5 Tips For Dealing With Unhappy Customers On Hold!

Pharrell Williams certainly has a big hit on his hands with the catchy tune “Happy”, but consumers do not seem to be singing this same Happy song when it comes to customer service! In fact, today 75% of consumers believe that customer service levels have hit all time lows, resulting in their tolerance levels to be the same. Whether you sell a product, service or both — you’re in business to serve your customers. Ultimately even with best efforts, at one time or another you’re likely to encounter an unhappy, even angry customer.

Here’s an all too familiar situation. A customer has purchased a product or service from your company and isn’t working like it’s supposed to, so they call your business for service or support. And now, an all too familiar scenario: First they deal with a long winded automated menu, and then Mr/Mrs. Customer (who’s already unhappy) is asked to wait on-hold, frustrating them even further.

There is however a solution to dealing with unhappy customers on hold. When done with precision, a properly designed on hold music and message program can actually defuse this emotional experience the customer is having, helping to prevent them from going off on your staff when they get to the line!

First, empathize with the customer here. Most bad customer interactions escalate because the customer feels like you’re not making an effort to understand his or her concerns.

Here are 5 Tips for Dealing With Unhappy Customers On Hold and How You Can Make The Interaction A Positive Experience.

#1) Don’t Give Them The Silent Treatment!

Placing an unhappy customer on-hold in eternal dead-silence, leaving them to wonder if  they’re ever going to be helped, or forcing them listen to chimes or  beeps will absolutely bring them to their boiling point.

#2) Music Soothes The Savage Beast

Just because the decision maker likes Metallica, don’t let personal preference skew your judgement for your music on hold. It’s extremely important to take a step back and realize that those on-hold may not have the music preferences. And, while we’re at it, we’re not picking on country or classical music, but when polled, smooth jazz and easy listening often strike a more popular chord because they represent a broader range of listeners and provides for a more calming effect.

#3) Make The Customer Feel Like King!

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a moment. The product or service you’ve just purchased has failed, or has not live up to expectations. They’re thinking that they’ve shelled out their hard earn bucks, and now I have to wait? The last thing a caller wants to hear is how great your company is. Your message (and unhappy customer’s time) is better spent trying to give them other helpful resources that may be at their disposal to expedite their service or support needs and still leave them with the feeling of a positive brand experience. Inform them of live support at your website, helpful customer forums, how to request returns/exchanges online, special service or support phone numbers, how-to-videos, etc. Sure you want to give personalized service, but some customers may appreciate DIY alternatives.

#4) Don’t Make An Already Bad Experience, Worse! 

You might as well skip the meaningless statements of “We know Your Time Is Valuable” … and “Your Call Is Very Important”. Of course a customer’s time is valuable. They know it. You Know It. And, they do not need to be reminded about it, while they waste away precious moments waiting on you! Let’s face it, when we hear “your call is very important”, we’ve all been there, and we’re all thinking the same thing: “If my call was so bleepin important, why am I on-hold”?

#5) Tick, Tick, Ticked Off! 

The caller is beginning to calm down as they are fed information and soothing background music, anticipating the assistance they need is literally a moment away. But, as the seconds tick away, they realize they have been holding for several minutes as your message begins to repeat what they’ve already heard! The last thing you want to do is have your caller hearing the same thing over and over and growing more agitated as each second passes, as the goal is to create the perception that the wait/hold time is really shorter than it is.

In today’s competitive marketplaces, and with more choices than ever before a bad customer service experience will cause your customers to jump ship and switch to a competitor in the blink of an eye. They key is to recognize that customer expectations are getting higher, and your task is to  meet those needs, or even better yet, exceed them and create customer delight! Consult with a professional music on hold and message agency to evaluate hold time at your business, and custom design a message on hold solution that will help create happy callers on hold at your business.

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