telephone waiting times

How to Handle Extended Telephone On Hold Wait Times

When you’re running a business, one of the first things you’ll learn is the importance of taking care of your callers. You should be able to take their calls promptly, answer their questions, and resolve any issues in a timely manner.

Putting them on hold for a long time is not ideal. It can cause frustration and eventually they will just hang up. Worse still, they may never call again as they expect to be treated just as badly as before.

But the reality is that sometimes, putting customers on hold for long periods of time can’t be helped. You can however do your best to improve the customer experience with the following tips:

  • If it’s common for your business to put callers on hold for a long time, maybe you should ask for their telephone number first. You can offer to call them back should the call be interrupted, rather than making them wait.
  • If you need to put a caller on hold, wait first for a pause in the conversation. Don’t interrupt the caller when they’re talking.
  • It’s also polite if you explain why they need to be put on hold. They may be more understanding if you can provide a very good reason, such as if you have to find an expert who can better answer their questions.
  • When you put them on hold, give them a best estimate on how long the delay will take. This will keep them from getting frustrated during the wait. If your estimate is too long for them, then they may rather ask that you call them back when you’re ready.
  • Sometimes the delay is taking a lot longer than previously anticipated. Instead of leaving them hanging all this time, check in with them to explain the delay. Do this if the delay takes more than 2 minutes. Again, you may want to offer calling them back instead of making them wait.
  • When returning to your caller, give a sincere apology. Thank them too for their patience and for staying on the line.
  • Do remember to use the caller’s name every now and then during the conversation. This fosters a greater sense of connection with them.
  • As much as possible, promptly obtain all the details you need to resolve their issue during the hold. Don’t put them on hold several times in the same call.

Put yourself in their shoes so you would know exactly how you’d want to be treated when you’re put on hold. It’s basically all about following the precepts of common courtesy!

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Scroll to Top