Everyone has had to wait on hold in order to reach a company’s customers support. And universally, nobody enjoys waiting, especially if you are already annoyed about a product or service issue. Suffice it to say that forcing customers to wait too long for service can sink a business.
To become better customer experience professionals, businesses must put on their customer hats. It’s not enough to know that waiting on hold is a terrible customer experience — we must remind ourselves of the specific reasons why. This would drive the empathy and motivation to improve hold times and the customer interaction overall.
Below, we’ve provided a refresher on the five fundamental reasons why customers don’t want to on hold.
Customers Have Other, More Important, Things To Do
Remember your customers are people too! They have jobs, families, friends, errands to run and lots and lots of important things to do. If they’re calling you, your customers are taking time out of their day to make that phone call. The longer they spend time waiting on hold for customer service, the longer they’re away from other things they have to do. Your customers want to know you respect their time and being put on hold doesn’t accomplish that.
Patience is a Virtue But Not One To Push On Your Customers
The ancient proverb, patience is a virtue, is not one that should be pushed on your customers. Generally, your customer’s patience has almost run out by the time they’ve called, waited on hold, answered the same questions multiple times and then, finally, reached a human being in your contact center. Expecting your customers to have patience and wait on hold is asking too much.
Customers Are Paying You And Expect Results
When customers spend money on your product or service, they expect value for their money. When customers reach out to you, it’s imperative you do everything in your power to make them feel their money was well-spent. If you appreciate their business and want it again, the last thing you should ask your customer to do is wait on hold to get help.
Waiting On Hold Is Just Plain Frustrating
It’s extremely frustrating to get lost in the maze of voice menus and hold music. As you’re waiting and waiting and waiting all you can think about is the issue you’re calling about. This just makes you more and more frustrated and takes what could have been a small issue and turns it into a major problem. Look at your average hold rate and then try waiting that long yourself with a phone to your ear. Then ask yourself, can I blame my customers for being disappointed and frustrated?
Your Customers Know There’s a Better Way
In this day and age, consumers know there are better options than long hold times. In fact, they may experience better customer service with other companies they do business with. Some companies completely eliminate hold times through VHT (formerly known as Virtual Hold Technology) because they’ve realized the impact of making a customer wait.
So now that you’ve had a refresher on why waiting on hold stinks, what are you doing to improve hold times?