What Does ‘On-Hold’ Do to Your Business?

hanging-on-holdFrom busy holiday rushes to the regular bustle of daily business, if your company is doing well, then you’re fielding calls all day long. But how long are your customers willing to wait to speak with one of your representatives? And what happens when they don’t get the service they want in the time they’re willing to spend? Read on for more insight into how putting customers on hold can lose business and what you can do to fix it.

Simmering to a Boil: How Long Is Too Long?

A recent article in Business Insider revealed the findings of a survey by American Express. According to the survey, customers max out on wait time around 12 to 13 minutes, and that’s whether they’re on the phone or in person. But don’t let this lengthy time fool you: 13 minutes is the amount of time at which customers become actually angry with the company and are ready to give up on the company altogether. Other studies, including a university study that examined over 1 million calls at a large call center, found that companies drastically overestimate the amount of time people are willing to wait before hanging up. This study found that people would hang up in as short as a minute and a half!

Either way you slice it, customers aren’t happy to be on hold. Whether they stick it out and work themselves up into an angry fervor or simply give up and call your competitor after a few minutes, putting customers on hold for more than a minute is a surefire way to keep yourself doing damage control.

What Long Wait Times Do To Your Rep

The other problem with long wait times is that data suggests that consumers are far more likely to share bad experiences with companies over great experiences. In a survey by ClickFox, more than half of the respondents reported that they told friends and family about their bad customer service. Even more troubling? Of those who reached a “breaking point,” more than 80% surveyed were already loyal customers to the company that royally ticked them off. In other words, don’t assume that you’re only losing new leads when you put people on hold. In fact, you could be putting your very foundation in jeopardy by angering loyal customers who are eager to share the news about how you’ve disappointed them.

Solutions to Stop the Wait

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already taken the first step of identifying that your lengthy wait times are creating problems. Some companies choose to move to more web-based interactions, but this solution can cause other problems for customers who prefer to talk to a real person before making a purchase.

Another option is using a professional call center service, like MAP Communications. Customers who call business that use MAP Communications never have to be on hold, and the total call time is usually quite short. With solutions that include 24 hour answering service plus live virtual receptionists, MAP Communications will keep your customers happy and your bottom line satisfied.

For more information on how MAP Communications can help you please your current customer base and turn incoming calls into sales, contact us today.

Here are some related articles you might be interested in:

How Long are Customers Willing to Wait? [Infographic]

Customer Wait Time: Six Strategies to Manage Waiting Customers

BEWARE! Long Hold Times Can Turn Customers into Zombies