General

Track Day with Speed of Sight

A day to remember with Speed of Sight

Last Monday (21st March 2016) we spent the afternoon with our chosen charity for 2016 Speed of Sight.

3 Sisters Race Track was the venue, we were there to grab some sound bites and sound effects for their On Hold Audio. Little did we know we'd be given the chance to get behind the wheel - BLINDFOLDED!

After three laps of the track sighted, into the pits we came to don a blindfold for a truly unforgettable and sightly terrifying hot lap of the track. After the first 3 corners I'd lost my bearings and in the hands of the instructor providing directions - when to turn, brake and accelerate.

The team and I now have even more respect for blind or partially sighted people and anyone with a disability. Thank you to everyone at Speed of Sight for an amazing experience, keep up the good work.

Take a look at some of the pictures and sound clips below. 

Here are a few sound bites from the day...

For more information on the fantastic work of Speed of Sight visit their website www.SpeedofSight.org

Easter Eggstravaganza 2016

Easter Eggstravaganza

Back by popular demand for the second year our online Easter egg hunt is now live.

We've hidden 5 (there's a clue) Easter Eggs like the one below across our website with clues to find the next one. Follow the clues to find the letters associated with each egg to spell out a word.

When you've figured out the word, (it's easy, even my 7 year old worked it out) Click here to submit your answer via the online form

While you're following the Easter egg trail, take a look at the pages as you go you never know what you might learn along the way.

Next Wednesday 23rd March we'll select one lucky winner from all the correct entries and they'll recieve a Cadbury Easter Hamper, hopefully the next day just in time for the Easter weekend. 

 

Picture for illustraion purposes only.

Picture for illustraion purposes only.

Good luck!

If you're going to be closed over the Easter weekend it's a goos idea to have a specific voicemail message recorded to let your customers know when you re-open.

Click here to find out more or order online

And finally Happy Easter from all the team at iNarrator OnHold.

Client of The Month: HeadOffice3

HeadOffice3

HeadOffice3

We've been working with Head Office Interiors for several years providing On Hold Marketing and Telephone System Messages. Head Office has grown consistently to incorporate 3 divisions’ corporate transformations, educational fit out and refurbishment, and residential architectural design and construction. The company undertook a big re-brand to become Head Office 3, and we helped craft their audio branding.

The project covered writing and recording a new batch of On Hold Marketing Messages, Telephone System Messages and recording the voiceover narration for a video to reveal the new brand to the world.

You can check out a sample of the On Hold Audio www.iNarratorOnHold.com/headoffice3 and watch the re-brand video online www.HeadOffice3.com

Evolution of the Telephone Part 4

Continuing on from part 3, we take a look at how the telephone network expanded in the USA in the early 1900's. 

Universal Service had well and truly kicked off after Theodore Vail had surged forward with his intention of providing every American with access to a telephone, when he re-joined Bell in 1907 as the company’s CEO. He was at the peak of his power in the early 1900s as he embarked on a mission to build the first coast to coast telephone line, starting work in 1908.

The line was completed in 1915 ran 3,400 miles from New York to San Francisco and was the start of a further control, changing the market and committing the company to providing the best telephone service possible. Vail essentially spared The American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T) from near ruin, with expired patents and smaller, independent companies expanding rapidly, providing more competition. He focused on the long-distance system, spanning the US and steered the company towards a more scientific approach, researching and developing his ideas in Bell Laboratories.

Vail trialled the line in July 1914 with success however this wasn’t celebrated until the Panama Canal completion in January the following year. Bell and Watson recreated their first ever telephone call on the 25th of January 1915, with Bell summoning Watson to New York and Watson allegedly replying from San Francisco...

"It will take me five days to get there now!"

Vail had begun construction on the long distance line a year after he re-joined Bell, taking 6 years to complete, but creating a connection across the country that took just 1/15th of a second, a lot easier than a 16 day canal journey to have a chinwag! The price of a call was reportedly around $400 for three minutes. It wouldn’t be until 1956 that the UK and USA connected wires.

Coming to the rescue one last time, after the US Federal Government took over the telephone service in the US in 1918, Vail organised contracts meaning private control and power was soon resumed to the Bell System. After all he’d done for Bell and technology as we know it today, Vail died in 1920 aged 74, but did so having inspired huge ambitions in the telephone industry.

The 1920s were a period of experimenting and the Bell System invested in a dial service which had already been available from many of the independent competitors. The first ‘step by step’ switch was installed in Dallas in 1921 by Bell Telephone Company. By December that year Dallas was the first city to have all dial phones. These were commonly known as ‘French telephones’ and the rates of calls also decreased during this time. The 1920s were a period of prosperity for the US, with technological developments in machinery, mass production and a boom in the electricity industry. Telephone sales had grown from 10 million in 1915 to 20 million in 1930.

The UK and USA had been connected by telegraph for some time but the first time the two countries were connected via telephone was in 1927 from the Post Office long wave wireless station in Rugby. A unified telephone system had been available to UK citizens since 1912, operated by the Pot Office, by 1913 they were one of only 3 providers of a telephone service in the UK. 1924 also marked the year the public telephone box was designed by competition winner Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the bright red kiosks were then introduced in 1927.

With the looming depression for the US came a hit for Western Electric and the Bell System, employment rates and the use of phones decreased locally and long distance and the company began to look to other means of communication such as telegraphs. The Government was about to step in and have it’s say in the monopoly that Bell and Veil had created.

 

Article sources:

http://www.telephonymuseum.com/History%201901-1940.htm

http://www.pbs.org/transistor/album1/addlbios/vail.html

http://gizmodo.com/at-t-made-the-first-transcontinental-phone-call-100-yea-1681696548

http://www.cnet.com/news/at-t-makes-the-call-100-years-ago/

http://www.pbs.org/transistor/background1/events/transcon.html

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/egt02

 

Related Articles

Evolution of the Telephone Part 3

Evolution of the Telephone Part 2

Evolution of the Telephone Part 1

Featured Client: Eskimo Ice - Literally our coolest client

We love the diverse client base we have and one of our coolest clients ever, Eskimo Ice, is London’s leading ice supplier. They manufacture and distribute over 1400 tonnes of ice cubes and crushed ice per week in and around London… We never knew you could get ice in so many different forms!

eskimoicelondon

If you see one of their vans around London snap a photo and tweet them @Eskimo_Ice and they’ll send you an awesome t-shirt! #EskimoVanHunt

Thanks to Eskimo Ice for being our featured client of the month. 

Hit the road jack

If you’ve read our quarterly newsletter then you’ll be quite clued up on the progression of the invention of the telephone, something to which we owe our jobs. What we’ve seen is that even the smallest idea and weirdest sounding invention can create a huge impact for centuries to come.

This is especially relevant this week as it marks the 90th Anniversary of the first peek at a Television. Commemorated in a Google doodle on Tuesday, 90 years since John Baird’s ‘televisor’ was demonstrated to a group of Royal Institution scientists. However we’re here to talk about a much smaller bit of kit.

Can you imagine a life without TV? What about plugging in and shutting the world out?

One tiny piece of tech that has been around since 1878 is still used every single day by millions of people all over the world. The headphone jack, a shrunk down version of the 1/4 inch jack (6.35mm) jacks that were used by operators in switchboards before Bell’s invention of the telephone really took off, it’s remained virtually unchanged since it’s invention, only to be miniaturised to a 3.5mm jack for personal use.

1/4 inch and 3.5 mm headphone jack

To many people’s horror, it is rumoured that Apple have decided they can do better than an invention that’s been around for nearly 150 years. The idea is that they scrap the socket and use their ‘lightening’ port (currently used as the charging port), this has caused outrage, as it will force customers to use the brand’s earphones.

It’s a rarity that a piece of equipment has remained virtually unchanged and universal for such a long time. Just like the phone they’ve really progressed over the years, with images of Edison donning a very fashionable set of ‘primitive headphones’ or rubber tubes to you and I. Essentially headphones stem from the family of the phone, with a receiver and transmitter In fact, earphones were called telephones to begin with!

Audio Engineering Society member, Charlie Slee has commented that the outrage has been sparked by people fearing a loss of control of their technology. He highlights that:

"The big technology companies have always been in control of how you listen to music and watch videos."
Charlie Slee

A simple, effective piece of kit has clearly worked for this long and we like to think the same with On Hold Marketing, it’s simple but it’s so effective. We also agree with Charlie that companies, just like yours are able to retain an element of control, you can decide perhaps not how but what your customers listen to. The telephone isn't going anywhere soon so we should make the most of it now before someone tries to change everything!


Related Blog Posts: 

Evolution of the Telephone Part 3

Evolution of the Telephone Part 2

Evolution of the Telephone Part 1


What's the true cost of missing a phone call?

Missing a call every once in a while might not seem like a big deal, but do you really know the impact it’s having on your business? Not only in terms of reputation but also finance?

We’ve headed into a period where there’s a multitude of tools and tricks we can be using to make our businesses as profitable as possible, utilising analytics from our email campaigns to using social media to generate business leads.

‘Digital ignorance’ can cost a SME to grow much slower than they should be and affects profit, with new research estimating that UK businesses are losing £90millon in sales revenue per annum, purely from failing to answer their phone calls. Combine this with digital inexperience and losses could be much higher.

In recent years we’ve seen an increase in different methods of customer service, from pop up live chats to virtual assistants, such as Amelia. Are we forgetting the more traditional (and dare we say, more effective) methods of interacting with customers?

The study found that missing a single phone call cost a business an average of £1200. Once someone has called once and either waited on the line too long or simply not been answered at all, they’re likely to take their query elsewhere. The report analysed 1600 IT leaders in SMEs and found that if the business was unavailable for a 24 hour period the loss of each missed call equated to £9000.

With more reliance on cloud computing and outsourcing calls because 77% of SMEs are implementing flexitime, this means that connecting your call to the right person is becoming increasingly difficult. The financial impact on missing calls is far greater than you might think. The study found that the 63,400 SMEs surveyed lost more than £36 million during 2013-14.

Missing a call may not seem like the end of the world but it’s important that if you’re not going to be available, you’ve got a contingency plan! Ensure your call routing is adequate, if you’re not going to answer the phone then a professionally recorded voicemail or a call handler who can pass on a message are definitely better options than losing business.

Lost calls result in lost business, make sure you address this by firstly aiming not to miss the call by setting targets! There’s also call logging software than you can download to keep track of lost calls, giving you something to aim for. Secondly make it easy for your callers to get to the right person with a clear and concise menu and thirdly if the phone can’t be answered, callers will be much less put off when they hear your professional and friendly voicemail. If that’s what you need to stop losing out on business then you’re in the right place!

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year!

We hope you had a fantastic Christmas break and are ready to get the most out of 2016. 

As ever we are here to help you get the most out of our telephone audio branding so if you need On Hold Marketing Audio, Welcome or IVR Prompts, Voicemail Messages if fact any project that needs a professional voiceover then we're here to help, give us a call on 0800 0112 123.

All the best for 2016