Three years is too long to wait.
Statisticians have estimated that in a lifetime of 70 years, the average person spends at least three years waiting.
Waiting is an inevitable and even necessary aspect of human life. We wait in line at the grocery store, for red lights to turn green, and for movie trailers to finally stop so we can see the movie we paid to see.
And we wait on hold.
I'd like to suggest that a we all do a better job of respecting the value of our customers' time.
12 Actions You Can Take
to drastically reduce customer hold times
1. Expand your reps' authority to make decisions without having to track down a higher authority.
2. Create a robust on-line knowledge base that can be accessed quickly and easily.
3. Update the knowledge base to make sure it always has the most current information.
4. Train your reps on efficient use of the knowledge base. Consider it a core competency.
5. Coach reps on call control techniques, i.e. managing the conversation with the customer.
6. Don't tolerate reps putting customers on hold so they can chit-chat with their neighbors.
7. Don't rely on newbies to "learn on the job." It's not fair to customers to sit on hold while a newbie gets the right answer.
8. Listen to your customers. If your customer sat surveys reveal a trend in complaints about having to hold while working with a rep, pay attention.
9. Have a sense of urgency yourself. Walk the talk.
10. Train your reps to always give the customer the option to hold or receive a call back.
11. Make sure that managing hold time during the call is included in your call quality criteria.
12. Get internal departments to be more responsive. Too often when a rep puts a customer hold so they can ask another department a quick question, no one is available to help.
At your next team meeting, raise awareness of the importance of respecting the customers' time by making it a topic of discussion.
Make it a great week!