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Enduring Long On-Hold Times

On-HoldSticking it out while waiting is not a virtue many of us tolerate. Whether it be in a grocery store checkout line, popular restaurant on a busy Saturday night, or a doctor’s waiting room – most of us don’t like the inconvenience of waiting, after all, isn’t our time valuable too?

Without compare, waiting on hold on the telephone has to be the worst form of waiting.  After navigating today’s complex IVR (interactive voice response) menus, only to be told you will now have to wait 30 minutes (after already spending five minutes of your valuable time in the IVR) to speak to a representative – chances are your temper has already started a slow boil, and will explode as soon as that representative answers the phone – that is, if you have decided to wait that long!

Which brings up another reason why companies should NOT compel their customers to wait on hold – first call resolution (FCR)! Not only does answering the call and fixing the customer issue promptly almost guarantee a great customer experience, it can also save the company contact center money by minimizing repeat callers.

A low FCR rate leads to increased call volume, workload, agent payroll expenses, customer dissatisfaction, and loss of customers. Employee moral also sags, as many callers who have simmered to the boiling point vent on the unfortunate call representative. As the Pelorus Group noted, “FCR is an essential metric for any contact center for two simple reasons: it drives customer satisfaction, and reduces operating costs.”

How Long is Too Long to be On-hold?

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