This is a common question. As a specialist in audio we provide on hold messages but do not provide the telephone hardware. We refer clients to hardware specialists.
Sourcing your audio and telephone hardware separately can save you a lot of money. There are companies out there that can arrange the whole package with support but they often charge monthly and put you into a 2-3 year contract.
If you are happy to setup and install your own telephone hardware there are big savings to be had. Also, you have the flexibility to change your audio when you like.
If you don’t mind a bit of setup and like the idea of saving money you should read all of this article and seriously consider sourcing your on hold messages from an audio specialist and the telephone hardware from a telephony specialist. We have started a list of on-hold hardware suppliers at the end of this article.
Our On Hold Story
We have provided on hold services for 5 years now, however, until recently we did not have our own on hold system. This was because we have a support setup where somebody always answers the phone.
Although we don’t need to put clients on hold often, we have recently added one so that we can at least say we have successfully set-up and sourced our own telephone hardware. As it happens we now find it useful and have changed our incoming call routing to suit our new on hold player.
It was much easier than expected
Step 1 – Finding hardware
We contacted Paul at PMC (details listed below). He advised us on the best hardware for our requirements. We paid Paul and within a few days the boxes arrived.
Step 2 – Writing our on hold messages
We wrote the script for our on hold messages and commissioned it through our on-hold service.
Step 3 – Setting up the hardware
This was a simple process of following the provided instructions and plugging in a few cables. It took no longer than 1 hour. Also, for the sake of tidiness we drilled some holes and mounted the hardware on our office wall.
Step 4 – Getting the on hold messages onto the mp3 player
This was really easy. The player we purchased has an SD memory card. This was removed and put into my PC where I simply dragged the mp3 audio onto the card. If you do not have an SD slot on your computer a USB lead can be plugged in and the audio file dropped straight on to the device.
Once it had copied across I simply put it back into the on hold player and plugged it back in. The audio started playing instantly on a continuous loop. After a little tweaking to get the volume levels just right our on hold marketing messages have been playing constantly now for about 2 weeks. Result!
The cost of the equipment required will vary depending on the requirements of your telephone system and the number of lines you have. As a web based business we can make do with 3 incoming lines and our hardware costs were minimal. You would need to consult one of the telephony specialists to find out what equipment you require.
The cost for ours was: -
- On Hold Messaging service £99.90
- PBX – £127.65
- Fortune 1200 music on-hold mp3 player – £100
Total one-off cost £327.55 (exc. vat)
This is good value when you consider it is all paid for in full, there are no ongoing payments and the hardware is ours. Also, the background music we use for on-hold messages is free from PRS, ASCAP or PPL fees.
Telephone hardware suppliers
Paul – PMC Telecom www.pmctelecom.co.uk
Colin – DMC (Asterix telephone systems) www.servicesforasterisk.co.uk
If you are an on-hold hardware supplier please feel free to add your details below or email us to be added to this list.
If you are a business, find out more about how to get your own on hold messages recorded and produced.