Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Use on Hold Messaging to Keep Ruffled Feathers at Bay

March 15, 2013

On Hold Company, a premier provider of custom telephone on-hold music and messages, highlights the role of receptionists in companies and claims that they are just as important as their executives. They form the first point of contact for customers and a call badly handled can spoil the image of a company.

But is it fair to blame them entirely for providing poor service? It could actually be the fault of company itself. In a blog post titled "Resolve the Receptionist's Dilemma with Training and On Hold Messaging," On Hold Company indicates that by providing proper training in managing priorities and understanding company policies and procedures fewer number of calls can go awry.

Bryant Wilson, CEO of On Hold Company, observed that a bad experience reflects poorly on the entire organization, and according to Will Rogers ‘one never gets a second chance to make a good first impression.’

However, there is a way out to resolve the ‘inevitable receptionist dilemma.’ Wilson recommends the use of on hold messages, because effective on hold communication can keep a caller on the line for up to three minutes longer than just silence.

According to Bryant Wilson, CEO of On Hold Company, studies showed that callers holding in silence will hang up within one minute; 99 percent will hang up within 40 seconds.

As it so often happens, when the receptionist is on a call, other phones keep ringing. Moving away from the conversation would irritate the caller, but the alternative of not answering the other calls may result in lost opportunities and give the other callers an excuse to hang up and dial a competitor. So what is the poor receptionist to do?

Wilson suggests that on hold messages or customized mp3 on hold programs could be a perfect way to resolve the issue. These are apparently simple, efficient and affordable ways of communicating with and entertaining clients while waiting on hold.

On Hold Company claims to have worked with over 13,000 clients to develop effective on-hold music and messages that entertain and inform customers while they're on hold; this gives receptionists ample time to finish the conversation with the current caller and get back to those who are on hold without ruffling too many feathers.

Although Wilson does indicate that these strategies are not meant to say that one customer is more important than another, every customer likes to feel that he/she’s special and is getting the full attention of the receptionist. So maybe On Hold Company has a point.

Edited by Brooke Neuman