A jester or fool was a type of entertainer and archetype in Medieval Europe, similar to a modern clown or comedian. With their colorful, eccentric outfits and repertoire of juggling, acrobatics and wit, jesters were a favorite of commoners and noblemen alike. Jesters were commonly
Are you looking for ways to get your message across to your customers? Did you know that you can literally do so – yes, give your message to them one-on-one – with simple equipment that you probably already own? And did you know that the
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A jester or fool was a type of entertainer and archetype in Medieval Europe, similar to a modern clown or comedian. With their colorful, eccentric outfits and repertoire of juggling, acrobatics and wit, jesters were a favorite of commoners and noblemen alike. Jesters were commonly travelling minstrels and acrobats, performing at village fairs and festivals. Those who were especially lucky or talented would be hired as court jesters, becoming a regular fixture of a noble or royal court. They would perform tricks, sing fables and satirize daily court life in front of the upper class.
Court jesters were granted special privileges, and were allowed to speak in a way that other commoners were forbidden to. With this license to offend, court jesters served as a “voice of the people” in a culture with rigid social barriers. A court jester could openly mock and satirize their social betters without consequence, and were often favored by their lords as trusted advisors who could always speak their minds. Queen Elizabeth I is recorded as having scolding her court jester for not being harsh enough on her.
A successful jester had to be skilled in both physical acts and possess a quick wit and knack for singing and storytelling. Jester performances were usually a mix of juggling, acrobatics and magic combined with fables, songs, jokes and political commentaries. There was no fixed costume for a jester, but costume usually involved loud, motley colours, bells and baubles and a hood with trihorns or donkey ears. Jesters are often portrayed as carrying a hobby horse or mock sceptre, as a parody of the knightly aristocracy.
While court jesters were generally beloved by nobles and commoners alike, their favored status and constant barrage of insults sometimes wore thin on some nobles. Many of the notable royal jesters ended their careers after developing massive egos and offending the wrong people. Archibald Armstrong, court jester to the Stuarts, was finally exiled from court after repeatedly mocking the Archbishop of Canterbury for being short. Sir Jeffery Hudson, a jester and dwarf who charmed his way into the English and French court, was exiled after killing a nobleman who refused to take Hudson’s military status seriously. Hudson challenged the nobleman to a duel over the perceived insult, and the nobleman, still refusing to take Hudson seriously, brought a water pistol to the duel. Hudson however, used a real pistol.
While fools and jesters were a real profession, their cultural status is generally attributed to their common appearance in the works of Shakespeare. Only some of them are court jesters, but Shakespearean fools appear in 25 of Shakespeare’s plays. They served as comic relief and a satirical voice that a common audience could relate to. As noted by critics and historians, the irony of the fool was that he was the most perceptive character. As Isaac Asimov said ‘That, of course, is the great secret of the successful fool – that he is no fool at all”. The legacy of fools and jesters can also be seen in playing cards; the Fool card in tarot decks and the Joker card in standard card decks.
Court jesters fell out of fashion with the decline of feudalism in Europe, although jesters remained popular in theatre and carnival culture. The modern successor of the jester is arguably the clown, colourful entertainers who perform similar feats of agility and silliness. While society has obviously changed since the days of knights and castles, the people’s love for ridiculous comedy theatre and performance.
Are you looking for ways to get your message across to your customers? Did you know that you can literally do so – yes, give your message to them one-on-one – with simple equipment that you probably already own? And did you know that the sales and communication tool in question is such a dinky little tool that it can camouflage itself as excellent customer service to your unsuspecting customers?
You may be surprised to find that this remarkable sales tool is nothing more than the system of ‘On Hold Messages’. This is a much underappreciated and underused tool that is so widely available in most of our telephone systems that it’s a shame to not utilize it, especially when it can have very high success rates in converting potential customers into leads.
A lot of companies spend a lot of time and money on glitzy marketing tools and service to help maintain their professional images. But what they don’t realize is that they can make the most of the resources that they have by also taking advantage of the little avenues of communication that we take for granted.
Why use on hold messages?
There are plenty of reasons why you should.
Firstly, make the most of every customer interaction.
Most business owners have their waiting callers listen to chimes, plain music, the radio or worst of all, that terrible long pause. Chances are that after a reasonably long hold, a certain percentage of customers will simply abandon the call – a waste of time (and money) both for you and the customer. Why let go of a perfectly good opportunity to make your customers feel that you are a brand they would like to do business with?
With ‘On Hold Messages’ you can make a good first impression, especially if the caller is connecting to you for the first time. Your messages can be your best salesperson if you let it, simply at the push of a button!
You think your customers already know what you sell? Think again.
Customers forget. There are so many options available to them in today’s competitive market that they tend to forget what you have on offer for them. Remind them of what you sell. You can utilize the little waiting time when they call to do so.
It’s important to utilize every customer interaction.
And that only touches the surface of what’s possible with these messages. Surveys have shown that having a message-on-hold system can reduce the chances of your customer hanging up the call by as much as 90 percent. Also at least 20 percent of callers are likely to make a purchase based on the messages that they hear during a call.
You can customize your messages on hold in any way you want. It’s easy and inexpensive to do so. You can have special messages during the holiday season to make the customer feel that there’s a real persona behind the company. You will be educating your customers about your products and selling at the same time. And most importantly, you will be letting your customers know that you are a leader in your industry.
Here are a few things you can do with your messages on hold :
Use the process of answering the telephone, placing it on hold and transferring the call to the relevant department to show your customers how professional you are. This can be an effective image-booster (or breaker) depending on how you use it.
Cross-promote all the products and services that you offer your customers. In that way, an existing customer of yours will be made aware of your other areas of expertise, and this is a great way to keep your customers coming back to you for other needs as well. Also, customers need to reminded from time to time of the products and services that you have for them.
You can promote your website, make announcements or promote any other special features. Remind your client about the referral programs that you have.
Having your customers listen to your messages on hold is like having your best salesperson talking to each customer every minute of every day. You have your caller’s complete attention during the call at what is, virtually, point of sale. Use your on hold messages to reinforce your current advertising campaigns. From a marketing point of view, it’s vital that all calls deal with your company dealerships when your customers are on hold.
Try it, and watch the potentials convert to leads like never before.