How To Lose Callers On hold In Under 60 Seconds!
In a perfect world, when a prospects or customer calls a business, they would get their needs addressed immediately. However, these days with companies trying to do more and more with less staff, it is almost impossible to handle all incoming calls on the first ring, so ultimately this means callers will have “hold-time” while waiting for a representative to assist them.
What you do during this hold time has a major impact on how well appreciated (or unappreciated) your customer will feel. You may be thinking: “so callers have some wait time, what’s the big deal”?
Are you paying attention? HERE’S THE BIG DEAL!!! … In a real life scenario, if call volume at a business is 100 calls per day, and AT&T reports 70% business calls are placed on hold, 34% hang-up after a mere seconds and 50% will never call back again!
To that extent, 70 out of 100 of your callers will get placed on hold, and 24 of them hang up before they speak to an agent in a sales environment and 12 will never call you back. Let’s say your average order is just $50 (and we’re being conservative here folks), that means $600.00 in lost revenues will occur per day, $13,200 per month, or nearly a staggering $160,000 per year. I bet you’re not thinking what’s the big deal anymore, huh?
There are options for a company to try to reduce caller hang-ups such as adding canned music or a radio, however having a custom on hold system has proven that callers will wait on-hold up to 3 times longer giving you the opportunity to serve them, thus reducing amount of callers that hang up due to boredom or fear of disconnection (aka caller abandonment) and preventing lost revenues.
Here are some on hold scenarios which can cause you to lose a caller and potential revenues in seconds:
Callers placed on hold with nothing but dead silence will abandon their calls in less than 60 seconds. Silence can result in negative impressions towards your organization. If callers hear silence, they will feel unsure if they are still connected.
Telling them their call is important
Using canned music on hold and message statements such as “your call is important to us” actually irritates callers. Put yourself in the caller’s shoes. After being on hold for a few minutes and having heard several times over that their call is important actually frustrates callers, as they can’t help but think that their call is obviously not important enough to answer.
Talk to your callers, not at them
Talking to someone is about giving the listener something to sink their ears into. Talking “AT” someone is like holding the audience hostage, rambling on with no connection to the material, delivering messages they will ignore, or even resent, until someone “real” answers the phone. Yes, it is true people can’t converse with the message, but they can actively listen.
Poor quality audio by do-it-yourselfers
In the legal community there’s an old adage that says: “the person who represents himself has a fool for a client”. Spot on I would say! Most things are better left to the professionals, but lots of folks still waste time, money and energy trying to create a professional on-hold recording themselves without having the background and knowledge of audio production and marketing.
Be aware of what you play on hold and how it sounds to callers. Have a professional produce your on hold message and play it using properly installed equipment. If it doesn’t sound good, you might as well not have it.
On hold time is a good opportunity to market your company. Provide up-to-date on hold message or make sure it is according to the season. Don’t just leave the same message on the loop especially if you have frequent repeat callers. Vary your on hold content to make time spent more enjoyable. Remember a great message on hold that has outlived its relevance – is no longer a great message on hold.
Customer dissatisfaction can be avoided by having a well-made on hold message. From short, concise informative and entertaining messages to pleasing background music and a welcoming professional voice, the right audio message while customers wait on hold will go a long way in alleviating negative feedback.
Abandoned calls are missed opportunities. Every caller who hangs up while waiting on hold is a potential loyal customer who may be easily tempted to choose a competitor. We have now given you the information you need to avoid this pitfall and to improve caller retention and boost customer satisfaction with a professional on hold system.