Managing customer hold times

Topic: Customer Service

If a website dedicated to the tweets of frustrated consumers, who have been kept on hold, exists then businesses should consider this as an opportunity to rise above their competition. presents customers with an opportunity to vent their frustrations at customer service and also clearly indicates which companies are providing them with less than agreeable customer service.
For businesses who want to remain at the top of their game, it’s a website that you don’t want to appear on. Although being placed on hold can be a necessary part of a customer interaction, 32% of callers who are placed on hold will hang up immediately.
Just as time is money in business, time is valuable for customers and if they’re left feeling like their time could be better spent elsewhere, then that’s exactly where they’ll go.

Customers think they don’t have a choice

From the caller’s perspective, there are only two options: bite the bullet and remain on hold until they are connected or abandon the call to try again later. However, 34% who do, will never call again (Small Business Chronicle).
In today’s tech-driven world, there are a wide variety of options that businesses could be exploring that will enable call-agents to be more efficient reduce call queue times and improve customer service.

Divert time-consuming & repetitive tasks away from agents

Intelligent call routing can ensure that the agent most qualified to handle each issue, takes the call. This ensures that queries are dealt with faster and that your customers can rest assured that will always be speaking with the agent most suited to their needs
If your call centre team is often faced with the same repetitive tasks such as taking payments, making a move towards offering a self-serve option within the IVR system will save your employees and customers time, ultimately – automating the process.
From not having enough choice to having too much, it’s important to keep in mind how many options, selections and menus your callers will have to go through before getting where they want to be.

Stop talking, start chatting

Chat solutions, whether they’re within a web application or via SMS, enable agents to have multiple conversations at a time.
52% of customers would prefer to text customer support over their current form of communication. A text solution gives customers the ability to avoid lengthy phone queues and engage with an agent as soon as their message is received replying at a time convenient to them.
A survey by eDigital, of 2000 consumers, found that chat solutions offered the highest customer satisfaction levels standing at 73% when compared to 61% for email support and only 44% for traditional phone support.

Not on the customer’s time

The best scenario a customer can hope for when they make a call is that they’re connected to a person straight away, who assists with their query and doesn’t require a follow-up.
First Contact Resolution (FCR) is an important metric when measuring the success of your customer service desk. By encouraging customers to use a text-to-callback function, you can guarantee that the customers first call is off to the right start.
The key is to value your customers time and it all starts with enabling your customer service team to manage theirs.

Author Avatar
Jordana Makin

I'm the Marketing Team Lead for Esendex UK and Ireland, with a background in SEO and PPC. I'm always interested to see how our customers are using their products and want to deliver an excellent user experience.