"To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. ‘I will drink the ocean,’ says the persevering soul; ‘at my will mountains will crumble up." ~ Swami Vivekananda
Your customers should not have to conjure up this kind of will power to sit through a Holiday Message On Hold and Other Phone Recordings. Unfortunately, because of call volume, very few callers would get help at all if they weren't put on hold. There has to be a balance between customer care cost and effective customer service. So what can a company do?
Maybe the answer is in how the customer is handled the minute the phone rings.
1. Before the Hold
More than 71% of customers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do¹. So assure the customer by letting them know there may be a waiting time, and how long they might have to hold. Most phones these days have speakers so the caller can put down their phone and complete other tasks while holding.
2. While on Hold
Nice music helps, but don't keep telling the holder how "Important their call is". Make sure the music is properly tuned, and the importance of their call is asserted by differing messages. Let them know their number in line every 40-60 seconds. Actually, 63% of customers have told surveyors they would prefer a call back instead of holding², according to surveys conducted by Software Advice, an information technology research and recommendation company for call centers.
3. Utilize Hold Times
Use the time callers are on hold to educate them on other ways to contact you, new services, and upcoming events. If there is an email where they can contact a representative faster or a site for self-service, it is a great way to let them know. Providing other communication options to your callers lowers the wait time and will decrease call volume. Some callers would prefer to email rather than wait on hold. Some other great ideas for your hold message could be providing the URL to your FAQ page, sharing where they can find how-to videos, cellphone apps, or even discussion forums where they can find their answers. Though not all callers will utilize these alternate communications they will appreciate the option.
4. When the Call is Finally Answered.
Make sure your customer service agent is prepared to take the frustration of the caller. Listening and expressing understanding and empathy are the best tools for dissipating frustration, and regaining trust. Quick effective service should also win your customer as well. Also, be sure to thank the customer for holding.
5. Avoid Transferring Calls
A good customer service representitive should be knowledgeable enough to answer questions and concerns without needing to transfer a call, or should have a quick information retrieval system in front of them. Use automated call routing programs to put the customer through to a designated representative to reduce hold time.
Without an intelligent phone system that calms and reassures your caller through hold times you are risking losing the business of even the most persevering soul. Ask us about call waiting options that will help you keep your customer base happy and intact, even during the busy holidays.