Stop Holding for the Next Available Call Center Representative


Let’s say you see an unfamiliar charge on your monthly credit card statement. You decide to put in a quick call to your bank to question the purchase before you head out for the day. You call the phone number for customer support on the back of your card, and a friendly but automated voice answers.

IVR systems can impact customer experience

“Please hold for the next available representative.”

All right. So you sit down at your kitchen table to finish your morning cup of coffee while you wait. After a few minutes of tinny piano, the hold music suddenly cuts off in mid-arpeggio and you anticipate the click that will connect you to an agent. But instead, another recorded voice chimes in.

“All our agents are currently assisting other customers. Please hold for the next available representative.”

Before you know it, your fingers are tapping impatiently on the handle of your cup, your coffee is long gone and you still haven’t spoken to anyone with a pulse. What started as a quick call ends up dragging into half an hour or more. You’re faced with the annoying reality of rescheduling your plans because you’ve spent your morning accommodating customer service agents, instead of them accommodating you.

Unfortunately, most of us have been subjected to the disservice of unreasonable hold times. Failing to address your customers’ concerns quickly can tarnish your brand’s reputation and decrease the likelihood that they’ll do business with you in the future.

In today’s world of modern communication, it’s rather surprising that so many of these systems are still in place at all, particularly considering that a majority of customers would prefer something else altogether. In fact, 64 percent of consumers with texting capabilities would prefer to use texting over voice for customer service.

As customers increasingly seek to stop holding for the next available representative, contact center leaders are challenged to find a more convenient method for addressing inquiries.

Fortunately there is now a wide array of contact center software that will empower your customers, letting them get off the phone quickly to get on with their day. The more efficiently they can resolve inquiries, the more favorably your customers will look upon your business.

So what kind of customer support software should contact centers struggling with hold times deploy to make sure customers don’t have to set aside an entire day to communicate with your agents?

You can modernize your interactive voice response system so that customers can select the most applicable reason for their call, helping to connect them with the appropriate party more effectively on first contact. IVR systems can also empower customers to resolve inquiries on their own without having to wait for an agent at all.

Incorporating interactive text response will delight the contingency of your customers that would prefer not to place a phone call to begin with. They’ll be able to resolve issues via text meaning that they can go about their daily business and interact where, and when, is most convenient for them.

You can even provide your callers with the option of hanging up and receiving a returned call when the next agent is free, allowing consumers to continue with their day instead of waiting in a hold queue.

The average American will spend 43 days of their lives on hold. Make sure your organization isn’t contributing to this figure, and you’ll be sure to earn a unique advantage over your competitors. Learn more about contact center software solutions.

Chris O'Brien