How Can Putting Callers On Hold Improve Customer Satisfaction?

Submitted by Dan Faraldo in Customer Service, Industry News, MeloTel Features

The following are two phrases that communicate the exact same message in totally different ways. Phrase #1: Hold please. Phrase #2: May I ask you to hold for just a minute or two while I take a look into that for you? Both of these requests are meant to elicit the same result. However, each produces a totally different feeling in the person the request is being made of.

Phrase #1 is a demand.

It isn’t courteous and it isn’t polite. Yet, countless businesses use this phrase when providing their customers with service over the phone. Hold times are inevitable. Everyone knows this. But the ways in which you request your callers to wait on hold will make a huge difference in the levels of customer satisfaction that are achieved.

Phrase #2, of course, isn’t a demand, but instead, a polite request.

It not only asks the caller for permission, but it gives him/her an understanding of how long he/she will have to remain on hold. Make no mistake about it. No one is truly a fan of being on hold. But knowing that the company representative is working away at helping you, coupled with the knowledge that it shouldn’t take that long, makes the entire process a lot easier.

Not to mention, phrase #2 connotes respect. It doesn’t take for granted that the caller has time, wants to be placed on hold or has no say in the way in which the conversation proceeds. Showing respect to customers is vital if you wish to grow your company’s reputation as a top customer service provider.

“Before you put a caller on hold, always ask for permission and wait for the customer to answer you,” instructs OfficeSkills.org, “Most customers will answer ‘yes’ if asked politely to hold. If options other than holding exist, such as leaving a message, voice mail or finding information on the internet, let the caller know at this time.”

Here are two more phrases to consider.

Phrase #1: Hello? Phrase #2: Hello and thank you for holding. I apologize for that delay. Which of the two phrases is the appropriate choice when returning back to the line from a hold? We’re pretty sure we don’t have to explain why the second is clearly superior to the first. Thanking your customers should be a regular part of your customer service routine.

As OfficeSkills.org advises, “when you return to a customer who is on hold, always thank them for their patience and then provide them with the information they requested or if necessary transfer them to someone who can help them.”

Hold music is an important part of providing excellent service.

Believe it or not, your callers both need to and want to hear hold music. A hold time absent of hold music is one that may confuse the person waiting. Have I been disconnected? Don’t think this question isn’t running through your customer’s mind when all he/she hears is dead silence.

Lucky for you, Custom Hold Music is an automatic feature that comes with MeloTel’s Commercial Phone Services! For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!