Archive for the ‘News’ Category


OHMA Association Chairman!

Wow! It was a huge honor to be selected as the Chairman of the On Hold Messaging Association at the annual convention in Nashville this week!

The On Hold Messaging Association has been a huge part of our company’s growth since the very first conference I attended over 10 years ago!

Being able to share a direct vision for increasing awareness of the need for On-Hold Messaging is something I’m very excited about!

Never heard of the On Hold Messaging Association (OHMA)? You might be surprised to know that 14 years ago, OHMA was formed to provide a stamp of approval to On Hold Messaging providers that meet a set of high-service criteria. Not just anyone who can sell an On-Hold message is eligible to be a Verified Member.

I’m very proud that Prosound has been a member since 2003, and I am looking forward to helping the Association achieve even more this year!


And-Were-Back

And…we’re back!

For those of you keeping track, you may have noticed there haven’t been many (any?!) blog posts here in the past 2 weeks.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but we’ve succssfully transitioned to a newer (dare I say “better”?) host platform.

Now we’re ready to get back on track!

So, regular updates, posts from my latest book “Hold the Cheese! Transforming Your Caller’s Experience“, and information to help improve your customer experience are all on the way!

It was time to get back on this! Besides, my computer kept sending me images like this:


QR codes and your marketing

qrcode

This may strike you as way off the normal “Caller Experience” blog, and well, I’d have to agree.
But I had a couple of experiences with QR codes lately, and I wanted to share these with you.
Recently I was asked:
Chester,
You are very techy and try to implement good new technology…what is your take on QR Codes?
With QR codes, there are a couple of things to think about.
Number 1 thing: Some times people forget that a QR code will viewed on a mobile handset. But in forgetting that, they send the QR code link to a location that would be more suited for desktop browsing. (the only exception to that thought that I know of is that the iPad 2 can scan QR codes)
So if you’re picturing putting one on your business card, for instance, think carefully about where that link should send the viewer. Sending mobile browser users to your main “desktop” website home page probably isn’t going to provide them any value.
Sending them to a special mobile version of your contact page, that allows them to import your contact information into their phone in one click would be extremely valueable!
QR codes aren’t “magic sauce”, they’re simply another tool that I believe will become more prevelant and understood.
And along the way, we’ll run into some really terrible uses that people come up with! Like the mailer I got yesterday from a car dealer. The QR code was supposed to go to http://cardealer’swebsite.com, but instead it went to http://cardealerswebsite/.
Without the “.com” on the end, that’s a mal-formed URL, and when you scan the QR code, you either get a Page Cannot Be Found error, or a search engine result trying to find cardealer’swebsite! A terrible, terrible QR code implementation!
And secondly, why, oh WHY would I want to browse the regular “desktop” version of their website on my mobile phone? It could have taken me to some specific landing page that tied in with the contest mailer they sent, instead of dumping me off into never-never land of their home page, hoping I’d be interested in finding my way around their site on my mobile phone!)
Ok, here’s another example: (hopefully a good one this time!)
I’m writing a book about the Caller Experience. And while I’ll probably publish it as an e-book, I also think there is something of value by publishing an actual bound book.  The thing is, a lot of the examples I write about in the book are audio or video clips that I want people to hear or watch!
So, whenever I write about an audio or video clip, I put a QR code right there in the book beside what I’m talking about. Readers can whip out there mobile phone, scan the QR, and it will automatically playing the audio or video right on their smart phone! (they don’t even have to click a button…it just starts playing!)
As the reader is holding the book, reading that information, and I’ve made it interactive by using QR codes! (And, I personally think it’s a pretty neat way to use QR codes!)

With QR codes, as with any other customer interaction, a little bit of thought, from the customer’s perspective, is what’s critical to either success or failure!


Interviewed by Dave Young of BrandingBlog fame

Dave Young of BrandingBlog asked if he could interview me for his BrandingBlog Radio series, and the interview just went “live” at his blog.

Dave is a partner at the Wizard of Ads marketing firm. He really knows marketing strategy inside and out, and focuses on helping small to medium businesses grow their market share exponentially. (He’s also a Google Analytics genius!)

You can tune into the interview on Dave’s blog, at http://www.brandingblog.com/2011/07/brandingblog-radio-on-hold-messages-with-chester-hull-of-prosoundusa/

I was delighted to talk with Dave, and discuss some of the ways Prosound is helping businesses transform their Caller Experience.

Listen to the podcast from BrandingBlog.com, or subscribe in iTunes.


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.


Welcome a new On-Hold messaging client!

We are very excited to be transforming the caller experience for Truslow Yost Insurance in Orange, Virginia with a new Custom On-Hold message, and Auto Attendant design! Truslow Yost Insurance is an independent business and personal insurance agency in Central Virginia.

Greg Truslowhas expertise in the resolution of problems. His goal is to use his experience to define your insurance needs, develop innovative solutions to provide you with the superior protection you require and to do so at the lowest possible cost. Greg values the relationships he has with his clients and works hard to maintain a reputation of fairness, trust and honesty within the community.

Truslow Yost Insurance recognized a need to be able to talk to customers about the many types of insurance they offer. They write insurance for all types of business risk, from general liability to worker’s compensation, key employee insurance and most every risk a business might face, including crop, farm and health insurance. They’re not your typical small-town agency…and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

This On-Hold message works to introduce new areas of the business to callers, to educate potential customers about the agency, and to strengthen the relationship with existing clients.

Prosound has used the customer’s time On-Hold to extend the warm, caring experience of Truslow Yost Insurance to each caller.


Welcome a new On-Hold messaging client!

We are very excited to be transforming the caller experience for Virginia Veterinary Specialists in Charlottesville, Virginia with a new Custom On-Hold message! Virginia Veterinary Specialists is the first referral veterinary specialist in Central Virginia.

Virginia Veterinary Specialists provides a very specialized  level of care for pets, while still maintaining a patient’s relationship with their primary care veterinarian. Virgina Veterinary Specialists provides complex veterinary orthopedic, neurologic and soft tissue procedures, as well as ultrasound, chemotherapy, endoscopy, and more.

Dr. Jason Wheeler and Dr. Carrie Miller are delighted to be able to bring their passion for specialty care to the Charlottesville area. Dr. Jason Wheeler has appeared on several episodes of the popular Animal Planet’s TV show, Emergency Vets, and became Board Certified in 2005. Dr. Carrie Miller completed her internship and residency at Wheat Ridge Veterinary Specialists in Wheat Ridge CO, and was board certified in 2003.

The new On-Hold messages works to introduce the practice, as well as Dr Miller and Dr Wheeler, to the area, and seeks to strengthen the referral relationship with primary veterinary care providers. Prior to working with Prosound, callers to Virginia Veterinary Specialist heard “beep-beep” whenever they were placed On-Hold.

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

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On-Hold news worth hearing

It helps you wake up in the morning.

You watch it while you’re eating breakfast.

It’s on your car radio at the top of every hour (and the bottom of some!)

News. It’s all around us…and we all love it. We like it because we want to be “in the know”. We want to have the latest information…the current story.

We all like to be the one at the party that has all the details to tell everyone else. Oh, not in a self important, smug way, but just a subtle “I’m with it” kind of way.

That’s why we’re really excited to be bringing News, Sports, and Entertainment to your On-Hold message!

Starting in September 2010, you’ll be able to choose our Daily News package add-on, which includes news, sports, and entertainment…(always filtered for positive, upbeat news, of course!), updated daily. It integrates with your current On-Hold message, so you still continue to spread the word about your company, while also providing a fresh alternative to boring On-Hold time.

I’ve attached some recent clips of what each of those insertions would sound like:

NEWS On-Hold

SPORTS On-Hold

ENTERTAINMENT On-Hold

For one dollar per day, you get fresh, daily content integrated with your own custom messaging.

Imagine sounding relevant to your caller!

Just give us a call, and we’ll add News, Sports, and Entertainment to your On-Hold message!


How a month of adventures helps Prosound deliver better On-Hold messaging

One month ago today, I was in San Diego, California at the international On-Hold Messaging Association’s 10th Annual Conference.

If you are evaluating an On-Hold messaging company to provide messaging for your business, make sure you ask if they are an OHMA member before you commit to working with them. Members are required to meet higher standards in order to maintain their membership. And that means a higher standard of service for you.

On Hold Messaging must be the member’s primary business function.
Members must have a proven track record of On Hold Messaging excellence.
Members must be a comprehensive, full-service provider.
Members must provide flexible payment options.
Member is held accountable to OHMA standards.
OHMA will provide arbitration in the unlikely event of a dispute.

Did you know that Hold time (the time callers are On-Hold for your company) is just as important as Broadcast time? Hold time is real, and it’s captive. You should be using this Hold time to deliver compelling, relevant content, tailored to who your caller is.

I flew home from the OHMA conference in San Diego, and turned around to drive to Austin, Texas to go to Sunpop Studios, where the team at Sunpop did an incredible job helping deliver our unique message through the medium of video.

Sunpop’s method of creating a video is so completely different from anything else out there! The secret is in the pre-production, and the process. You see, the video shoot is completely unscripted. You’re in front of a camera, but rather then having to come up with what you want to say, and try to get all the lines right, you simply have a conversation with Sunpop’s “conversationalist”. This person knows just enough about your or your company to ask questions, but they don’t have the answers. They are asking real questions, and you are giving real responses! The result is a video that really connects with viewers in an authentic, direct way. It’s like pulling back the curtain, and giving visitors a little glimpse of who you really are.
And these guys at Sunpop Studios really make it terrifically fun process!

From Sunpop, it was on to the Wizard Academy, A (very!) Nontraditional Business School. It’s all about discovering the science behind every art. If you ever have a chance to go, you will NOT be disappointed!

I was there for Jon Spoelstra’s class “How to Make Big Things Happen Fast”. An absolutely PACKED two days of mind-bending proportions! Did you know that as President of the (last place in the NBA) New Jersey Nets, Jon Spoelstra took there ticket revenue from $5,000,000 to $17,000,000, sponsorships from $400,000 to $7,000,000, and the team value from $40,000,000 to $120,000,000? This is a guy who knows how to market outrageously! (if you want to know more, check out www.findsuccess.net)

Jon talks about three points to being successful:
1. “New is a way of life”
2. “What’s it gonna take?”
3. “Push the ‘Outrageous’ envelope”

Most people want to protect at least two things, which sends them into paralysis. You see, you have to decide what is Number 1. The thing that everything else will be sacrificed for. Then you can determine what it will take to get to that goal. Everything else is secondary to that Number 1 thing…whatever it is.

Wow…what a whirlwind month!

And now, back in the office, I contemplate for you…what is it that you will do Outrageously? What will you do to surprise people? You have to surprise people constantly with things that are new, surprising and interesting.

Are you ready to launch? Let us help you find YOUR surprise!

“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man, and learns from him, how not to make that mistake to begin with!” Roy H. Williams.


Prosound’s new home online

Wow, we made it! A few of you have been privy to the fact that we’ve been working hard since early November to create a brand new website for Prosound. And it’s finally launched! You’ll find our new home at wwwprosoundusa.com. We’re really proud of it!

With the tremendous experience and guidance of Paul Boomer (aka “Boomer”) and Dave Young, (two of the partners at Wizard of Ads, Inc., a research and consulting organization based on Austin, Texas), we were able to do an extensive amount of research into why customers and potential clients come to our site, what information they are looking for, and how to best present that to them.

We also were able to integrate our blog platform with our website, so both now share a consistent look and feel.

Beyond just the design and the scripting, a website is only as valuable as it’s analytics, and Dave and Boomer are experts at testing, tweaking, testing, tweaking, and fully optimizing the site, based on how visitors are actually browsing!

I’m sure that some of you have been putting off creating (or re-creating) your website for far longer than you should have! If you’re ready to invest the time and effort to make your website work for you, I highly recommend contacting Dave or Boomer.

I’m personally very excited about our Caller Experience Evaluation service that shows you what changes to your phone experience will optimize your customer service.

We’ve also implemented a new Support ticket system to enhance the way we receive and respond to any support request you have.

Enjoy the new site, and if you’re a current client, we’d love a testimonial from you!

If you’d like to find Dave or Boomer, feel free to contact them.

Dave is at:

Paul is at:

  • paulboomer@wizardofads.com
  • twitter: @paulboomer
  • (573) 268-4109

Thanks, and I’ll look forward to seeing you online!


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