When trying to get through to a company, there’s the amount of time actually spent on hold, and then there’s the time you feel like you’ve been on hold. Believe it or not, these are generally two very different numbers.

As an agency with a ‘customer first’ ethos, we have developed the art of seeing your channels through your customer’s eyes. And in response to our findings, we’ve developed specialist ways of working that leave your customers in no doubt about how important they really are.

Here are five top OnBrand tips for making those calls feel a whole lot quicker than they sometimes are:

1 Be transparent

For many callers, clarity is key. If they’re calling with twenty minutes left on their lunch hour and it will take fifteen minutes to get through, it’s better to activate a message that informs them the wait is long and that it would be best to call back. Otherwise, you risk making a caller wait on hold, and then still not being able to resolve their issue. Nobody likes their time wasted. If you pre-warn them of this and they hang up, they’ll feel they haven’t wasted any time at all.

2 Get to the point

With today’s advances in IVR technology, getting your options right is non-negotiable.  If your system reels off nineteen different options, most people will have zoned out after five. Clunky options lead to people selecting the wrong choice, just to get through to someone, which doesn’t help anybody. Therefore, you’re better off having five options and then providing some music for the caller while they wait. At least this way, you all know they’re in the right place for resolution.

3 Music to their ears

The general expectation of your caller is to be forced to listen to elevator music.  Dull at best. Outright infuriating at other times. However, with the right phone technology, you could provide your own jukebox, and give your caller their own choice of music.  Quite a way to make an impression.  Just by opting for up-to-date music, you can catch your callers by surprise and even change their mood. Good music choices are often referred to once the caller has been put through to an agent.  For one client’s complaint line, we even provided a particularly cheeky track. This delivered a positive result: having listened to the track, callers engaged with friendly banter with the agents, a welcome difference to the frustrated tones the staff had generally been used to dealing with previously.

4 Promote self-serve options

Often when we analyse our clients’ data, there are callers waiting in line who are able to help themselves, but they’re just not aware of it. Therefore, by inserting pre-recorded messages informing of what can be done online, or by answering any other questions your callers ask historically, it can lead to positive abandonments. This also lessens the waiting time for callers who genuinely need an agent. It’s just a case of being in tune with what your agents are telling you and creating short, informative messages that play at certain points of the callers’ journey.

5 Be interesting

There are simple things that can be done to make the call more interesting. The pace and tone of the voice on your pre-recorded messages can make a great difference in keeping the caller engaged, but we’ve also found there are often interesting bits of trivia about a company that are rarely told. For example, a DIY company we work with originally started out in the trenches of World War II, with two men who agreed to form a company together when they returned to England. We created a message around this story, which we felt callers would be interested in, and would even inspire brand loyalty. All the while, we were also disguising the fact they were on hold.

To get an expert opinion on your telephony channel, simply e-mail us on [email protected] or give us a call on 03333 220 022, where we’ll be delighted to hear from you.

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