Imagine that you call a company about a recently purchased service subscription. When you can’t solve the activation problems on your own, you decide to call the 800 customer service phone number. The answering message greets you with a welcome and then states “Your call is important to us. Please hold.” After waiting on hold for more than 10 minutes, you are connected with a customer service agent. That agent doesn’t know how to solve your problem and transfers you to another department. Your on-hold time starts all over again. Once you repeat all of your information and problem history again to the new agent, you are suddenly disconnected from the call. Continue reading
Getting in touch with a “real” person at some companies is getting more and more difficult. Numerous companies, particularly those that are primarily web-based such as Microsoft, Google, or Amazon, make it nearly impossible to find a phone number for a customer service line. In part, this transition is due to increased Internet access by consumers. With more customers online, companies have an easier time directing customer service questions to forums or frequently asked question pages. But, is this increasingly popular tactic the right choice for your business?
Researching “On-Hold Music” reveals an extensive amount of information on the topic. It is an entire industry in itself, plus there are numerous opinions, studies, and articles that focus solely on the type of music you should play for customers when you put them on hold.
NPR’s MarketPlace recently featured a segment discussing “What Makes You Happy When Your Call Is Put on Hold?” This piece explored the evolution of the industry and how hold music can impact customer satisfaction.
Sally wants to return a shirt that doesn’t fit. She calls your company during her lunch break (which also happens to be yours) and is greeted by your generic voice mail. Sally lacks the patience to wait for the option directing her to the returns department, so she hangs up.
Customers that have to repeatedly call to find answers get frustrated, particularly if they have a simple need, such as a mailing address or hours of operation. Solving a customer’s issue on the first call can build higher levels of customer loyalty, reduce aggravation, and lead to time and money savings.