The Importance of Making On Hold a Last Resort in the Contact Center

There are some unbelievable stories about companies that don’t put a concerted effort towards their quality of customer service. In fact, just recently a woman spent six hours on hold with American Airlines trying to rebook her cancelled flight due to weather-related issues. Instances such as this not only frustrate customers on an individual level, but they also damage a company’s reputation on a greater scale.

Contact centers have plenty of resources available that giant brand-name businesses, such as American Airlines, should be using to establish themselves as customer service experts. One such resource, which tends to have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction, is simply the attentiveness and personality demonstrated by the Communicator on the call.

For example, in contrast to the American Airlines story, a customer service representative of online retailer Zappos once stayed on the line with a customer for an incredible 10 hours. The length of the interaction was not due to hold time or conflict; rather, the Communicator was expressing out of this world service and social skills.

Zappos exhibited quality customer service through the skills exhibited by its contact center Communicator, while American Airlines call didn’t even make it to the point of contact with an agent. So, what kind of tools can businesses leverage to ensure that putting their customers on hold is a last resort? Here are some tools that should be implemented within every contact center for success:

Skills-based routing: This tool will automatically transfer a customer’s inquiry to the available Communicator with the greatest amount of experience in the subject matter.

Comprehensive IVR: Your auto-attendant should offer comprehensive menu options to meet the satisfaction of your customers upon first impression—otherwise the customer will already have grown frustrated by the time they are greeted by an agent.

Predictive Models: This technology allows for the better preparation of contact center agents. Data is collected in order to outline consumers and creates a model based on past consumption behaviors in order to predict the problem ahead of time.

Make sure putting your customers on hold is your last resort. Learn more about the ways business can implement stronger resources to improve their quality of customer service.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.