Do you enjoy calling a company and getting 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 it, you know your clients don’t, either. That’s why it’s necessary to decrease time on hold for your callers as much as possible.
The average hold time is 56 seconds
The average hold or wait time for customers today is 56 seconds. This may not seem like very much, but it’s easy to 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 on hold times:
- 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 2 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 alarming statistics that show how increased hold times can fuel the demise of an otherwise healthy business.
Decrease 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 hire a full-time receptionist to handle calls. However, with the help of an affordable virtual receptionist service, you can make sure every caller hears a pleasant human voice on the other end for less than the cost of your cable and internet subscription.
A virtual receptionist service will ensure you never miss another call. When a virtual receptionist takes the call, they pick up before the third ring, which eliminates initial holds altogether. The only time your callers will wait on hold is while the call is being transferred, if that is necessary.
Often, a virtual receptionist can handle a call without transferring it. They can take care of scheduling an appointment, placing an order, providing office hours, 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.
Try a virtual receptionist free for 30 days
You don’t have to blindly commit to a virtual receptionist. We encourage you to take advantage of our free 30 day trial to ensure a virtual receptionist will meet your business’ needs.
Our 30 day trial includes 1,000 minutes and all of our most popular features – call answering, warm transfers, appointment management, basic customer service, and more. Click the button below to start your free 30 day trial, watch your hold times decrease, and see if a virtual receptionist is right for your business!