Oct 23

Dos & Don’ts of Voicemail Greeting Messages

Blog written for On Air Audio Studios 

Voicemail_dos_and_donts

Making a good first impression is critical to attracting and gaining new customers. You’ve already spent money on marketing and advertising, whether it be online, print or radio and television, and have persuaded potential customers to call your business. Now it’s up to you to give a positive impression through your voicemail greeting so you can convert those calls into sales.

A professional voicemail greeting can be the difference between a happy and potentially-returning customer, to an unhappy one you will never hear from again.

Here are some dos and don’ts for creating effective voice message greetings:

DO BE WARM AND PROFESSIONAL.

No one wants to be greeted by a cold, indifferent and robotic voice. Having your messages produced by a recording studio will allow you to choose a voice that best suits your brand and that will deliver a warm, helpful and professional voice message greeting. On Air has a large bank of experienced and talented voices that can help you improve your customers experience. You can browse and listen to our voices here.

DON’T BE TOO CASUAL.

You want your answering machine messages to be friendly and welcoming, but be careful not to get too informal. Your personal cell phone’s voicemail greeting might say, “It’s Frank – leave a message!” but that kind of casual greeting might turn off customers. When they call, they want to feel confident that they’ve contacted a professional and competent company that values their call. Be friendly, but not too nonchalant.

DO INFORM THE CUSTOMER ABOUT THE SITUATION.

The best voicemail greeting will be appreciative and informative. The initial message a customer hears should have your name and/or company’s name so they can be sure they’ve reached the right person. Give them lots of information including the reason you are not able to answer their call and when you will be checking messages. It’s important to let them know when they can expect to hear back from you and always apologize for missing their call.

DON’T USE YOUR VOICEMAIL GREETING AS A LONG-WINDED SALES PITCH.

Clear, concise and to-the-point messaging is the best way to go with your voice message greeting. Making your callers sits through a long message packed with your latest promotion and too much company information will try their patience. All they really want to do is leave a message so you can get back to them with the information they need. Instead, use that great sales and company information for your message on hold. Your voicemail greeting should be no longer than 30 seconds.

DO CONSIDER PRODUCING PROFESSIONAL VOICEMAIL GREETINGS.

When you have your voicemail greeting produced by a reputable recording studio, you can be sure your customers are getting the best first impression. On Air can write, voice and produce your greeting as well as your VOIP telephone system’s voice prompts and customized on hold messaging. Your messages will give your customers a warm welcome, clear instructions and a reason to call back.

Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Sep 11

Optimized Content for BinBinCleaned

I’ve had the pleasure of writing blog articles for BinBinCleaned. This new company offers professional wheelie bin cleaning services to the bedroom communities around Edmonton, Calgary and within the City of Calgary itself. You can read all of the blog articles at https://www.binbincleaned.com/binbinclean-our-blog/.

Here is a sample:

 

Is wheelie bin cleaning for you? It’s great that your community offers garbage, compost and recycling removal right from your front curb, but during the warmer months that stored waste becomes a disgusting attractant for bugs and a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. When you can smell the rot in your wheelie bins from the sidewalk, it’s time they got a good clean.

DIY wheelie bin cleaning is not that simple.

Your first thought might be to spray down the slime, crud and stank on the inside of your garbage or compost bin with your garden hose. You tip the bin onto it’s side, turn on the water and start to spray. Unfortunately, spraying inside an enclosed bin will likely result in a lot of that dirty sludge spraying right back at you! Even if you do manage to break the majority of it off, that bacteria ridden filth is now running down your driveway or onto your yard. Chances are, much of it is still stuck to the side of your wheelie bin.

A garden hose won’t kill the bacteria that thrives in your wheelie bins.

Unless your garden hose runs hot, that icy cold water you’re using to clean out your wheelie bin will not kill the harmful bacteria that is likely lurking in there. BinBinCleaned uses super hot water, shot out by a jet stream at 190 degrees Fahrenheit into the interior of your bins, blasting away all the grime and killing harmful bacteria. The trickle from your ice cold garden hose is no match for the service offered by a professional wheelie bin cleaning service.

The build up of trash and organic materials create the best breeding grounds for several types of bacteria including Salmonella, Listeria and E. Coli.  These bacteria are hazardous to the health of you, your children and even your pets. If your wheelie bin is filthy, or cleaned improperly, bacteria can easily transfer and make your family sick.

What if I use a pressure washer to clean my wheelie bins?

Though a pressure washer will allow you to better blast off the visible grime from the inside of your wheelie bin, it still doesn’t compare to a professional wheelie bin cleaning service. There are a few things to consider:

Cost of renting or buying a pressure washer: If you don’t already own a pressure washer, you’ll have to consider the cost and inconvenience of renting or purchasing one. You might be surprised to learn that the cost of professional wheelie bin cleaning in Calgary or Edmonton areas might compare to the cost of a daily rental. Plus, most pressure washers you can buy at the local hardware store will produce a fraction of the force required to get your bin clean, compared to professional wheelie bin cleaners.

You still need the heat! Though the water pressure is better for cleaning, it still doesn’t have the extreme heat required to kill harmful bacteria. The trucks and equipment used by BinBinCleaned is able to engulf the entire interior of your bins, two at a time, with 190°F water. The water used to clean your bin, and the dirt and bacteria in it, is then drained into the truck’s hopper and hauled away.

How will you disinfect the bins? Now that it’s cleaned, you should still disinfect the bin. It is against municipal bylaws to drain chemicals, including household bleach, into the sewer system. A wheelie bin cleaner will finish the job by using a disinfectant and deodorize inside and outside of your bins.

Stay tuned to learn more about harmful bacteria and pests and your local municipalities bylaws regarding cleaning your wheelie bins in Part 2 and Part 3 of this blog series. Have questions about wheelie bin cleaning services in the Edmonton and Calgary areas? Contact BinBinCleaned today!

Mar 06

Articles for Edmonton Real Estate Blog

I have written several home improvement articles for Liv Real Estate, a popular Edmonton real estate blog, as a guest blogger. Article titles include:

You can read more at http://edmontonrealestateblog.com/author/amyhancock 

About Liv Real Estate

Liv Real Estate has been busy putting pen to paper…virtual paper that is, sharing our thoughts, opinions, knowledge and multi-faceted experience on anything and everything pertaining to Real Estate with our faithful Blog Readers since 2005.

Jan 30

Fishing in the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

I have enjoyed writing about fishing destinations for fishlodges.com

Fishing lodges logo

Fishing in the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Discover world-class freshwater and saltwater fishing in Alaska amongst majestic mountains, glaciers and an abundance of wildlife on the Kenai Peninsula. This region’s dramatic scenery and landscape offers a wealth of activities for all lovers of the outdoors, especially for those who love to fish.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE…

fish

Dec 06

10 Reasons Skiing is Good for Your Health

Blog written for the Edmonton Ski Club

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Thinking of finally taking up downhill skiing this winter? Great! Downhill skiing is a great recreational activity for all ages and abilities. You’ll discover the fun and exhilaration of this winter sport while reaping the many health benefits it offers.

1. Downhill skiing will strengthen your joints and bones. 

The movements you make while skiing give your knees a healthy work out! While you carve down the slopes, your knees will have to hold the weight of your body as you turn repetitively. While you do this your bones will become stronger as they bear the weight. This can help prevent osteoporosis, knee damage and improve your proprioceptive strength.

2. Downhill skiing will make you happier.

People are generally happier when they’re having fun. There is no shortage of fun and excitement as you glide down the hill! Plus, a good dose of physical activity and spending time outdoors will also contribute to better mental health.

3. Downhill skiing will build core strength and improve your balance.

With every turn down the hill, your body is working hard to stay balanced and you will be using your core muscles at all times. Not only will building core strength and balance help you become a better skier, it will also help your body fend off falls later in life.

4. Downhill skiing will make you more flexible.

All that balancing, engaging your core and other muscles will make your body more flexible. Again, this will make you a better skier but it will also reduce muscle strains and sprains throughout life. Improve your flexibility further by stretching before and after skiing.

5. Downhill skiing will improve your proprioception.

What is proprioception? It’s the ability to feel the position of your body parts and the effort required to move them. With all the balance, coordination, shifting of weight and movement of muscles involved in downhill skiing your body will learn how to feel and use your different body parts. Since proprioception weakens as we get older, the more you ski the better you’ll feel as you age!

6. Downhill skiing will strengthen your endurance.

You’ll feel the thrill of carving down the slopes and when you get to the bottom, you’ll feel your heart pumping! Skiing is an aerobic activity which means your cardiovascular endurance will improve while you burn calories and even lose weight.

7. Downhill skiing strengthens muscles.

Just like any kind of aerobic activity, you will be engaging lots of muscles while you ski! The movements you make while downhill skiing will make your body feel like you’ve done about a thousand squat exercises. You’ll get a good workout in your thighs, hamstrings, quads and glutes. Plus, you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even realize how hard you ware working out!

8. Downhill skiing increases your vitamin D intake.

During the winter we tend to spend less time outdoors and with daylight hours being so short, it’s hard to get enough of that natural vitamin D produced by the sun. Spending the day out on the slopes under Alberta’s sunny skies will help you get more vitamin D and fight off seasonal affective disorder.

9. Downhill skiing promotes healthy eating.

You’ll be burning a lot of calories during a day of downhill skiing, so you’ll have to give your body the proper fuel it will need. Make sure your meals include protein, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and less sugary foods.

10. Downhill skiing will improve your sleep.

Let’s face it, after a long day of skiing you are going to feel tired, but it will be a good tired! As your body learns this new sport it will need to rest. Getting this much exercise will help you get a deeper night’s sleep.

Ready to reap the many health benefits of downhill skiing? Join us this winter season at the Edmonton Ski Club. We offer a range of skiing and snowboarding programs for all ages, skill and ability levels as well as a high-quality fleet of rental equipment. Whether you are strapping on skis for the first time or wanting to get back into the sport, the ESC is a great place to start!

Dec 06

Miss Rodeo Canada Article for the Edmonton Journal

miss-rodeo

I wrote an article about becoming Miss Rodeo Canada for the Edmonton Journal during the Canadian Finals Rodeo in November 2016.

Read the full article here.

Sep 22

Canterbury Tales Newsletters

canterbury-tales

I am looking forward to working on the newest edition of Canterbury Tales, the bi-annual newsletter that is issued by Canterbury Foundation in the spring and fall. These publications are created in both print and digital versions, sharing the news and stories of Canterbury’s three seniors residence: Canterbury Manor (Independent Living), Canterbury Court (Supportive Living) and Canterbury Lane (Dementia Care).  Click the links to take a look:

Canterbury Tales Spring 2016

Canterbury Tales Fall 2015

Jul 04

WordPress & Content Development

Check out the website I developed for Newman Consulting in Edmonton. Services included complete WordPress development, writing all content and search engine optimization (SEO) services. Find it here –  http://newmanconsulting.ca/

Newman Consulting website

Apr 20

Online Editorial for YP NextHome

Browse through real estate and community-related articles I wrote for YP NextHome (formally Renters Guide). You can view several by clicking here.

Article titles include:

Freelance writer Edmonton

 

http://nexthome.yp.ca/authors/amy-hancock/9386/

Mar 16

7 things you should do when moving into a new home to improve energy efficiency

A blog article I wrote as a guest blogger representing RenovationFind, published on the Liv Real Estate Blog.

7 things you should do when moving into a new home to improve energy efficiency

Energy, Light Bulb, Efficiency.

Congratulations on your new home! Now that you’re all moved in, there are some things you can do to improve your home’s efficiency, save energy and save money on your monthly bills.

1. Inspect your windows and doors for leaks.

Your windows are the main culprit for energy loss in your home. Check all the seals on your windows and doors and install new weather stripping and caulking if needed. If your window frames are noticeably damaged or warped or if they are older windows, you should consider installing new energy efficient windows. Edmonton’s best window companies provide high quality products that will improve your home’s efficiency.

2. Check for dripping faucets and running toilets.

Do a walk-through and check out all of your plumbing looking for leaks. Even though something like a leaky faucet might only seem like a few drops of water, it can accumulate to a lot of water waste and a big utility bill over a short period of time. In fact, if there is a drip every two seconds; it is calculated that there are 30 drips per minute and 43,200 drips per day. That’s about 2 gallons of water wasted each day! Learn how to fix a leaky faucet or contact a Master Plumber in Edmonton to assist with needed repairs.

3. Swap out incandescent bulbs for LED light bulbs.

Though the initial cost of LED lightbulbs is more than regular bulbs, they will save you money in the long run. They run much longer, burn on way less energy and provide the same amount of light as incandescent light bulbs. Find LED lights and other energy saving products in Edmonton.

4. Inspect the attic insulation.

If you’ve purchased an older home, chances are you’ve inherited a few inches of newspaper-like or woodchip insulation in your attic. These materials have an R value of 4 to 8 and your R value should be at least R50. If you find Vermiculite or Zonolite insulation in your attic you will have to have it removed as it contains asbestos, which is hazardous to your health. If you’re not sure, have a professional insulation contractor inspect it for you.

If you have the harmless and virtually useless woodchip or newspaper-type insulation, Edmonton’s best insulation contractors can blow new, environmentally friendly, highly-efficient insulation right over top of it. Improving your R-value from 4 to 50 is well worth the investment.

5. Turn down your hot water heater.

Most homeowners leave their hot water heater blasting on high without even realizing it. That means it’s constantly running to keep stored water at temperatures higher than you need them to be. Turn it down to 55 degrees Celsius. You’ll barely notice that it’s been lowered and you’ll notice savings on your energy bill.

6. Purchase energy efficient appliances.

In most cases, homes are sold with appliances. If appliances were not included in the purchase of the home or the ones you got desperately need to be replaced, consider investing in high efficiency appliances. Appliance retail stores in Edmonton will carry the latest in energy efficient products and you’ll find that the cost has come down over the years. Plus, it will last for decades and your energy savings will really add up!

7. Program your thermostat.

Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to change the temperature in your home automatically. You can set the temperature lower when you leave the house for work or at night when you are sleeping, then have the thermostat turn up the heat for times when you are actively using your home. Set it, forget it and start saving energy.

Getting started on your energy efficiency projects

Some of these suggestions require minimal work or cost and can really extend your energy savings. If you’re not sure where to start, browse the free online directory on RenovationFind.com. The home renovation companies on this website have been put through a stringent screening process and have received accreditation. This ensures the company you hire for your home improvement projects are trustworthy, credible and will provide quality workmanship, products and service. Visit www.renovationfind.com.

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