Improve customer service by reducing call hold times

Topic: Customer Service
How to reduce customer hold times

Once, it was enough to offer a unique/innovative product or service at a competitive price. These days, the quality of your customer service (and ultimately, your customer experience) is also a key differentiator. After all, consumers are more likely to share stories of great or poor service – not usually the ones in between. 

Reducing your call hold time is one surefire way to improve customer service. 

Ways to reduce hold time

Divert repetitive tasks away from agents

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. While this can be hard to ensure, intelligent call routing can help assign the most qualified agent to take the call. This means queries can be resolved faster and that your customers can rest assured that they’ll 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, automating the process by offering a self-serve option within the interactive voice response (IVR) system can save your employees and customers time.

Tip: Do consider how many options and menus your callers may have to go through before getting where they want to be.

Offer various alternatives

In our global customer care survey of 5,000 consumers, improved levels of “convenience”, including a range of business contact options, are highly rated. 

So, whether it’s live chat, a chatbot or SMS, offer multiple alternatives to the traditional phone. This will satisfy your customers as it allows them to reach out to you via the channel they prefer. And your call centre agents can gain more time back to focus on the customers who do decide to ring.

Using mobile messaging to improve customer service

When you use a mobile messaging channel like SMS or WhatsApp to connect with your customers, you’re meeting them where they are.

The use of mobile messaging for customer support can:

  • Cut down on waiting times.
  • Boost customer satisfaction as they can reach out as and when they need to.
  • Reduce staff levels.
  • Decrease customer frustration.
  • Improve relationships with customers as texting is personal.

Be omnichannel

For exceptional support that your customers will remember, aim to provide an omnichannel experience. So, integrate and use mobile messaging alongside your other communication channels. This means your customer experience can remain consistent, no matter the channel your customers decide to start and finish their journey on.

For example, your customer’s first touchpoint might be social media. This takes them to your website where they add an item to their basket, but they abandon it. An SMS reminder can bring your customer back. All of these touchpoints must be consistent and the conversation seamless – including branding and tone of voice.

Want to learn more about how to improve customer service

Just as time is money in business, time is valuable for customers and if they’re left feeling as though their time could be better spent elsewhere, that’s exactly where they’ll go. Great customer service is fast, convenient and focused on resolving customer issues. Reducing call hold times is a good first step, but to truly impress your customers, you need to know what makes them tick.

Luckily, we’ve done some of the work for you. We surveyed 5,000 consumers worldwide to discover how and why they contact businesses – and how they feel about the quality of the customer service they receive. 

Download your copy of the eBook and start your journey towards better customer service today.

Author Avatar
Mayzin Han

Marketing strategist with 8 years of experience, 5+ of which in B2B tech. Currently the Senior Marketing Program Manager at Commify, I work closely with field marketing teams who sit across EMEA and APAC to strategise and create campaigns that meet customer and prospect needs. My background in content marketing means that I'm passionate about all things words, grammar and punctuation. In my free time, I like to run, box and torture myself at spin class because lots of cardio means you can eat what you want!