Lessons Learned from Podcasting

Brian Carroll, CEO of InTouch Incorporated, offers his Lessons Learned from Podcasting. It's a good article published by MarketingProfs. I like that he didn't delve into the esoterics of podcasting's technology. Instead he chose to the role podcast can play in providing customers or prospects or employees with:

... different information, in different ways, at different times during their buying process. The choices they'll make will depend on their role, their exact need, and the timeframe for solving that need.

One of the reasons podcasts are important is that they engage an audience or prospective customer in a way that other offerings may not. And if you have potential customers who are already listening to podcasts, why would you want to leave that offering out of your mix?

Exactly. Why would you?

His first tip to keep in mind is:

  • Know what you want to say and have a point of view.
  • So true. Podcasts are powerful addition to your plans to share your message...IF...you have something unique and interesting to share.

    And his second is:

  • Be ready and willing to learn by trial and error, since podcasting is a relatively nascent medium.
  • And if you're willing to learn this medium then you're half-way home.

    We can't help with the first point.

    We can help with the 2nd point using our podcast service. You provide the passion; we'll provide the podcast. We can take your unique content and quickly turn it into a podcast for you, without your ever having to learn the podcast technology itself. Besides, what's the best use of your time: learning XML coding to create a podcast or providing your unique content for the podcast? We think the latter. If you agree, and you want to start podcasting, give us a call: 877-227-0611, ext. 3.

    November 6, 2007 in Our Services | Permalink | Comments (0)

    Holiday Hours

    To celebrate the holidays our Sales and Customer Service Offices will be closed on December 25, 26, 29 and January 1. Standard support from operators and technical support personnel for each service will remain available during those times.

    Thank you for your support during the year. Thank you for letting us provide your conference calling needs.  We hope your holidays are joyous, fun and relaxing.

    Here's to a great 2007!

    December 13, 2006 in Our Services | Permalink | Comments (0)

    Windows Vista and IE 7: Wait

    We'll wait for the moment to try 2 new products from Microsoft: their Vista operating system or Internet Explorer 7.

    Microsoft's VISTA is the new operating system to replace the current Windows XP operating system. Right now it's not available; But soon it will be, starting first with business versions possibly this quarter and a consumer version in Q1 '07. And it's chock full of promise and potential, features and communities and a website.  But there are also questions about its security features.

    And products of such complexity, and such impact on your day, offers plenty of surprises for early-adoptors. We certainly don't have time for these surprises; we doubt you do, either.

    Internet Explorer - 7, or IE7 is a significant upgrade to the current versions of IE.  We're testing this new version to judge its impact on the common functoins of a web browser and how it impacts the use of our web conference services. We'll have the results of that test for you at the end of the month. We'll share our experiences and offer solutions, tips, or our learning experiences to help you avoid our pain.

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact either myself or Dana White, our IT-Guy Extraordinaire.

    Me: Zane Safrit, 877-227-0611, ext. 12, zane@conferencecallsunlimited.com

    Dana White: 877-227-0611, ext. 17, dana@conferencecallsunlimited.com

    Thanks.

    Technorati tags: vista, IE7, microsoft

    October 4, 2006 in Our Services | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sample Invoices Added to Our Website

    We added a page to our main website that shows sample invoices for our standard services. They're posted in PDF. Click this link to see it.

    What do you think? Be nice. But help us make sure it's a valuable addition to our website. Leave your comments below.

    Here's my thoughts:

    * Double Click Image to Enlarge. There should be text added by each thumbnail image to advise viewers to double click on the image to enlarge it in a separate window. 

    What do you see we should do to enhance the content on this page?  Leave your thoughts in the comments field below.

    Blue Sheep Studios designed our website. Tell Alek we sent you.

    September 20, 2006 in Our Services | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Heat-related Power Outtage

    We had a power outtage here today at the offices. Heat-related. It started just before 2:00 PM, Central. Last until just after 3:00 PM, Central.

    I'm writing this at 3:22 PM Central. We seem to be back, connected...phone and 'net.

    We apologize for the inconvenience. Our battery backups worked just fine and remained working. However, one of our telecom providers had battery backups with a bit shorter life. We're working with them on this.

    July 31, 2006 in Our Services | Permalink | Comments (0)

    Customer Instruction Card

    Many of you who use our flat-rate monthly unlimited calling plans have received our plastic, wallet-sized instruction cards in the recent months.  Many more will receive them this month. We expect  to have them in the hands of all of our customers who use the flat-rate monthly unlimited monthly services by the end of February. 

    Once we deliver the initial card with the HOST instructions, including all the added features for call-management, then we'll follow-up with a reminder to each customer that GUEST versions are available for their GUEST participants.  We'll be happy to print enough wallet-sized cards with instructions for joining your conference so that each GUEST participant receives one. (Hint: you don't have to wait until then.)

    They're personalized with your company name and the calling instructions, along with the reduced instruction set for GUEST callers.

    ( Thinking out loud here...I can't see why we can't customize these cards to display your logo more prominently. I'll check into that possibility and post a draft of a version of your GUEST's calling instructions with your logo featured more prominently. Or I'll tell you why we couldn't. )

    Here's the current version of the HOST wallet-sized instruction card.

    FRONT

    Hostfrontcolorcorrect_2   

    BACK

    Hostbackcolorcorrect

    January 8, 2006 in Our Services | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Conference Tip: Change Your Codes Regularly

    When was the last time you changed the host/guest, moderator/participant, codes you use with your service? It's probably been awhile.

    Now ask yourself this question: Since you received the codes you use now on your conference calls, how many employees have left your company? How many of them knew these codes?

    Or, ask yourself, how many outside contractors or vendors or partners have come and gone since you received your conference codes and who knew those same codes?

    I worked at a company once where the company's network manager would routinely sit silently on management's conference bridge...all day long. The codes never changed over years. He was privy to a lot of confidential information. He started to tell me and I just told him "Please, I really DON'T want to know who's getting laid-off."

    The inconvenience of notifying your audience of a change in their calling routine with the new conference codes is minimal compared to confidential information being shared with an unauthorized but still interested audience.

    ACTION STEPS:

    1) Change your codes at least once every 6 months.

    Complimentary Offer: We'll waive the normal fee for the next 2 times you change your codes. That's 2 complimentary changes per host/guest, or moderator/participant, code pair you use.

    2) Use a separate, single, scheduled-call.

    For those one-time calls where you need to conference once with a subset of your regular audience use our single, scheduled-conference calls. It allows privacy, security and ease of scheduling online. We can enable you to schedule these calls online, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week at your convenience. Just call Customer Service at 877-227-0611, ext. 3. Or email Cindy Whitney and her crew at customerservice@conferencecallsunlimited.com. Tell them you want to schedule a single call.

    Better safe than sorry as all of our parents have told us.

    November 18, 2005 in Conference Calling Tips, Our Services | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Additional Features On Our Conference Call Services

    We find that a regular reminder of the features of our conference calling services help keep them fresh in everyone's mind. The list below includes standard features and features available upon request. Each of them, singly or together, can enhance the effectiveness of your conference call.  Please feel free to call us, 877-227-0611 ext. 3, if you need more information, a quick refresher on their use, or wish to add them to your feature-list. You can also email us.

    MUSIC ON HOLD OPTION: All callers using the guest access code are placed on music hold until a caller using the host access code joins the call.

    CHAIR HANG UP: When all callers using the host access code hang up, all participant access code lines are automatically disconnected from the call.
    ENTRY TONES - A single beep will alert the group that someone has entered the conference.

    EXIT TONES - A single beep will alert the group when someone leaves the conference.

    NAME RECORDING – WITH ENTRY ANNOUNCEMENT: An automated voice prompt asks each caller to state their name before they join the conference call. The name is then announced to the entire group as the caller is placed in the conference call.

    During the conference a host may press #1 to play the recorded names of the participants currently on the call. Only the host/guest pressing #1 will hear the name playback. The callers must be on the call for their name to be played back. If a caller should hang-up before this feature is pressed, their name will not be played back. 

    NAME RECORDING – WITH PRIVATE ROSTER PLAYBACK: An automated voice prompt asks each caller to state their name before they join the conference call. The caller is then placed in the conference call with a single entry tone.

    During the conference a host may press #1 to play the recorded names of the participants currently on the call. Only the host pressing #1 will hear the name playback. The callers must be on the call for their name to be played back. If a caller should hang-up before this feature is pressed, their name will not be played back. 

    VOLUME GAIN:  A host/guest may press *4 to increase the volume on their line. Simply press *4 again to remove the volume gain.

    MUTE-ALL/LECTURE MODE: A host has the ability to mute and unmute all the guest or participant lines. Muting the guest will allow them to participate in a ‘listen-only’ mode and ensures maximum clarity on the call.

    MUTE INDIVIDUAL: A guest may mute their individual line. This allows guest to mute the individual line if their telephone does not have a mute feature on it. It is advisable to alert your conference participants to mute their lines when not speaking to ensure maximum clarity on the call.

    Quite often we receive calls from customers reporting background noise interfering with the conference call. It's solved by either muting all lines by the host or reminding everyone to mute their lines individually. Operators can join the call to mute an individual's line if there's no response from them.

    CONFERENCE LOCKING:  For added security, the host may lock the conference. This will prevent additional callers from joining the conference. The host may unlock the conference at a later time to allow new entrants.  Be sure all your expected guests are connected before using the locking feature. *Note: the operator will be unable to access your conference call or the host/guest, if necessary, when the conference is locked with this feature.

    CALLER COUNT: A host may press *8 to hear the total number of participants on the conference call. Only the host/guest who presses *8 will hear the caller count.

    CONFERENCE END: When the conference call has ended, a host/guest may press this feature on their phone to disconnect all callers from the conference.

    We hope this helps. We have a small percentage of accounts whose services have served them well to date, but who do not have some of these features. We're happy to change your service to provide these enhanced service options at no charge and while maintaining your current savings with us.

    September 2, 2005 in Our Services | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack