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6 Key Tips for Putting Your Calls on Hold

picture of the author Athénaïs | 14 april 2020

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According to the Customer Service Observatory, the phone remains the most commonly used channel for contacting customer services. However, numerous studies have shown that most calls are systematically put on hold at some point during a conversation. In other words, being put on hold during a call is likely, if not inevitable. It is therefore essential to improve time spent on hold for your callers while allowing it to help your business.

How can you ensure more pleasant hold time for your callers? How do you make this a key element in improving your customer relations? What information should not be included in the pre-recorded announcements they will hear? What music on hold to choose?

You certainly understand by now that managing phone hold time will have a significant impact on maintaining good relationships with your customers and encouraging their loyalty. This article presents 6 tips for managing hold time to make it an asset for your business while optimising customer relationships.

1. Let your caller know that you'll be putting them on hold

2. Don’t make callers wait too long

3. Choose pleasant music on hold

4. Update your caller on the progress of their request

5. Communicate news and updates about your company

6. Inform the caller to whom they are being transferred



1. Let your caller know that you'll be putting them on hold


Imagine that you're on the phone with an advisor and suddenly hear music on hold without warning. This would clearly be a confusing - and likely even frustrating - situation to find yourself in.

asking put caller on hold


It's important to ask your caller first if they agree with being placed on hold and explain the reason why this is necessary. However, keep in mind that on average, the maximum hold time acceptable to most callers is two minutes. Avoid making them wait too long and remember to inform them regularly about the progress of their situation.

2. Don’t make callers wait too long


Today's clients want quick (if not immediate) answers, otherwise they tend to get impatient. "The New Rules of Customer Engagement", a 2019 study by Freshworks, shows the negative effects of excessively putting callers on hold.

await time


As David Eagleman, a famous American neurologist, puts it, "time cannot be felt, but it can be perceived." Though a client's expectations and satisfaction with their experience on the phone are perceptions which vary from person to person, waiting will almost always make time seem to slow down. In fact, studies have shown that time spent waiting is perceived as 2.5 times longer than it actually is. In other words, a caller who in reality only waits a minute will have the impression of having waited for almost 3 minutes!

The idea is therefore to limit this perception as much as possible by playing music adapted to your company's image or relevant announcements. This will help your clients to feel like they're spending less time on hold, and a positive image of your business will be upheld.

3. Choose pleasant music on hold


According to a 2017 study by LSA in partnership with Sacem and Mood Media, music has a genuine impact and improves the customer experience. 8 out of 10 customers prefer to hear music than silence, especially since the wait is perceived as shorter for 76% of them with music. It is just as important to choose pleasant music that won't irritate your callers.

on hold music


With Ringover's online studio, you'll be able to choose enjoyable music on hold from our selection of royalty-free music, adapted to every type of activity. You can also layer your music with announcements in the language of your choice to reinforce your company's identity.

Here's an article explaining how to customise music on hold and set up greetings on your Ringover account: Personalising hold music and announcements/greetings for a user's account.

4. Update your caller on the progress of their request


As mentioned earlier, callers are not particularly patient when on the phone. One of the primary objectives is therefore to minimise the time your customers spend waiting on hold, but this is easier said than done. It is therefore a good idea to keep your caller regularly informed on the progress of their request.
 news development company


Clients will be more willing to wait when they understand that their request is being handled or that progress is being made on their file. In other words, the all too common "Please hold the line" is no longer enough. Much better to say, "Is it alright if I put you on hold while I consult your file?" or "Could you please wait a few moments while ask technical support?" Your caller understanding the reason why you're putting them on hold will make them feel reassured.

Finally, don't forget to thank your caller for waiting as soon as you pick the call back up. Then you can suggest solutions or provide the answer they're looking for.

5. Communicate news and updates about your company


You may choose to play announcements with company news (upcoming events, trade fairs, special offers, etc.) for callers on hold. It is therefore essential to vary these announcements over time and adapt them to different situations.

A regular caller will quickly get tired of always hearing the same message when put on hold, so take advantage of any opportunity to let your announcements serve as an image enhancement tool for your business.


Also, be sure to avoid having your announcement loop too quickly. For example, let's take a message that lasts 10 seconds and is repeated every 90 seconds. Since average hold time must not exceed 3 minutes, the caller will hear it 2 times.

But be sure not to make your announcements too long either! This will not only annoy your callers but drown out important details with excessive information. Use short phrases and provide only one key piece of information for each. This way the information played will more easily register with callers.

6. Inform the caller to whom they are being transferred


According to an EBG study with CGI France and Pitney Bowes Software, having to repeat themselves multiple times is a nuisance for 52% of consumers. Take care to both inform your caller to whom you are going to transfer their call and let the transferee know who the caller is so that everyone is on the same page, and the exchange will be more productive.

 call transfer


It is important to prioritise customer follow-up as well as well as information provision to the various agents who will be in contact with your customers and prospects. This will help to personalise exchanges and improve customer satisfaction.


Today's cloud telecom software offers effective tools to better manage calls on hold. Ringover offers a wide array of complete functionalities, making it possible to transform the time callers spend holding into a valuable asset for communication and customer relations optimisation. You can test the Ringover solution for free for 7 days, with no obligation - so why not sign up today?

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Want to give your callers a better experience on hold experience?


Contact our experts to help guide you step-by-step at +44 20 7509 6665 or send an email to sales@ringover.com. Start your free trial today.