businessman annoyed at red landline phone cord wrapped around neck

How long hold times ruin the customer experience

Underestimating the impacts of long hold times can lead to customer churn. Making customers wait for quite a long period may force them to hang up the phone and abandon the transaction.

Think of it this way: When you order from a restaurant, you expect your food to be served as quickly as possible. The moment any of the staff takes your order and hands it over to kitchen workers, the clock starts ticking. Professional cooks know they must act quickly because every second counts, especially for hungry customers.

The same thing is true for other industries. We already know that customers these days are impatient and easily agitated. Research indicates that 15% of customers hang up after approximately 40 seconds of waiting. Making them wait longer than this may ruin the customer experience. The negative impacts, however, don’t end here.

Feel the wrath of social media.

angry man venting by laptop

It’s estimated that 52% of consumers tell their family and friends about poor brand experiences. So don’t be surprised if news of your poor customer support performance go viral on Facebook or Twitter, as some people like venting out on social media.

If your customer service representatives have a habit of keeping callers waiting, an avalanche of abuse may be thrown at your business via online platforms. Even more alarmingly, this can drive consumers away from your brand, as 60% of them are easily swayed by others’ negative feedback.

Lose potential customers.

Customers can help you market your products and services through word of mouth. However, the opposite could happen if your customer support agents fail to satisfy people’s expectations.

Customers naturally expect to be treated like royalty, and your agents must show that they value callers’ time. Putting them on hold for needlessly long periods can ruin the customer experience. Wasting your customers’ time, which is an invaluable resource, spells disaster for your business. Here, you’re putting your company’s reputation at stake, and thus, you may end up losing your existing and potential clients.

The truth is, customers wouldn’t mind being kept on hold if the customer service representative handles the call like a pro. If agents don’t have a choice, however, it would help if they’d update callers about the transaction’s progress every now and then. They may also offer to call the customer back or contact them later through a different channel. Just make sure that your agents make it a point to follow through the arrangement.



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