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Callback Technology Can Give Customers Back the Time They Spend Waiting to Talk to You

July 3, 2014

We all hate waiting on hold. Studies show that most people aren’t willing to wait to speak with customer support more than one minute! With automated callback technology, we may never have to again! And, again, a majority of people give a resounding YES to taking advantage of this type of option. But you have to make sure that you manage your implementation well, so customers are never stuck waiting for a call that never comes. When you fail to return a promised call, you compromise your entire customer relationship.


“Raindrops keep falling on my head...” is playing as you sit on hold waiting for a customer service rep to finally pick up the phone and help you. You have a problem you need solved, and it is now compounded by the frustrating and non-productive wait in the customer support telephone queue, as annoying music or company propaganda plays incessantly.

Even with excellent self-service help online, many times customers still need to reach a live agent. But the annoying wait times sometimes are worse than the problems they were initially calling about.

Callback waitingAutomated Callback technology, where customers are given the option to leave their phone number and get a phone call from a representative when one is available is a very attractive alternative to just wasting your time on hold.

However, if a return call isn’t made in a timely fashion or, even worse, at all(!), the good will that offering such a capability creates is destroyed. So it’s important to make sure that, when implementing an automated callback system, it is designed and managed well.

Even if you aren’t in a position to implement this type of technology, read on to see tips of how to reduce the tedium that customers face while waiting on hold.


Don’t Waste My Valuable Time!

I recently wrote about the difficulties of navigating through the hell that is most IVR systems (see Do’s and Don’ts of Telephone Support1). My pet peeves: Menus that don’t offer the option you’re looking for; requiring you to enter account numbers or other information that you don’t know without looking it up; and, most significantly, making it nearly impossible to get through to a live support rep—these are but a few of my least favorite things!

Callback waiting annoyanceBut when you finally succeed at getting into the queue to talk to a CSR, you face another hellacious factor—a long, boring, non-productive wait until, finally, it is your turn to speak. By that time, you’re not only upset about the problem that initiated the support call, but you’re frustrated by all the time you’ve wasted just sitting on hold (usually listening to music or messages you don’t want to hear—more on that later).

And it isn’t only customers who suffer from these long wait times. Customer agents have to deal with the anger that results from extended delays in getting service. Instead of the customer launching directly into the problem at hand (wrong order, confusion about a product, account issues), the first thing the CSR hears is, “Do you know how long I’ve been on hold? What’s wrong with you?” And the service rep has to dig up from that customer dissatisfaction hole just to reach the level of dissatisfaction that caused the customer to make the call in the first place.


Offering to Call Back

For the past few years, technology has emerged that can significantly improve the customer experience by optionally eliminating time wasted while in the call center queue—automated callbacks. As Rachel Ramsey, a Content Director for TMCnet.com, explains in her post on Nimblevox.com, “Improve Customer Service with Callback Technology”...(more)


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[1]  Do’s and Don’ts of Telephone Support Making It Easy to Navigate through IVR Hell and Get a Positive Telephone Support Experience By Ronni T. Marshak, May 15, 2014, Customers.com Press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1571/ht05-15-14cc

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