Let’s face it, everyone hates to wait. It’s not an efficient use of our time … and it’s just plain annoying.
When it comes to talking with an agent over the phone, that means waiting on hold, and the experience can be extremely unpleasing. Between listening to dull music (where do they find this stuff?) with the occasional “Your call is important to us” (is it, really?) or the annoying upsell ads for stuff we don’t really want, the whole experience can be downright dismal.
The pain is real. A person will spend an average of 43 days of their lives waiting on hold. A whopping 55% of customers would actually pay for a better customer experience. And 89% of customers simply stopped doing business altogether with a company after experiencing poor customer service, with 44% of customers opting to go with a competitor. A groundbreaking study by members of the CEB reveals how much more difficult it is to retain customer loyalty than it is to lose that loyalty, due largely to customer effort. And when a customer has to exert unnecessary and sometimes even extraordinary effort to get an answer, such as waiting on hold, theses statistics begin to make a lot of sense.
But wait … hasn’t waiting on hold been around for a while? Haven’t we made significant strides to improve hold times and the overall experience? Well, yes … and no. Intelligent call routing and call delivery software as well as interactive voice response (IVR) systems have helped redirect much of the call traffic to either the most capable agent or to a self-service workflow, which has helped reduce wait times overall. But it is rapidly changing expectations that are bringing the entire on hold experience into question, making hold times almost irrelevant.
Today, we have instantaneous access to information, products and services. Anyone who has Amazon Prime knows how easy it is to order anything and have it delivered in a matter of days. Information is instantly accessible from anywhere, thanks to the wide adoption of IoT devices. And not only are we increasingly becoming accustomed to this instant availability and access, but an entire generation of digital natives has grown up expecting it. Increasingly, calls into the contact center are becoming a consumer’s last resort, after they’ve exhausted any self-service options. This results in an increase in customer effort, which, as it turns out, is also a key factor in reducing customer loyalty, with consequences that can be potentially devastating for companies of any size.
Resource capacity isn’t going to change much. Human beings are limited to handling a finite set of interactions within a given period of time. But unlike other channels, such as chat, where multiple simultaneous conversations can be held at the same time, voice conversations are serial: only one at a time. More capacity to handle calls can be added by adding additional agents, either on site, remote or through a 3rd party outsourcer. And, of course, many calls can be deflected through IVR self-service. But in the end, there will always be more callers than the agents that can serve them, so they will end up waiting on hold.
There is a better way. Virtual Hold Callback has helped companies help their customers save over 1,008,034,713 minutes of hold time over the past twenty years. Yes, that’s over 1 billion minutes. That’s because Callback removes the most annoying part of the waiting on hold experience … the holding part. When a Callback is offered and accepted, the customer will not lose their place in the queue and will be called back once an agent is available to help. So that they can carry on with their busy lives without having to wait on the phone. How popular is this with customers? When customers are offered the opportunity to accept a callback, 48% will accept the offer. And 18% customers who refuse the offer and choose to hold end up abandoning shortly after.
The net impact on customer loyalty is staggering. Net Promoter Score (NPS) data collected from a variety of different customers who are using Virtual Hold Callback demonstrates both a clear increase in their NPS with a simultaneous decrease in customer churn, meaning that the solution actually positively impacts customer loyalty.
Source: Virtual Hold Technology
Why? Because Callback eliminates the negative experience associated with having to wait. And it helps companies demonstrate to their customers that they recognize and respect that their time is valuable by proactively doing the holding for them.
At the same time, we’ve also helped our customers improve the operational efficiency of their contact center by reducing their average speed of answer (ASA) by 46% and significantly improving agent handle times. So, it turns out, Virtual Hold Callback is a win for both companies and their customers.
Delivering all of the powerful capabilities Callback offers in the cloud – no need for any up front capital investment, quick on-boarding time, guaranteed availability, immediate access to new features and capabilities as they are added, management and monitoring from any location – allows any company to quickly and easily add Callback to their contact center environment so that their customers can begin taking advantages of the improved experience Callback provides.
As long as there continues to be phone calls into a contact center, there will always be callers waiting on hold for a finite pool of agents. This won’t change. What can be changed is how these callers are handled in a way that meets customer expectations and retains customer loyalty through a heightened customer experience. This is what Callback Cloud Option enables, with the simplicity, reliability and quick onboarding time that a cloud solution provides.