In an amusing and yet sobering new video, Easy On Hold, a company that specializes in on-hold messaging, compares putting callers on hold in silence with putting a bag over their heads. That, the video states clearly, “Isn’t very nice.”
“You’re punishing your customers and your own brand when you put people on hold in silence,” Easy On Hold President Julie Cook explained in a statement. “We feel it’s important to be up front and personal, to tell your callers what they need to know about your business, your services, special promotions, the company history, and your people. But many businesses are missing this point, so we created this 60-second video to make the point in a humorous way.”
In the video, a receptionist, played by actress Shelagh Brown, answers the phone for the fictitious National Logistics company. Whenever she has to place a caller on hold, she doesn’t press the hold button; instead, she places a black bag over the caller’s head. Eventually, the caller hangs up, and the receptionist, unsure of why the caller is gone, shrugs it off with a smile and takes the next call, repeating the process all over again.
At least she comes back on the line several times to let the caller know that the party he’s trying to reach is still on another call and asks if he would like to continue holding. How many operators don’t even do that?
So what’s the alternative? Well, studies have shown that when companies provide callers on hold with valuable information during that time they will stay on the line up to 25 percent longer and the wait is perceived as being shorter than it really is.
Furthermore, a recent AT&T study found that most callers put on hold will hang up after 60 seconds of silence, and half of them will never call back again. “This statistic may be a bit of a shocker, but it’s based on solid research from AT&T,” Cook says.
Can you afford that? In this economy, are you kidding?