Chiming with the times

Audio Productions UK Director Andrew Jones is right to trumpet the services his company offers ICT resellers. They are, after all, music to your ears.

Sales people would give their right arm for endless streams of effortless opportunities to impart their messages to customers who have ears only for them. Such opportunities for a captive audience are at best few and far between, but a MoH solution will guarantee them every day. Small wonder Stockport-based Audio Productions UK is increasing sales by 40 per cent year-on-year, with its reseller base set to exceed 350 in number come 2020, just 150 short of its three year target of 500 partners.

Audio Productions UK was established in 2002 as a direct sales MoH company and it wasted no time in winning important clients ranging in profile from manufacturing plants to major hotels. The company displayed steady growth and suffered little churn, but a turn in the market during the late 2000s prompted the launch of wholesale in 2008 with some of the biggest resellers in the country implementing audio services ‘at source’ with phone system installations.

“This made sense from all angles, and we saw a great benefit for resellers by attaching professional audio from day one,” said Jones. “That gave us a confidence boost and confirmed that this was the right approach for us. After growing organically for many years in 2017 we moved towards a reseller recruitment strategy. We don’t have a typical customer, we deal with everyone from single person resellers up to the biggest in the channel.”

The mission of Audio Productions UK is to put the value back into MoH and create market awareness of its many benefits. “Resellers have so much to talk about when engaging new sales but audio is often overlooked,” stated Jones. “There is great value to the customer and reseller in adding these services. MoH maximises the potential of every call by educating or upselling callers with barely any effort from the reseller. All businesses with a phone number would benefit from MoH solutions. It’s about creating a strategy to guide the customer’s thinking. Resellers can easily upsell to their existing client base and create a new revenue pipeline from every line they sell. The service is market agnostic. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling ham sandwiches, accountants or multi-million pound contracts, MoH applies to all.”

All businesses with a phone number would benefit from MoH solutions. It’s about creating a strategy to guide the customer’s thinking

Supporting resellers to get the most from the MoH pipeline with minimal effort is a priority matter for Jones, who joined Audio Productions as an audio editor in 2004 and went on to spearhead the wholesale launch. “Resellers need to be continually engaging with their clients and prove their dedication to customers by plugging gaps in their service,” he commented. “Providing MoH services is an opportunity to help with this. For example, when business names and customised messages aren’t deployed during a held call, customer facing organisations are missing a trick. So are comms resellers – the revenue opportunity in MoH for the channel is significant and should not be underestimated.”  

The flexibility of cloud systems creates greater opportunities (and demand) for professional audio recordings, pointed out Jones. Clients can create multiple hunt groups, call queues and auto attendants, all of which are vital parts of a caller’s journey, so the call must be handled correctly and professionally.

In elevating the service ML and AI hold much promise, producing vocals that are indistinguishable from a human voice and creating programmes that can recognise what a caller is saying and then respond comprehensively. “This could lead to automated call bots instead of ‘press one for this, press two for that’,” added Jones. “We do have the ‘tell me what you are calling about’ technology, but it’s not quite a conversation yet.”

Nor is talk of what Audio Productions UK has up its sleeve, but judging by Jones’s ambition to ‘take over every phone in the country’, the company could well become the talk of the industry when the beans are spilled on a titillating strategy currently under wraps. “We have big plans that cannot yet be divulged, but they represent our biggest opportunity,” he stated. “Watch this space.”

Just a minute with Andrew Jones...

Role model:
My Dad. He always puts the family first while working incredibly hard to provide

What do you fear the most?
Big failure. People say you learn from mistakes, and I get that, but I fear the big failure from which recovery is not possible

Tell us something about yourself we don’t know:
I’ve DJ’d at Gatecrasher One in Sheffield, some of the best nights I’ve ever done, what an experience

Name three ideal dinner guests:
Anthony H Wilson, who fronted Manchester’s music revolution; Steve Coogan, I’m a huge fan of all his characters especially Alan Partridge; and Alan Turing, the father of modern computing and a pioneer in AI

The biggest risk you have taken?
Leaving my life in Huddersfield to join Audio Productions in 2004. I had a great group of friends and a good job, but this opportunity was too good to pass

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