Laura Anderson, President of WBENC-Certified WBE Creative Business Audio, discusses the benefits of enhancing an often underappreciated brand and marketing tool – your phone audio system.
We are in a world where everyone is turning to VoIP Phone Systems. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it brings a lot of new technology and ability to your phone system. Now the basic phone system has an auto attendant, night message, message on hold and custom voice mail messages right at your fingertips. All you do is log into your phone application and these files can be uploaded to your system.
However, don’t go the “homegrown,” “back-office” route for your audio files. You can tell when these are made in a back office. Even our best voice talent, people who have been doing this for over 25 years, have to be cleaned up. State-of-the-art software, the tedious task of taking out all the unnecessary human sounds and speeding up or slowing down the production are some of the things a sound studio does to make these files sound perfect.
Your phone is an extension of your image and your brand. When customers call your phone number, they are getting a feel of your business.
Every company has a different brand image
That is why everything should be made custom. Some businesses want to be seen as very professional, some customer service oriented, some relaxed, some caring and some want upbeat, etc… Whatever image is needed, no two customers are alike.
Don’t do yourself a disservice and think that these homegrown files are working for you. Just because the IT dept declares them functional, does not mean they are working for your business. I have called businesses and have heard some unbelievably bad audio files.
How many business owners or managers really take the time to call into the main number? Has anyone else called a construction company and was put on hold to classical music? It doesn’t make business sense.
Professional audio services are simple and economical
Audio services are an inexpensive way to expand your image and brand. Contracts usually can be paid monthly or a la carte. Most productions include writing, professional voice talent and your choice of licensed music.
Licensing fees become an important topic. Using professional music without paying the licensing fees is illegal and you can run up large fines. These artists want to be paid for the work they produce. It doesn’t seem fair to them that you should use their music in a commercial sense and pay nothing.
Additionally, it is not enough to buy and download the music file. This just gets you permission to use the file personally, not commercially. You have to contact the license holder, tell them how you are using the piece and they can approve or deny use and charge a large sum for the use.
Groups like ASCAP and BMI keep their doors open by charging fines in businesses that do not comply. I have seen them charge fines per speaker. You may think it won’t happen to you, but let me remind you that it is happening to businesses everyday or they would cease to exist.