3 Simple Tips to Make Customer Hold Times Bearable

Nobody likes to wait. Definitely not when they are paying for your product or service and they are in need of your help. Even those customers who call the support line like a Zen guru are often ticked off by ridiculous IVR options and lengthy hold times. We’ve come up with a few ideas to make the customer wait time on hold less cumbersome.

Mix Things Up

If you have a Music on Hold (MOH) in your IVR, try changing it from time to time. It’s annoying for anybody to wait on hold and the effect is amplified with a horrible MOH that runs in an infinite loop. Find the average wait time for a customer on hold, call your support line and check for yourself if you can stand the music for that length of time. This is the easiest way to know how the customer might feel.

Better yet, change the music once a month or so to mix things up. The same holds true for welcome scripts too. It sounds very professional when everyone from the support team greets the customer with a same welcome script, but could get monotonous overtime. Create a few different ones and switch between them every week. Support executives will thank you for the variety too!

Automated Responses

The duration between a customer sending a mail and your support getting back to him technically counts as a hold. It would be phenomenal to get back to the customer within a couple of hours, but such a turnaround might not be possible for every support team.

In that case, why not send an automated response intimating the customer that you have received the support query and it would be addressed shortly? Updating the customer with a tentative resolution time would be more impressive. This is one of the times automated responses are okay to be used in customer support, at the very least the customer gets an acknowledgement that the mail has actually reached your inbox.

Compensate for the Time

Time is valuable for everyone. Even if the customer isn’t on hold during work hours, he/she is bound to lose the time meant for fun waiting for a resolution from you. Yes, it isn’t possible to assign monetary value to every person’s time or to compensate it at market price. But, with the assistance of a helpdesk solution you can find out how many times a customer was on hold over a period of time and for how long.

Offering a discount coupon or promising to give a direct line to an executive the next time he calls in are couple of small gestures that go a long way in making the customer feel important. Such compensations and workarounds might not be possible for every business, but going the extra mile is what makes your brand stand out.

What do you do to make customer hold times bearable in your business?