One survey says people start getting annoyed after three and a half minutes of hold time and will hang up soon after. We all know the feeling of being on hold for what feels like forever when we call customer service. And when we get through, we find ourselves transferred many times.
Such frustrating experiences are commonplace, but there are ways to cut them. Below are five strategies businesses can use to reduce waiting times for inbound calls. Doing so will result in happier customers and improved customer retention rates.
Average Wait Time For Call Centers
The average wait time for call centers depends on the industry and the business size. For example, the average wait time for a large retail store may be several minutes. Smaller businesses may have shorter wait times.
To ensure customers are not waiting too long, businesses should aim to keep their average wait time under five minutes. Applying the below strategies to reduce call wait times can help.
1. Use Automation
Automation can end and solve many issues. Let’s look at some of the ways you can use automation to reduce customer wait time:
Calling automation is one way to reduce customer waiting times. By enabling automated responses such as:
- “Press 1 for sales”
- “Press 2 for customer service”
Customers can direct themselves to the correct department without needing to talk with an agent first. In addition, reducing waiting times for customers when calling business phone lines can ensure a great customer experience.
Using an auto-attendant is an effective strategy to achieve this. It ensures that customers speak immediately with the person in the most appropriate department. This helps to avoid them being transferred several times before getting to the right contact.
Automated attendance is convenient as callers don’t have to spend time pressing zero and countless buttons. This saves businesses money and eliminates the dreaded wait time. It decreases customer frustrations endured by large organizations.
Using an auto-attendant is one easy way to reduce wait times. It keeps customers satisfied enough so that they will return.
Ensuring customer satisfaction while navigating the inevitable waits that come with phone calls is an important goal for any business. By implementing a call queue, companies can provide their customers with a secure and efficient way to wait on hold, reducing the frustration felt by callers and cutting back on overall wait times.
With a call queue, companies can build trust with their customers through round-the-clock support and improved access to customer service. This is without adding to their overheads or risking any human error. Investing in a call queue is invaluable to providing quality customer service and ensuring consumer loyalty.
Automation has revolutionized how businesses interact with their clients and offering customers self-service options is one of the most convenient methods.
With a comprehensive FAQ section on your website, clients can easily find solutions to their problems when needed. This eliminates the need for waiting in line for help.
Providing customers with ease of access to helpful information is critical. By enabling customers to solve their problems without reaching out for help, your business will benefit from decreased call wait times. This will encourage a more loyal customer base.
2. Leverage Multiple Channels
Customers now expect multiple channels of communication when dealing with a business. Companies should leverage this to reduce wait times. Automated chatbots, social media support, and email are all great ways to provide customers with a quick response time.
Social Media has become an essential tool for customer service. Companies should use social media to respond promptly to customer questions or comments. This will help prevent long wait times on the phone.
Ways to use social media for customer service include:
- Creating a dedicated customer service handle
- Responding promptly to all questions or comments
- Engaging customers through polls and surveys
- Hosting live Q&As and webinars
These strategies help to create a seamless customer journey that will leave customers feeling valued and appreciated. Doing this will help build customer trust, encouraging consumer loyalty and boosting sales.
3. Increase Agent Capacity
Making sure your business has enough agents to handle the volume of incoming calls is essential for reducing wait times. Providing training and hiring additional staff can help ensure that customer service needs are met quickly and efficiently.
Employees must receive adequate training to handle customer inquiries efficiently and resolve issues. This will guarantee customers are content when the phone is answered while decreasing the wait time for each customer.
Proper training ensures that employees can answer questions with speed and accuracy. This eliminates the need for follow-up calls or requests for additional information.
4. Use Call Routing Software
Call routing software allows businesses to direct calls to the best person or department to deal with them. This helps ensure that each inquiry goes to someone who knows the issue. This reduces waiting time and improves customer satisfaction overall.
5. Designate an Emergency Line
For urgent inquiries, businesses should designate an emergency line where customers can get their questions answered by a live person immediately. This will help prevent frustrated customers from waiting on hold for long periods and also helps increase customer loyalty.
Follow up with Customers
Following up with customers is a crucial part of providing excellent customer service. It shows them that their problem was taken seriously and their time was valued. After a customer calls about an issue, it’s essential to contact them afterward to ensure the matter has been satisfactorily resolved.
This makes customers feel heard and appreciated. It is also an important way of building successful customer relationships. Following up with customers after their original call also allows businesses to monitor the effectiveness of the help they provide actively.
Reduce Wait Times on Inbound Calls
By following these steps, businesses can quickly reduce customer wait times before receiving a response and improve overall customer satisfaction. Doing so will result in better customer retention rates, higher levels of loyalty, and increased sales.
Use your inbound calls for lead generation by reducing their wait times and providing better customer service. Need our help with this? Contact us today to craft a strategy that works for your business.