Do you enjoy it when you call a company and get stuck on hold for what seems like an eternity? What about when you call and you have to sift through a dozen menu options just to get to the right department? If you don’t like this, neither do your clients.
Average Hold/Wait Time – 56 Seconds
The average hold or wait time for customers when they call companies today is 56 seconds. This may not seem like very much, but we get impatient when a website takes more than 5 seconds to load today. A hold or wait time of nearly a minute can seem like an eternity, and this is just the average.
A few more statistics about hold/wait time include:
- Company Executives spend about 60 hours on hold every year, according to USA Today
- Customers placed on hold without background music feel that the hold time is about three times as long, according to a survey done by AT&T
- About 70% of business callers are put on hold, according to Inbound/Outbound
- After about two minutes of hold time, callers hang up annoyed and over one-third never call back, according to the Small Business Chronicle
- Over 40% of Americans initiate purchases over the phone, according to American Teleservices Association
- Over 90% of business marketing budgets are spent to get customers to call, while only 6% is spent to actually handle the call, according to Inbound Telephones Call Center
- The average consumer will spend about 1.2 years on hold in their lifetime, according to Woman’s World Magazine
- 34% of the callers that hang up never call back, according to Voice Response, Inc.
These are some very alarming statistics that show how increased hold times are not helping businesses grow.
How can you Provide Less Time on Hold for Your Callers?
Businesses are always looking for ways to attract and retain new clients. One of the best ways to keep your clients happy is to eliminate or reduce the amount of time they spend on hold, especially when they first call.
One of the best ways to ensure your customers feel like they are appreciated and being taken care of is with a live person answering the phone. This can be quite expensive if you have to create your own in-house call center. However, with the help of a virtual receptionist service, you can make sure every caller hears a pleasant human voice on the other end.
A virtual receptionist service allows you to make sure you don’t miss any phone calls. When a VR takes the call, it actually gets answered, which eliminates the hold time altogether. The only time your callers will sit on hold is while the call is being transferred, if that is necessary.
Often, a virtual receptionist can handle the call without transferring it. They can take care of scheduling an appointment, placing an order and many smaller customer service issues. They can even help screen the cold calls all businesses receive.
With increased hold times, businesses need to find ways to decrease hold times and provide better customer service. A virtual receptionist service may be the answer if you know you’re business is missing calls or customers are spending too long on hold.