No one likes being put on hold. However, it’s an inevitable part of being on the phone. Especially when a representative of your business has some additional work to do before completing a call with a customer, hold time is a necessary element of providing excellent customer service.
They say “it’s the little things that count”. In today’s blog, we’ll focus on four supposed “little things” to explain how they make up the ingredients to the perfect hold time.
1. The request.
When putting a caller on hold, it’s vital that you never introduce the hold time as a demand. “Hold please”, although containing a courteous “Ps and Qs” element is no way to start hold time. True courtesy comes by way of simply asking if you can place the caller on hold. The request for permission connotes respect. It shouldn’t just be a request either. Be sure to inform your caller of both the reason for the hold and its estimated length as well.
“When reps need to put the customer on hold, they should ask first and do it nicely,” advises Jimmy Rodela of Executive Boutique, “Moreover, they should explain the reason why they have to place the customer on hold. For example, a representative can tell the customer, ‘May I place you on hold for a minute or two while I do some quick research on this issue?’”
2. The apology.
At MeloTel, we’ve always believed that a quick apology is a great element to an adequate hold time scenario. It demonstrates that you appreciate your caller’s time and that you don’t mean to take up any more of it than necessary. When returning from a hold, simply state the following: “Thank you for holding, I apologize for keeping you waiting”. It can go a long way. On Comm100.com, however, Carla Jerez suggests that you offer an apology before the hold.
“Always start your hold request with an apology,” she insists, “There’s no reason not to, and it makes a huge difference in how customers feel about your service. It lets the customer know that while a hold might be necessary to get the work done, it’s not your preferred method of servicing her…According to (a Rage Study), 76% of complainants surveyed wanted an apology from offending companies, but only 32% got one.”
3. The “thank you”.
You’ll notice in the point made above that the words “thank you” appeared in the phrasing recommended for after hold time. It needs to be reiterated. There’s never a bad time to offer your customers some gratitude. As Rodela notes, “when getting back to the customer, reps can either thank them for their patience, or apologize for placing them on hold.” We can’t think of a reason to not do both!
4. Custom hold music.
If you want to ensure your callers don’t hang up on you during their hold times, hold music is a must. It guarantees callers that they haven’t been disconnected from their calls. And, believe it or not, most callers find hold music to be entertaining ways of passing the time. Thankfully, with MeloTel’s cloud-hosted Commercial Phone Services, you automatically receive a Custom Hold Music option!
For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!