Many hvacr contractors are turning to telephone “on-hold” advertising as an effective, inexpensive way to market products and services to a captive audience.

Listeners on the other end of the line will hear about spring clean-and-check specials, financing on a new air conditioning system, or air cleaners to help them with their allergies.

Unlike a TV, they can’t switch channels if they don’t like the message. (They can, however, hang up and call your competitor, so don’t leave customers on hold for too long.)

As an alternative or supplement to Yellow Pages advertising or an occasional TV or radio spot, contractors have the opportunity to reach a targeted audience with a customized message. This is often beneficial, because high-volume, scattershot ads, although reaching many homes, may not reach the desired audience.

The only requirement to using “Commercials On Hold” is that a business have two or more telephone lines and a hold button on the phone.

Customized for contractors

A customized message for the hvacr trade is no problem.

“We’ve worked in the hvac field for 10 years,” said Barbara Gaughf, vice president, Commercials On Hold. “We understand the industry.”

The company’s list of clients is a testimonial to its knowledge of the trade. The list includes the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Lennox Industries, Carrier Canada, Service Thrust, and others.

In fact, as an ACCA-approved vendor, the company recently received the “Gold Select Dealer” award, for “dedication in raising the level of quality and customer service in the on-hold industry.”

“We can customize a message that incorporates a contractor’s mission statement,” Gaughf added. “We also use the knowledge we have gained from major manufacturers to help produce a custom message.”

Key features of commercials on hold

Some of the features being touted by the company include:

  • Digital equipment that plugs into a phone system’s on-hold port; the players feature computer technology that allows for messages to be played 24 hrs a day, seven days a week.

  • Scripts written by copywriters who are said to contact their clients regularly for updated information;

  • There are no additional fees for music rights; all music is licensed by Commercials On Hold’s parent company, Transmedia Advertising, Inc.

  • The product carries a 100% guarantee. The message and service will be changed in order to gain satisfaction, but if that doesn’t happen, the company will refund the customer’s money.

  • Finally, the service can be up and running within two weeks.

“If a customer likes, we can send them a customized script within three days,” said Gaughf. “We usually sign an agreement form and then fax or e-mail the completed script to the customer.”

A customized message is not etched in stone. It can be changed at different intervals, according to the package the contractor purchases.

Gaughf added that her company will also send out a customized tape, on request, to a contractor who is considering purchasing the entire package.

The cost of the service for 12 months starts at $375. If a contractor wants to add more frequent updates, the cost goes up. For example, monthly updates cost $970 annually.

In addition to the initial package, Commercials On Hold can provide a “call handler” machine that can automatically place a caller on hold until an employee can personally answer the call.

In a company press release, president Allen Gaughf stated, “Hvac dealers nationwide tell us that our customized messages, mixed with pleasant music, enhance their image and promote everything from tune-ups to the new high-efficiency equipment.”

For more information, contact Commercials On Hold at P.O. Box 1022, Macon, Ga. 31202; 800-832-4653; 912-745-3499 (fax); (e-mail); (website).