“We don't put callers on hold.”
“Our callers only hold for a few seconds.”
Over the last 30 years, we've heard those phrases hundreds of times from business owners and marketing directors.
Jeff Bezos heard a version of them, too.
Amazon's former VP of Customer Service told CEO Bezos that their company kept callers on hold for “less than a minute.” Skeptical, Bezos put his VP's claim to the test. During a meeting of Amazon's top executives, he picked up the phone and called the customer service number.
Bezos was on hold for four-and-a-half minutes, fuming.
As a business owner or manager you want to believe that your company provides a consistently excellent caller experience, one that includes brief or even non-existent hold times. But there can easily be a big difference between what you assume (and hope) your callers experience and what they actually do. That's why caller experience audits are so valuable.
Still Not Using On Hold Marketing?
Leaving callers on hold for several minutes is never ideal, but your callers will perceive that wait to be even longer if they're holding in silence or listening to repetitive content that's not designed with their needs in mind.
Even worse for you, imagine if your callers had a negative experience after responding to a phone number you listed in a promotional email or as part of your new TV campaign. Paying for the privilege of alienating potential customers is never a sustainable strategy. To prevent that problem, though, direct those callers to a phone number or call center group that exists specifically to handle calls related to that promotion. Focus on answering those calls immediately, placing them on hold only if necessary and then only very briefly.