When customers call your company, they often get put on hold. What do they hear?
Is it annoying? Is it something the customer wants to hear?
Have you ever called your company to see what the “on hold” experience is like?
In Call Center Chronicles Episode 1: Nabisco, I endured a few minutes of hold time.
While I waited on the phone, an automated voice would interrupt every so often to say thanks for waiting. After this recorded message, the music would start over. Nabisco played the same tune, same stanzas, and same notes over and over again.
Music is fine for waiting customers but please don’t play a broken record!
I maintain a website hosted with Hostway. A recent problem required that I call their technical support.
The hold message kept me informed of my progress. As my position in the queue changed, I’d hear this message: “You are caller #13. Current estimated hold time: 6 minutes”
As I progressed towards the front of the line, my wait times and my caller number decreased.
Just like being in a line at a local store, I could clearly see how many people were ahead of me and I could gauge my wait time.
How many times have you called a company, been put on hold, and had no idea how long you’d be stuck there? Hostway solved that problem very effectively and was able to continually set my expectations.
Use Time Wisely
Since most phone systems throw you into a black hole of waiting, imagine your customer’s surprise when they get something different.
Make your goal of the inevitable caller wait time this: ease the customer’s burden. How can you inform, help, educate, or even entertain your customers while they wait to speak with you?