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9 Ways to Reduce Customer Hold Times

By June 7, 2017 December 7th, 2017 No Comments
9 Ways to Reduce Customer Hold Times
9 Ways to Reduce Customer Hold Times

Having high customer hold times is a lose-lose situation for businesses and their customers.  Most customers call a company with the expectation they will get to speak with a representative quickly. When they don’t, customers get frustrated, and businesses risk losing them to competitors that can fulfill their expectations. Here are some tips that will reduce your customer hold times and help you meet their expectations.

1. Review Your Staffing
Having the right number of call representatives on staff is crucial to avoiding long customer hold times. Review call information to determine if there is a particular time of day or night that you receive an influx of calls. Increase the number of available call representatives during these times to improve call efficiency and first call resolution.

2. Empower Representatives
It is hard to release power to others on your team, but sometimes it’s what you need to do to improve the customer experience. Empower representatives to resolve certain issues without approval from management. If you educate them correctly, they will know the exact steps to take, and customers will be grateful.

3. Educate Call Representatives
One of the most difficult tasks as a manager or owner is managing employee overturn. Sometimes, new employees don’t receive proper training, which can hinder their abilities when helping customers. Create a new employee education program that reviews the company, mission, and proper steps to take when handling different types of phone calls.

4. Track Call Data
There are a number of call analytics software programs available today. Investing in an analytics program provides valuable data to why customers call your company and gives you insight into what is working and what needs to be fixed.

5. Make Tweaks Based on the Data
Data is only valuable if you do something with it. Search your analytics database for common trends on why customers call. Create plans for how you can decrease the most popular call types. In some cases, it means making educational tools, such as how-to videos readily available to customers or fixing a faulty product.

6. Create Scripts or Prompts
While educating call representatives when they first join your team is valuable, it’s important to continue that process throughout their tenure. Create call scripts and prompts they can use to keep conversations moving in a positive direction and eliminate placing callers on hold. These tools should be readily available at their workstations to improve efficiency.

7. Create a Call Management Plan
Organizing incoming calls so they reach the best available representative instead of the next available improves your bottom line in many ways. Callers get to the right representative the first time instead of having to be placed on hold multiple times. Your representatives waste less time, meaning they spend more time helping customers.

8. Use Live Chat, Email and Texting Solutions
If you only offer help via a call center, you are missing opportunities. Today, there are live chat and texting solutions in addition to email that simplify communicating with customers. Consider implementing one of these solutions to make it more convenient for customers to get the answers they need.

9. Improve the Customer Onboarding Process
Review your customer onboarding process. Create an email sequence that walks customers through important steps of implementing your product or service. Include links to helpful information online. Make it part of your process to connect with customers proactively in a certain timeframe after they make a purchase.

Use these effective tips to improve customer hold time and build a positive customer experience.