In the telecom environment, there’s no doubt that today’s greatest buzzword is ‘voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP).’ Every in-the-know business has either made or considered making the jump to VOIP for phone communication needs. VOIP offers a tremendous amount of features for most, including the ability to have professional voicemail greetings and music on hold. What many of these businesses don’t know, however, is that without a little-known ‘VOIP music on hold workaround’, their customers may not be hearing all of their company’s on hold messages.
Here’s what happened at our business, On Hold Company, and how we fixed the problem.
Our company recently made the switch to an Asterisk-based phone system, and we love it. When we began considering the various platforms, we decided that we wanted to work with a software/hardware solution that was very feature-rich. Because we are an audio on hold marketing company, we felt it was crucial that our telephone system sounded great and was easy to navigate.
Toward that end, we spent many hours researching the ins and outs of the market’s most popular Asterisk-based phone systems and ultimately chose the FreePBX Open Source platform. We worked very hard to develop creative a professional voicemail greeting and on hold message. We spent countless hours flow-charting the caller experience. Finally, we completed the project and deployed the new system. Almost instantly callers told us how impressed they were with our new IVR menus, and we were very excited to see that all of our hard work paid off. Feel free to call and give it a listen at 800-492-9030.
Within a few days of going live, we noticed that callers who were placed on hold were not hearing the entire on hold message we had created. They were hearing the message starting from the beginning after any transfer or from the exact same spot they left it when placed on hold.
“How could this be?” we asked ourselves. “We’ve never seen it work this way before.”
Traditionally, on-hold messages are played in a loop. By playing the messages in a loop, the caller is able to enter the ad at various places in the rotation, increasing their chance of hearing more ads. The thought of our on-hold messages working in a way that was inferior is simply NOT an option. So we set on a path to find a solution and we did!
Here’s the basic concept. All Asterisk-based platforms – Elastix, Trixbox, FreePBX and many more – have a module to play music on hold. Most accept .wav or .mp3 files. Newer versions also will accept .mp3 streams as well (This is the key). To get this working, we simply hooked up a Barix Instreamer 100 to one of our hardware on-hold players and connected the Instreamer to our LAN. Then we created a new music source in Elastix and input the address of the stream from the Instreamer and voila, looping music on hold.
Sound hard? It’s not. This is just one example of the creative solutions our team delivers daily at On Hold Company. If your VOIP phone system is driving your callers crazy repeating the first part of your on hold messages over and over, contact us. We can help!
In addition to resolving your looping concerns, we can also help you create an amazing first impression with a custom professional voicemail greeting.