While You Were on Hold…

Posted by
Sivan Raam
Mobile Product Manager
Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 10:40

Today’s brands are meeting customer service expectations. Fact or fiction?

Personally, I’d go with fiction. Think I’m being skeptical? Please hold while I make my case…

Waiting on hold is excruciating, unproductive, and — in an age with alternatives — inexcusable. Over the years, Americans have wasted more than 60 million hours on hold, according to Fonolo. And, in 2013, TIME found that most Americans spend about 13 hours on hold each year. (That’s enough time to watch an entire season of Game of Thrones!)

Brands had better get ready, because consumer tolerance for holding is at an all-time low. Why wait when we have the power to opt out of commercial content as we please and opt in to more convenient options?

It’s not surprising that consumers are finally calling brands out and holding them accountable for bad customer service. Below are five consumers reacting to their on-hold times. Some find entertaining ways to pass the time; others are just plain angry.

Ring ring! Consumers are calling for change...

An Xbox customer busts a few moves.

Get it, girl! She shimmies the time away.

He’s a multitasking master — making coffee, shaving...even mowing the lawn.

He just can’t take it any longer! See for yourself.

Got an hour? This guy vents while he waits. 

The 1-800 number has been replaced

Some brands are listening, implementing chat and messaging to engage with consumers. But many are still operating traditional call centers.  

A report from Econsultancy and IBM notes, “Of the nearly 50% of consumers with a significant service issue in the last 12 months, only 28% say that the company dealt with it very effectively.”

The disconnect between consumer and support? Nearly half of smartphone owners say their smartphone is something they “couldn’t live without.” But they’re not calling anyone. In fact, about half of consumers prefer messaging to making phone calls, too.

The death of the 1-800 number is here. Why wait on hold when you can message a customer care professional in real time on a mobile device? It’s no wonder that messaging apps are taking over, even outpacing the growth of social networks. According to Business Insider, “For the first time, the top four messaging apps combined have just as many users as the top four social networks.”

Consumers have moved on, demanding one-on-one, efficient customer support. In the age of the power consumer, brands that don't keep up will be left with a tarnished reputation and see fewer positive results.

Messaging is more than just the future of communication: It has revolutionized modern customer support.    

Like this post? Join the movement to #HoldNoMore.

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