Companies do it every day. No matter what business you call, you’re bound to be put on hold at some point, right? Yes, hold time is pretty much inevitable. However, there is a way to go about it that can truly make or break the customer relationship. Remember that, these days, consumers greatly cherish their experiences with the companies they do business with. What is the experience like when working with your company?
Do you ask your callers if they can be placed on hold?
Asking over telling makes a big difference. This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve blogged about this topic and it’s not likely to be the last. And that’s because, at MeloTel, we place great emphasis on providing excellent customer service. Asking a caller if he/she can be placed on hold is a sign of respect. As mentioned earlier, most people realize that hold times are inevitable during calls to businesses. This doesn’t mean their time should be taken for granted.
Again, there’s a big difference between “hold please” and “Can I please place you on hold for a minute while I look into that for you?” You’ll notice that the question includes a lot more than a simple request for permission. It’s also offers a timeline and a reason for the hold. Consumers like knowing what is happening while they’re on hold. It helps them to feel comfortable that their time isn’t being wasted.
Are you sticking to the timelines you’ve provided?
If you’ve asked your customer to hold for a minute, try not to take longer than a minute. It’s a trust thing. What may not seem like all that big a deal could be construed as a disregard for one’s time. If you feel your work is taking longer than originally expected, come back to the line and inform the caller that a few more minutes may be necessary. Again, ask if he/she doesn’t mind holding. To reiterate, it’s simply a strong sign of respect.
As well, we should underline the importance of informing the caller of what you’re doing. He/she should be confident that the hold time is necessary in order for you to complete the task. Perhaps, you require assistance from a supervisor or manager. Maybe you need to get up from your seat to personally look into something for your customer. No matter the reason for the hold, fill your caller in about it. It will help in keeping him/her patient and content.
Are you apologizing for the wait?
In keeping with the understanding that hold times happen often, it doesn’t mean that they are particularly enjoyed. Acknowledge that the time it took to address your caller’s request may have taken longer than expected. A simple, “thank you for holding, I apologize for the delay” is usually all that’s necessary to appease even the most impatient of customers. Make note that both a sign of gratitude and an apology is contained in that statement.
You know what also helps with hold times?
Custom hold music! For information about this fantastic feature that comes with MeloTel’s cloud-hosted Commercial Phone Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!