Read some Amazon reviews, and you may notice a trend involving customer service. Great customer service can help increase your ratings. And part of providing good service is to not put your customers on hold for too long.
Nowadays, in an era of fast web page load times, having to wait over the phone can lead to customer frustration that will reflect badly upon your business. After 2 minutes, most callers will hang up, and a third of them will never call again.
So what should you do to minimise your hold time? Here are some strategies you can try:
- Provide the information callers need in your on hold message. Lots of people tend to answer the same questions, so you may as well answer FAQs as part of your on hold message. Another easy way to do this is to direct them to your website where they can find the answers to their questions. They may then hang up in relief and you enhance the reputation of your business as a result.
- Get a virtual receptionist. Doing this ensures that there’s no on hold period at all (or greatly reduced!). The VR can answer FAQs, place an order, or schedule an appointment on their own. They can also make sure that a call can also be transferred to the right person in your business.
- Track how long your callers are on hold. This is all about having call data reports, so you know who called, who abandoned a call, and how long they waited when they abandoned their call. This can help you identify how long you can put a caller on hold before there must be someone there to take the call.
- Train your staff to meet your wait time requirements. You have to make sure of this so that your customers aren’t frustrated. Proper training may include monitoring your customer service agent during a call. You can listen in or even talk to your employee during the call (while the caller can’t hear your conversation). You can record calls as well, so you can identify calls that were handled well and calls that were handled poorly. With concrete examples, your customer service agents can have a template to follow.
- Advise caller of extended waits. Part of the reason why callers hang up is that they don’t know how long of a wait they must endure. They’re impatient tom hang up after 2 minutes because they imagine they’re going to have to wait for much longer. However, if you can notify them how long they will have to wait more accurately, they’ll be more patient.
The average on hold time these days is 56 seconds, and if you want to offer excellent customer service you have to reduce it much further. With these strategies, at least you’re taking steps towards the right direction in improving customer experience.