is that they give another zookeeper the chance to sneak up and retrieve the money while the lion is busy deciding which one of them to eat.

Similarly, when your brain is steadily distracted, you’ll be less likely to notice things around you in detail, and this includes the passage of time. Our brains have limited input capacity, and when something else is using up that capacity, we’re less likely to think things like, “I’ve been standing in line to get Richard Moll’s autograph for three goddamn hours” or “Do I really need this Garfield alarm clock?”

But be careful what you choose for your On-Hold music…

…it can quickly backfire!

In some situations, listening to music can actually expand perceived time. For example, listening to music while performing tasks that require concentration will usually cause us to overestimate the amount of time that has passed. The theory is that as your mind switches back and forth between perception of the music and concentration on the challenging tasks, it forms separate “events,” or distinct memories. When your brain thinks about what you’ve been doing for the past hour, you’ll remember more of these events and recall that the hour was quite long.

Experiments have found that time also expands when we’re listening to familiar music that we dislike.

When we hear the opening chords of a song, our brain remembers the whole thing and immediately skips ahead and plays it mentally. This fake mind-music is extremely vivid, working on exactly the same parts of the brain as actual music does. So the effect is that you take a few moments to vividly imagine that you’re sitting through five minutes of that damn New Radicals song before you come back to reality only to realize that you still actually have to sit through it.

Very cool stuff…that music. But if you want to know the rest, like how it taps into our primal fears, makes us stronger, changes your drinking habits, and makes you a better communicator, your going to have to read more at

We, after all, aren’t interested in making your customers stronger…unless of course you are a gym. Then we need to talk. We’ve got this great soundtrack to play On-Hold…

Should You Network Your On-Hold player?

Hybrid 7100 Rack On-hold PlayerRecently I was in a meeting explaining the advantages of the network-connected On-Hold players that we use.

The client was asking if we could update their message in between normal updates…if something special came along, or they needed to make a change.

We need to update our On-Hold message TODAY!

Prosound can do that. Because we’ve standardized on network-connected On-Hold players. Initially, that may not mean much to a client. But call us up with an urgent request to remove a particular message, or to add a special announcement, and you’ll understand the difference.

Once we have the production completed, we load it to our clients within an hour. Done. No matter where in the world they are, and no matter how many sites they have. And the same is true for unexpected changes.

We’ve had clients call us up and ask us to remove one portion of their message, and “could you do it as soon as possible?” We’re able to update that message right away, without having send out a new CD or USB drive, and rely on someone at each site to load it properly. (Does your staff even know where the phone system is located?)

But what about security? We can’t afford a security breech.

Right. We can’t either. We have no inbound access to our network-connected On-Hold units. They simply connect out to us, the same way a browser on your computer does. Only instead of being able to browse to good and bad sites, our units only go to one specific place…our Audio Server.

In fact, we use these players in some of the most data-sensitive companies, like hospitals, banks, and insurance companies.

New companies…new names…

Recently we were involved in another successful client-merger for Landmark Aviation. We worked with both Landmark and Odyssey Aviation to prepare for the merger. Writing scripts, crafting productions, and scheduling installations. But the key to making it work smoothly for Landmark Aviation, was our ability to schedule the On-Hold messages to “go live” at each site at an exact time, on the exact day.

And their staff didn’t have to do a thing. No remembering to load a CD or USB thumbdrive. We simply made it happen automatically.

Which is why clients say things like

Thanks for ‘just handling this’ for us!

It’s what we’re here to do for you!

….and, thank you!

You’re welcome. We love being about to do this!