Quick Fixes for Long Hold Times 1920w

Time is of the essence, and customers can’t spend too long on hold. Hold times are the customers’ least favorite part of customer service, with 57% of customers expressing frustration. Hold times that last over three minutes can push customers to end the call. In fact, studies reveal that 30% of customers who hang up after being on hold do not call back.

Why Do Hold Times Matter?

Hold times are an inevitable part of working in customer service and call centers. Putting a customer on hold allows agents to consult with their colleagues or reconnect the customer to a more knowledgeable agent. Nonetheless, hold times have garnered a negative reputation which throws off customers as soon as they experience being on hold. They lead to missed opportunities that negatively impact your bottom line. The longer the hold time, the less likely a customer makes a purchase.

Fixes to Address Long Hold Times

There is no instant solution to whisk away long hold times and the troubles they cause. However, there are certain fixes you can consider to ease the frustration of customers while they wait for an agent to come back to them and address their inquiry. The most commonly used ones are hold music and hold messaging where jingles, branded soundtrack, or custom voice-overs keep callers entertained while waiting. Aside from these, there are other strategies you can employ to minimize and shorten hold times.

Offer optimized self-service options and resources

Sometimes, customers spend a long time waiting on hold for a question that can be easily answered by browsing your FAQ section. Optimize your self-service resources by integrating them with other communication channels, such as live chat. Leverage AI and machine learning technologies for handling basic information requests. This will help customers find acceptable solutions in the help center without queuing up for a phone call with customer support.

Offer optimized self-service options and resources

For most customers, there’s nothing more irritating than having to wait on hold. In fact, nearly 60% of consumers find long hold/wait times as the most frustrating aspect of customer service. Give your customers better experiences by offering call-backs. Instead of having customers wait on hold, call-back options can significantly reduce waiting time and uncertainty. Implement virtual queuing technology that will provide customers with a ‘ticket,’ notifying them when it is their turn for customer service to assist them. Doing so avoid wasting your customer’s time and lets them go about their business.

Build an extensive knowledge base

Most of the time, agents put customers on hold to consult others about the raised issues. Imagine how fast your agents can respond to customers with an updated knowledge base readily on hand. Broaden the scope of your team’s knowledge base and integrate it in the next training session for smoother customer interaction and shorter waiting time. Aside from giving your team access to information, give them more decision-making authority. Empower them to respond quickly to customer concerns.

Consider scaling the number of staff

If you have prolonged hold times despite only dealing with the usual volume of inbound calls, you might want to revisit your customer service strategy, or employ more staff. More agents can accommodate more customers and reduce each customer’s waiting time. If it’s not financially feasible to scale staff, consider outsourcing your call center. Outsourcing gives you additional staff without the hefty investment in new infrastructure and resources. It’s a sound solution for businesses ready to scale up but can’t support an in-house customer service department just yet.

Invest in a Hold Strategy

Hold times may be inevitable, but you can craft sound strategies that reduce disruptions and enhance customer service. You’ll need to invest time, money, and manpower, but the impact on business growth makes it worthwhile. Keeping your customers satisfied with their experiences strengthens customer relationships that ultimately drives business success.

At On Call Centre , we deliver exceptional customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year—sometimes 366. On Call Centre has been providing tailored, fluently French/English bilingual answering services and call centre services to small business owners (professionals, trades) and customer support departments (government, high tech, property management, healthcare, emergency clients) serving Ottawa , Montreal and Toronto —and all over Canada —for almost 50 years.