Long Hold Times Sabotage the Customer Interaction Before it Begins
February 11, 2013
What is most customers’ number-one complaint when it comes to doing business with call centers? While interactive voice response (IVR) technology is one of the things customers most love to hate, another black mark for most customer support organizations is excessive hold times.
The hold function is hard to avoid. Even with the best possible forecast, there will be times that inbound calls spike beyond the call center’s control. Trimmed budgets and hiring freezes haven’t helped, and call centers are wary of overstaffing and wasting money with too many agents spending too much time idling.
But there’s no way around it: long hold times kill customer relationships. (A recent Gizmodo article stated that the average person will spend 43 days of their life on hold.) Most callers will start to rate their level of satisfaction at the beginning of the interaction, regardless of the channel – phone, Web or mobile app – wrote callback solutions provider Fonolo (News - Alert) in a recent blog post.
Fonolo’s blogger Daniela wonders, “How long are your customers waiting in queue before their questions are addressed? Fact is, the longer they wait, the lower their tolerance level gets – the more frustrated they become.”
This sets the tone for the rest of the call: even before you begin to take care of the customer’s issue or problem, he or she is already angry.
For this reason, many call centers have boosted customer relationships and found a way to even out call traffic with the implementation of callback solutions. Customers like to be in control of their interactions with companies, and being offered an alternative to long hold times will score high marks with them.
With the implementation of a callback solution that allows customers to pick a time convenient for them to receive a return call, two things have been accomplished: the call center has attained better control over the rate and volume of call traffic, and the customer avoids long wait times and feels in better control of the customer relationship – a win for everyone.
Edited by Braden Becker