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Save your Call Center from being Killed by Customer on Hold



There can be a lot of myths staggering around the do’s and the don’ts while providing excellent customer service. However, there’s one known fact- No customer, the one who is calling you for the first time or if he is a regular caller, likes to be on hold. Period.

This one practice actually ruins customers’ state of calm and aggravates frustration. Holding time of even a minute is sometimes way too much for any caller, who is in an absolute hurry to get his query addressed or resolved.

So, when the agent gets connected to him, his first response would be somewhat like – “Hey, I have been in queue for the last two never-ending minutes and listening to the same music playing repeatedly, can you help me get this sorted?” This will only make an agent’s work more taxing and increases the chances of escalations to managers or supervisors. This one habit of putting customer on hold every now and then makes them lose faith and patience like no other trait.

Therefore, when they call you next time for any concern or query, they probably would not be interested to ‘talk-talk’ and would come straight to the point of seeking a resolution. This can cause a serious lag for reps to secure their targets or to get great business leads.

There are times when it is absolutely necessary to place a call on hold. Sudden calls spikes happen even to the best-prepared contact centers, and there are times when an agent needs to do a bit of research in order to resolve the customer’s issue completely. These occasions should be the exception, however, and not the rule. Customers are well and truly fed up with waiting on hold, and for good reason.

While training agents, maximum importance is usually given to first call resolution, very little is given to the frustrating moments leading up to a call being answered that results in call abandonment. Making customers wait on hold for long gives them an impression that the company doesn’t care about them or their immediate needs. A trademark of a good product reflects in their after sales service, which often means contact centers.

Here are five best ways to reduce customer on hold time as much as possible:

1. Scalability

Call spikes can lead to customers being in queue for long. This can be due to any unexpected event, or for some contact centers a common trend. Every contact center needs to be equipped with such a setup which is efficient enough to seamlessly handle unexpected or anticipated call flow.

2. Smart Routing Techniques

Most of the contact centers follow FIFO (first in first out) call routing mechanisms. This prioritizes on the basis of the first caller gets through first. Though it is a decent technique, many add-ons can be there for further improvement. Using an intelligent routing system which works well in coordination with CRM setup can skillfully route the call to the right agent, at the right time. This can greatly reduce the holding time for customers, hence giving them better quality service experience.

3. Call Analytics

It is imperative to regularly keep a check on your call analytics, to make voice apps user-friendly and efficient. Inefficient systems gives IVR a bad name, increases the overall holding time, make customers wait for lengthy durations, even after the call is connected and often confuse them with faulty logics.

4. Call Back

Many alternative options can also be given to customers who don’t wish to stay in the queue for a longer duration. If customers choose a call back option, their place can be held in the queue. Once an agent becomes available, the system can place an outbound call and his query can be sorted out. This will leave a lasting good impression on all your customers.

5. Channel Diversions

Instead of routing all the traffic over one medium, you can setup versatile modes of customer services. This can include options for customers to get assistance over chat or an email resolution, wherein the customer care team would contact them at the earliest, with a solution for their query. This can greatly reduce the overall traffic and call flow a contact centre usually experiences.

Providing excellent customer service not only guarantees happy customers, it also ensures their loyalty and good publicity for even better results. If you have more tips to add to these, do let us know in the comments section.



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