Are You Listening To Your Customers?

ListenI’m spending too much time On-Hold” or “Every time I call, I get put On-Hold, and I don’t like it!

You usually won’t get this kind of straightforward feedback from customers.

So when customers do take the time to speak up and tell you what you’re doing wrong, it would be best to listen.

But it takes really listening, not just to what they are saying, but what they are meaning. If someone is calling your company to see whether his order came in, there is a certain expectation that he will have to wait for you to find out if it has arrived.

Yet these same people would say, “I’m spending too much time On-Hold” or “Whatever you do, don’t put me On-Hold.” So in essence, they are expecting to wait, but they are asking you not to make them wait. Hmmmm….

Have you ever been somewhere, expecting to have a mediocre experience, but you came away surprised at how much you enjoyed it! (I sure have!)

Most people’s experience and expectation with being On-Hold is one of frustration, anxiety, and disgust. They’ve experienced the silence (“Am I still connected?” “Did they hang up on me?”), the radio station (“Exactly the kind of music I don’t listen to.” “Don’t they know this radio station is not tuned in?”), and “Rhapsody in Blue” on repeat.

So what could your customers be saying? They may be telling you that the experience of being On-Hold at your business makes them want to hurl their phone through the window (or some other nearby glass object). They may be telling you that the phone is one area of your business that is not drawing them in to do more business with you.

Have someone unrelated to your company call into your business and get put On-Hold. Have him evaluate the experience. Is it silence? Do you have a message playing but the volume is so loud that you can’t understand what’s being said? Is it so soft that the sound is dropping out? (Hint: the volume of your On-Hold message should be the same level as your receptionist answering the phone).

Is the radio in tune? One of the hazards of using a radio for your On-Hold is the ease of having the antenna bumped or station changed. (Not to mention that playing the radio On-Hold is illegal in most cases)

So what kind of experience are you providing for your callers? Is it an environment that is pleasing to your callers?

And if your customers are talking to you about it, are you listening to what they are telling you?

And here’s an interesting anonymous tool for reporting bad (and good) On-Hold experiences: Next time you’re On-Hold and hating it, check it out.

So what are your callers listening to…and what if you delighted your callers?


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