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August 18, 2015

Easy on Hold Brings Custom Messages to Asterisk


By Casey Houser Contributing Writer



Easy on Hold attempts to make the task of waiting on hold more informative and enjoyable. Its software can transmit custom messages and streaming audio to callers as they wait. Now it is available for the Asterisk open source telephony engine.


The Easy on Hold company recently announced that, as a supporter of the ASTRICON15 Asterisk conference taking place this autumn, it has been working to develop its platform for that telephony engine. It wanted to find a way to help businesses and their IT departments by making it simple to deliver custom messages to callers. The company recently began using streaming audio to fill in the gaps between important messages such as a restaurant advertising its lunch specials or an automotive dealer showing its weekend hours during Friday calls.

Those two situations are time-sensitive and mark the primary problem with many other on-hold calling platforms. Legacy system are often unable to deal with changes of time because they play on-hold messages and music from the beginning of recorded tracks. With streaming media, Easy on Hold makes it possible to transmit quality music between messages that adapt to times of day and customer needs.

The entire system makes it easy for IT to handle call waiting. Admins do not need to download audio files and need no physical media which can reduce overall costs. Furthermore, the Easy on Hold system can attach reporting and monitoring tools to streaming media. A central server can also transmit audio to a number of different businesses and allow updates to populate immediately to each entity. A restaurant with several locations, for instance, can see custom messages change from lunch to dinner specials when 3 p.m. rolls around.

Image via Shutterstock

Tim Brown, the vice president of Easy on Hold, noted that his company has created a system which weighs the importance of messages.

“We devised a unique programming technique that encodes playback instructions into each of a series of custom-scripted topical announcements,” Brown said. “Then we set a sequence of rules to manage message repetition and customer preferences. A weighting system controls message frequency, so the most important announcements play more often.”

This way, admins can control which messages are part of a rotation and which messages get the most air time. In addition to tailoring messages to specific times of day, such weights are able to keep important messages in the minds of callers. Wait times are transformed from uneventful endeavors to trips that can lead to more business from customers.



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