Oh No. Not Again!?!

 NBA Finals again and again and again.

Just when you were tired of hearing about it again, here we are talking about it again.  The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are in the NBA Finals. AGAIN. Not to mention LeBron James is participating in the NBA finals for the eighth consecutive year.  Nobody has ever done that.  Not Magic. Not Bird. Not even Michael Jordan.  Whether you are a fan of LeBron or not is irrelevant.  That is an amazing achievement.

But, as I write about this event, I’m somehow struck by the fact that I’ve done this before. Sitting at the keyboard pondering the outcome of Warriors vs Cavs to determine who will be the champions of this NBA season.  Looking for an angle; a wrinkle, a way to connect with the repetitive nature of this four-year cycle of ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ that has become commonplace for the NBA in the month of June.

After careful consideration, I have figured it out and can definitively point to the reason behind this fourth iteration of Steph Curry vs. LeBron James.  No, it’s not a conspiracy and there is no one to blame.

There are two.

The Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics.

In Game 7 of The Western Conference finals, the Rockets were leading by as many as 15 in the first half. Then, they proceeded to miss 27 consecutive 3-point attempts on which the Warriors capitalized.  It was a similar story in the East. Celtics had won the first two games of the series.  Then, they won the pivotal game 5 match-up taking a commanding 3-2 lead in the series.  The Celtics left the door open for the Cavs who came back and took Game 6. In the final game, when everything is on the line, Boston answered with their worst offensive effort of the post season.  Warriors and Cavaliers both win and advance to the finals.

And so, here we are again; hearing the same old song playing repetitively to an increasingly disinterested audience. They are craving something new - something fresh and creative.

Oh, I’m not talking about the NBA any more.  I was referring to your on-hold program which you haven’t updated in forever.

The same message heard over and over again goes through three stages.   It is intriguing the first time around – it captures your attention.  If left unchanged, each time it is heard subsequently, the repetitive message has the opposite effect – it becomes an irritant. Then, the final stage is when the message has achieved the saturation point where each time it is heard, the message is simply ignored – it has exhausted its effectiveness. 

The ‘check engine’ light on your car is a perfect example. (How long has light that been on, anyway?)

You know how important every call is to your business. When you place a caller on hold you don’t want the message they hear to be an irritant and you sure don’t want your valuable information to be ignored.  The best way to keep your message intriguing is to change it regularly.  And, by the way, you don’t have to write all new content each and every time for your on-hold advertising program to be effective.

Sometimes a different approach is all it takes.

Which is what is so puzzling about the Rocket’s performance in Game 7.  After their 10th, 15th, and 20th consecutive missed 3-pointer, I thought, ‘Maybe you should try something different.’ But, they didn’t alter their approach and the results remained the same. 

Don’t make the same mistake. Be willing to make the change and reap the benefits.  After all, the last thing you want to hear when you place a caller on hold is the same thing I said when I heard about Warriors vs. Cavaliers, version 4.0:

‘Oh, no. Not again!’

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee