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How Long Hold Times Affect Your Customers' Experience

Putting customers on hold during a call is a big no-no, as 60% feel that a wait period of a minute is too long, and several disconnect while others become irritated or angry after 90 seconds. Additionally studies continually show that long hold times negatively impact overall customer satisfaction rates and not just one product. To provide a better understanding of the consequences of long hold times we’ve outlined some below.

Frustration Mounts with a Product or Brand

Waiting on hold instead of getting quick and accurate answers to a problem causes customers to get irritated with a brand and the company that owns it. This also causes enthusiasm for a product to wane among customers over time as they feel that customer service levels are poor and they will not invest in later models. To deal with this particular situation, companies can provide customers with options to leave messages about their problem with a product, which can then be routed to the correct department for a call back.

Customers Hunt for Alternatives

During the time that they are on hold customers often check out services and products offered by competitors and opt for them as their frustration mounts.

Leads to Negative Posts on Social Media Sites

Long hold times often remain fresh in the minds of customers and these instances make their way to social media accounts. Here each occurrence is amplified as it is discussed among friends and spread worldwide causing a brand to be viewed negatively.

Drives Away Potential Customers

Experiences about long hold times posted on social media websites can scare away new customers, as these are crucial insights regarding after sales customer service, which emphasizes that complaints and issues are not being handled effectively.

Disconnect Rates Rise

Most customers who want an effective solution for a problem and want it fast will not wait on hold and will disconnect calls within 40 seconds. This increases customer dissatisfaction rates and causes tempers to rise as they try and get their problems solved through a different communication channel such as email or chat.

Purchase Decisions are Impacted

Money spent on products and services come down with increased hold times. This is noticed everywhere from the drive through of a fast food outlet to large companies and results in lost revenue, as existing customers do not buy other products from the same company and opportunities for up-selling are lost.

Customers have to Repeat Information

Transferring on-hold customers from one department to another or to a manager can result in them having to repeat the problem they are having. This repetition of information until a solution is reached often results in customers becoming irate.

Lessening hold times in a call center is not something that happens overnight, as supervisors and process managers have to identify whether it is caused by a faulty IVR or inadequately trained agents. The key however is not feeling trapped in a never ending cycle of irate customers being defeated by long times, but instead finding a solution for the problem. This is where outsourcing customer support requirements to ExpertCallers becomes a highly effective solution. We have over 15 years of expertise in building /delivering toll free customer support services for multinational companies and staffing them with trained employees who know how to minimize hold times.

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