Rule Changes


Blame 1984.  No, I’m not talking about the novel by George Orwell.  It’s the year the NFL instituted the Excessive Celebration Rule.  That’s one of the reasons the NFL has been given the moniker as the No Fun League.  That’s because at the end of a big play, a player would celebrate - then receive a penalty.  It is one of the weirdest rules in all of sports (not counting all the crazy unwritten rules in baseball). Do something well, celebrate the accomplishment, then get penalized.   It’s just not right.

Thankfully, at the NFL Spring Meeting in Chicago this week, the decision was made to relax the rules on celebrations.  Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in a letter to fans that this change was brought about to, ‘allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays.’  All I can say is it’s about time.  Goodell went on to say that in the interest of sportsmanship, offensive demonstrations will still be penalized. So, to sum up:  Celebrations, Good.  Offensive Demonstrations, Bad.  It only took 33 years for them to figure it out.

You may be thinking how silly the NFL looks in all of this, but you need to know that many businesses are making a similar mistake when it comes to their on-hold advertising.

Let’s break this down.  You do something well.  You have a great product, fantastic service and your external marketing campaign reflects that.  Members of your target audience react to the success of your business and your marketing efforts.  They are so excited they want to experience it personally!  They celebrate by taking the time to call your business to learn more.  That’s when the penalty flag is thrown.

Their call is treated to a dizzying array of voice prompts that make it almost impossible to reach a real, live person. Then, when they miraculously come up with correct combination of digits followed by a pound sign, they are placed on hold and hear music recorded by a teenager back in 1989 or tones that beep in their ear every 10 seconds.  Or worse, they are greeted with silence.

You’ve been on hold.  You know what it feels like to be penalized this way.

Make a decision to reward your callers for contacting you by treating them to a professionally produced and creative on-hold advertising program from Woodstock Media Group.  We specialize in creating an audio portrait of your business that matches your overall marketing campaign.  Reinforce your image on hold and help your callers celebrate their decision to reach out and contact you.

You can learn something from the NFL.  Institute a rule change at your business to make this right and allow your customers to enjoy proper celebrations every time they call.

Just don’t wait 33 years.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee