Blog

Transforming The Customer Experience

The Big, Expensive Problem With Leaving Callers On Hold In Silence

Posted Jan 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM

big expensive problem callers header.jpgThis situation probably doesn’t sound a like a big deal.

A customer calls your business. A busy associate answers the phone and quickly places the caller on hold while they get the information, person, or time the caller needs.

This scenario is a common situation... but it can quickly go wrong.

It has the potential to end in one of two ways.

  1. The associate puts the caller on hold -- and keeps the customer.

OR

  1. The associate puts the caller on hold -- and loses the customer.

The difference between these two scenarios can come down to one thing -- leaving callers on hold in silence or using a hold system.

The Big Problem with Leaving Callers On Hold In Silence

The use of hold messaging is more important than most business owners realize.

Hold messaging and music provides many benefits for both businesses and callers. But its most important role is keeping callers on the line.

The difference between the associate who kept the customer versus the associate who lost the customer could rely solely on the presence of hold messaging or music. That’s because customer calling experience stats show:

  • 60% of callers hang up if left on hold in silence
  • 30% of those callers won’t call back

The sales associate with no hold strategy to entertain or engage the caller is far more likely to have the caller hang up and not call back than the associate with hold messaging.

Leaving callers on hold in silence is a quick way to lose potential business.

It’s a costly mistake that could have been prevented with a very affordable and simple solution.

How to Solve This Problem (and Stop Losing Customers)

To keep callers on the line (and on track to making a purchase), all a business needs to do is implement a hold messaging strategy.

They can either choose to have:

Both strategies will keep callers on the line and prevent businesses from losing potential customers and revenue.

Don’t Let Misconceptions Hold You Back

With such a simple solution to such a big and expensive problem, you would think that most businesses would quickly embrace hold messaging as a marketing and customer acquisition strategy and stop leaving callers on hold in silence.

But still, many businesses overlook hold messaging because misconceptions hold them back from seeing its full value. 

Misconception #1) Our customers don’t spend a lot of time on hold.

You may think that this information doesn’t apply to your business because you rarely put your customers on hold. But, take some time to actually measure your calls to see if that is true or just want you believe to be true.

More than half of Americans say they spend about 10-20 minutes on hold every week. That’s 13 hours a year waiting on hold. And, over 70% of businesses’ callers are put on hold. You may believe your customers aren’t being placed on hold, but it’s likely that they are waiting longer and more often than you think.

Spend a week monitoring your customer calling experience to see how long and how often you’re leaving callers on hold. Then, decide if you could benefit from a hold strategy or not.

Misconception #2) We aren’t missing sale opportunities by not having a hold strategy.

If you still don’t believe that losing calls can cause you to lose sales, consider a few factors. Someone calling your business is one of the most highly engaged prospects your business can have. The caller knows your business, is interested in what you offer, and actively reached out to you. They are incredibly valuable to your business.

In fact, the caller is so valuable to your business that many brands spend up to 94% of their marketing budgets on efforts to get people to call their business. So, why would you want to risk losing that caller? And, why would you not be using tactics to not just answer the caller, but also sell to the caller?

To see just how much you could lose by having callers drop off the line, use our formula for figuring out your potential lost opportunities. Multiply the number of inbound calls you receive a day by the number of days your business is open for the year. This figure shows you the number of potential callers you could be selling to each year.

Misconception #3) Hold messaging is expensive.

Now that you have seen both the potential losses and the potential gains from using a strong hold messaging strategy, it should clear up misconception number three. Spending money on customer experience is an initial investment that will prevent you from losing money down the road. It’s not too expensive.

Also, a hold strategy has a lot of option. From working with a partner to provide a full, custom strategy for creating and managing your messages to simply adding on-brand music playlists to your phone system, there are a variety of options that can meet the budget of every business.

So before you write off hold messaging, talk to a provider to see what options are available for your specific needs and budget. Spectrio offers free, no obligation consultations to help you review your options. Request your consultation today.

Stop Leaving Callers On-Hold In Silence

Now that you see the big, expensive problem with leaving callers on hold in silence, take the next steps in improving your customer calling experience.

Learn more about how to set up an on-hold strategy that keeps callers on the line and on their journey to do business with you. Get our free guide that outlines all of the benefits of hold-messaging, how to write strategic scripts, and how to actually increase revenue using smart, custom calling messages.

New Call-to-action