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Time is precious. We only have a limited amount, and we will never have more of it. So we don’t want to waste it… especially sitting on the phone on-hold.

Yet, more than half of Americans say they spend about 10-20 minutes every week on-hold with customer service. That small increment of time may not seem extreme, until you do some math on the amount of time we spend on-hold.

How Much Time Do We Spend On Hold?

Ten to 20 minutes waiting on-hold a week sounds somewhat reasonable. But when you think about how much time that is over the year — 13 hours, almost half a day — it starts to get a little more troublesome.  

According to data from TalkTo, that number multiplied over a lifespan can equate to spending 43 days of your life on-hold.

A different study by Merchex found that as a whole, Americans will spend 900 million hours waiting on-hold in a year.

That is a lot of time spent on an activity that highly annoyed 66% of respondents in a Consumer Reports survey.

However you look at it, consumers are spending way too much time sitting on the other end of an unanswered phone. So, what does this mean and what can we do about it?


How to Find Opportunity in This Data

If you are part of an organization that ewcustomer calls, you can find opportunity in these numbers.  

As an organization, you can excel at customer service, stand out from your competitors, and build a more loyal consumer base all by excelling in the customer calling experience.

By improving your on-hold messages and strategy, you can find opportunity. When an organization gives consumers an improved on-hold experience, it can:

  • Stop consumers from hanging up
  • Decrease consumer frustration
  • Prevent a consumer from writing a negative review
  • Acquire positive reviews
  • Build customer loyalty
  • Encourage a customer to spend more money
  • Create upsell opportunities

Consumers don’t like waiting on-hold. By addressing this need and giving consumers a better calling experience, you can differentiate your organization and build longer lasting relationships.

So, how do you do it?

(Looking for a more in-depth look at how to make your customer calling experience an asset for your business? Check out our latest guide to On-Hold Messaging here).

How To Provide a Better Customer Calling Experience

The quick solution to providing an improved customer calling experience is getting the consumer off the phone faster and decreasing the time we spend on-hold.

But if you don’t have the internal resources to answer more phones, here are a few ways that you can create a better calling experience.

  1. Provide On-hold Music or Messaging — The fastest way to frustrate callers is to leave them on-hold in silence. According to an AT&T study, 60% of callers left on-hold in silence will hang up. So, provide on-hold messaging or music that will make their waiting experience less tedious. 
  2. Answer FAQs During Your Hold Message — A hold message can do more than keep the callers on the line. A hold message can provide the caller with the useful information they seek. By providing answers to frequently asked questions throughout your hold message, you can get callers off the line faster by giving them the information they need without a customer service representative. 
  3. Direct Callers to Alternative Help Resources — Customers that need assistance may not need to talk directly to a person. They may be able to solve their problem through other means such as an online tutorial or digital guide. Create customer solution materials and make them easily accessible on your website. Then, use your message to direct customers to those solutions. 
  4. Be On-Brand While Your Customers Are On-Hold — A phone call to your organization is a customer touchpoint, so treat it as such. Using on-brand messaging, music, and voice talent to reinforce your brand and improve the customer calling experience. 
  5. Utilize VoIP Phone Solutions — When you don’t have a large team devoted to fielding customer calls, it can be difficult to find the resources to manage all of your calls. But even with a small team, you can stretch your resources to handle more calls. Through VoIP phone solutions, you can receive calls while outside of the office and increase your ability to communicate with callers from anywhere. 
  6. Use Auto-Attendants and IVRs — You have other options when you have a small customer service team. Using third-party auto-attendants and IVRs can help route calls to the appropriate department and ensure that calls are answered professionally and promptly. 
  7. Don’t Ignore or Forget About Your Messaging — Customer calling experience is often out of sight and out of mind. Many business owners or managers don’t regularly go through the experience of calling their organization so it’s an easy thing to overlook and neglect. But forgetting about this customer touchpoint or failing to update your messaging can make the calling experience even worse for customers. So make it a priority and review and update your messaging often. 

When you do the math over our lifetime, the amount of time we spend on-hold is shocking. You don’t want to spend 43 days of your life waiting on-hold, and neither do your customers, clients, and patients.

So, stop settling when it comes to the customer calling experience at your organization.  

Upgrade and improve your on-hold strategy so you can create a better experience for your callers, stand out from your competitors, and give time back to your loyal customers.

Not sure how to get started? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you review your options! We offer a free consultation that will assess your needs and give you a list of recommendations to improve your customer calling experience through the use of an on-hold messaging strategy, professional voice over talent, VoIP phone solutions, auto-attendants, and more.

Contact us today to find out how your organization can start giving time back to your customers.