When “Please Hold” Means “Goodbye” — Part II

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As discussed in our last blog post, today’s consumers are fed up with long hold times and are taking to social media to vent their frustrations. As a result, companies’ bottom lines are suffering as customers take their business to competitors that they hope will be more responsive to their needs.

In fact, according to Arizona State University’s 2015 National Customer Rage Study, the number one thing people don’t want to hear when they call customer service is, Your call is important to us, please continue to hold.”

The Real Message Behind “Please Hold”

“When you put people on hold you are essentially telling them they’re not important and their business isn’t important,” explains Professor Mary Jo Bitner, executive director of the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University. The customer is left with a negative impression that makes them think twice about whether or not they’ll return to buy a product or service. The company hasn’t earned their trust or given them any reason to think they won’t be stuck on hold with each future interaction.

What It Means For Future Business

Forrest Morgeson, director of research at the American Customer Satisfaction Index believes too many companies focus their efforts on making the sale but fail to efficiently take care of the customer afterward. “How well a company does in complaint handling can be the difference between whether a consumer returns to purchase from the same company in the future or defects to a competitor,” Morgeson says.

“We’ve consistently found that both the hold time and the amount of time it takes to get the problem solved once contact has been made have a really significant impact on how satisfied the consumer is with their interaction,” he adds.

When a call turns out to be a negative experience, the customer is more likely to spread the word. But when a customer feels their call was answered promptly and their issue was resolved thoroughly, they feel a stronger sense of loyalty to that company—even if they had a problem with the product or service in the first place. It’s how they are treated after the initial sale that keeps them coming back.

“Providing good service after the sale is absolutely critical because you don’t just want their business that one time, you want their business in the future,” Arizona State’s Mary Jo Bitner says.

What To Do

Many companies who research how to provide this level of ongoing customer care are discovering that voice answering services have the technology and trained staff to provide prompt, professional customer communications. What most of those companies are surprised to find out is that the cost of a voice answering service can be a fraction of what it would cost to employ additional staff receptionists. It’s an investment that quickly pays off when satisfied customers who know their time and business is valued decide to stick around for the long term.

If you’d like to learn more about how answering services can help you keep customers happy, contact Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. Customized communication solutions, appointment scheduling, and secure HIPAA/HiTech messaging saves you time and money while improving customer relationships.

We offer month-to-month service agreements to meet the needs of any business regardless of size, 24/7, 365 days of the year. Our excellent reputation, expert staff, and state-of-the-art technology will exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.

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