Prolonged hold times can lead to high call abandonment rates, which can also translate to inefficiency and poor customer service. Open Access BPO explains how your call center can reduce hold times for your customers.
Nobody wants to be put on hold for too long on the phone. Customers, especially those who need immediate help, can easily get frustrated if getting in touch with a phone support agent takes too much time. In fact, long hold times can lead to call abandonment, making the business lose opportunities to resolve issues faced by the customers and regain their trust.
How then can you prevent customers from dropping their calls when reaching out to your call center? The best way is to avoid placing them on hold. Here are some alternatives to this common yet frustrating call center practice:
Allowing customers to find the solutions to their problems on their own can reduce the number of calls you are getting. With low call volumes, callers are less likely to be put on hold because of busy phone lines. Some examples of self-service solutions are frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages, social media forums, and self-help mobile apps. An interactive voice response (IVR) system can be set up to give pre-recorded instructions to customers without having to talk to a representative.
Customers are sometimes put on hold because the solution to their problems may take time to execute fully. Sometimes agents need to escalate the issue or collaborate with other departments. If this is the case, they can offer the customers the option of getting updates through email, SMS, or other non-voice channels. Customers must be made aware of the steps that will be taken to fix their problem, since they need to know that someone is taking care of their problem.
Another way to avoid making customers wait is offering to update them via a return call. Just like when transferring them to non-voice channels, customers have to be oriented about what’s going to happen and how long they have to wait for an update. It’s also important that customers understand that you are offering this option because you value their time. Otherwise, they will think that you are just escaping from your obligation of taking care of customer complaints.
Giving customers a pleasant experience despite having issues with their purchases ensures that they remain satisfied with your services. Eliminating the reasons for putting them on hold over the phone can go a long way in making customer service calls convenient for customers.
Talking to customers immediately right after they dial your number can prevent them from getting dissatisfied with your customer support services. If this isn’t possible, then you have to make sure that you get back to them shortly and that the results are worth the wait.