8 ways how not to lose customers due to long repsonse times

Customers have a low patience threshold when it comes to being put on hold and the demands on customer service are increasing. In this article, we address the consequences of long response times and how you can create a positive experience for calling customers, using a modern telephone exchange.

Customer service has a great impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty and many companies therefore strive to offer excellent customer service. This increases competition between companies as well as customer expectations.

Telephone is still one of the most important channels for customers to get in touch with customer service. Here, response time is something that has a great impact on the customer experience.

What response time is acceptable?

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According to a survey by Arise, almost two thirds of the consumers surveyed state that they are prepared to wait a maximum of 2 minutes before they hang up. In addition, a third never call again if their calls are not answered quickly.

The response time that can be considered acceptable varies between studies and probably also between industries and countries. Regardless of statistics – waiting a long time for a phone call to get help creates great frustration for most people.

5 ways to improve the treatment of calling customers

Customers want a short waiting time and get to the right person to get their case resolved quickly. Here are some concrete ways to fulfill these desires. Or at least make sure you do not lose customers unnecessarily.

  • The primary thing to take care of calling customers is a call queue. The customer receives a message that he has arrived instead of an ‘on hold’ tone.
  • Notification of place in the queue can also help to retain the customer, provided that the queue is not too long.
  • If you have long queues or traffic peaks creating a bottleneck, re-dialing is a good function. The customer can choose to be called back instead of staying in the queue.
  • The fact that the caller himself can forward their enquiry based on different choices is another way of handling queues. The call queue is divided, the customer ends up at the right department and the re-routing takes place automatically instead of manually.
  • Good on-hold music during the queue time has been shown to increase the tolerance for waiting time while poorly chosen music shortens it.

3 other ways to improve the customer experience

  • Integrate your CRM system with the exchange solution so that your customer service staff can easily access information about calling customers. They see the customer card when they answer a call and do not have to search for the information manually. The time between calls and the time to resolve issues shrinks.
  • Identify and manage load peaks. By following up statistics, not only for response times but also for missed calls, you become aware of highs and lows. Then you can deploy extra staff at times when you otherwise lose many calls.
  • Create a logical structure in the exchange solution for the choices the customer can make, regardless of whether it is button selection or voice response. The opposite, confusing choices and bad scripts, create frustration and increase the risk of misinterpreted input and misconnection.

Streamlining case management is another way to shorten response times and reduce the number of missed calls.

The complexity increases as the company grows

Taking care of customer service matters when the company is small is relatively simple. A telephone number and an e-mail address for support are often sufficient. The same person can handle different matters and monitor the channels.

As the company grows, however, the complexity increases rapidly. The number of cases increases, the number of contacts increases and you need ways to direct different cases to different people.

The value of investing in customer service

Many companies invest heavily in their customer service because the consequences of not doing so are great. Surveys show that 89% of consumers surveyed would switch to a competitor after a negative customer service experience and that 86% are willing to pay more to get better customer service (Source: Oracle).

A modern telephone exchange, set up correctly, allows you to ensure a good customer service by telephone. Cloud switches can also be easily adapted based on each company’s needs and scaled up as the requirements increase.

Do you want support in the choice of telephone exchange or with the setting of a telephone exchange solution? Get in touch, we are happy to answer your questions.