Marino Ceko and Steven Haas made sure the voice message talked about Architectural Kitchen and Baths' 1,500-square-foot showroom, which includes four kitchen displays, hundreds of door styles, two bathroom displays, plus hardware, tiles, marble and countertops.
In an effort to prevent clients from tuning out while on hold, Steven Haas, president of Architectural Kitchens and Baths in Rockville Centre, N.Y. and his partner, Marino Ceko, developed a company storyline, then hired a creative firm to turn it into a telephone message that plays while clients wait to speak with a representative.
Designed to sound like a live broadcast of three roving reporters - Ken Cabinetry, Donna Dreamsworth and Gus Glassman - the recording covers the Architectural Kitchen and Baths "beat." Coverage ranges from segments about aesthetic details, like herringbone wood floors and coffered ceilings, to stories about the company's credos and how its work fulfilled one client's lifelong wish list. The message also gives basics like the showroom's address, directions to the facility and background credentials on Haas, a past president of the Metro New York NKBA chapter. The eight-minute loop also splices original ditties like "Let It Flow" by Faucetry and "Lazy Susan" by The Knob and Pulls.
Architectural Kitchen & Baths' employees provided the information for the script. The recording, which took six weeks to create, debuted in May 2002. The $1,500 cost included installation of all necessary components, a copy of the recording on CD, and two free content updates. Some larger manufacturers who work with Haas' company are using the message as a template to create similar versions for their own businesses.
"I tolerate just over a minute on hold, and then I go nuts," says Haas. "We designed the message to be entertaining so the time on hold is spent well with information. Communication is very important and voice mail was a key component; we felt we needed to create an interesting format for the phone."