By Al Parker
TRAVERSE CITY -- Business owners across the nation rely on a growing Traverse City business to ring up sales and improve their telephone marketing plans.
Sound Results On-Hold provides customized music and message announcements delivered through the on-hold circuit of a phone system for callers to hear while on hold or being transferred. All calls placed on hold hear the client's customized music and message program. Industry surveys repeatedly have shown that it's an effective way for businesses to communicate directly with their callers.
The company's system is designed to give clients complete control of their message so they can change and update the system as desired. Messages can be updated as needed, giving clients the flexibility to inform callers about special offers or important messages.
Brothers David and Greg Thelen, along with Greg's wife Jennifer, run the company, launched in 1995 when the siblings lived downstate. In 1999 they moved the company to Traverse City.
Growing up in St. Johns, near Lansing, the Thelen boys didn't come from a family of entrepreneurs.
"Our Dad worked for the state and our Mom was a nurse," said David. "Greg and I had paper routes as kids. But we both knew that someday we wanted to work for ourselves."
Both worked elsewhere when they started Sound Results. Like many entrepreneurs, the brothers didn't take any salary from the business for a few years. It was quite a while before the company grew healthy enough to firmly establish itself.
"One of our very first clients was a small company in Brooklyn," recalled David. "That was pretty exciting. Thirteen years later, they're still a client."
Their client list has grown substantially since that first New York company showed confidence in the Thelen brothers.
National companies that now utilize Sound Results On-Hold include Sir Speedy, Holiday Inn, Radisson, Career Blazers, Best Western, DoubleTree Hotel and the Detroit landmark restaurant, Carl's Chop House. Grand Traverse area clients include Alfie Embroidery, Plantmasters, Prout Financial Design, WD Web Company and the Bayshore Resort.
"Most of our clients now come from referrals," said David. "That's a huge feel-good. We work hard to do the best job and give each client the very best service we can."