Most customers wait 1 minute on hold before getting the run around from customer service, it’s not wonder they don’t hesitate to switch to a competitor.

In the call center, we all understand the increasing demands and decreasing resources available to meet those demands.

Wait time in your call center may be unavoidable, but given these 9 critical customer service statistics, it’s important that customer service be organized so that the time spent with customers is as effective as possible.

These 9 facts about customer service hold time should change the way you think about customer service and create a sense of urgency in delivering solutions your customers need.

Hold time facts that will change how you think of customer service

A full 70% of customers reported that they are placed on hold immediately after contacting customer service. I think it’s interesting that 94% of marketing budgets are aimed at convincing customers to call, give the company a chance, or try out the service, yet when customers finally do (and if you ask any of your marketing friends they’ll tell you that conversion rates are abysmally low — like ~1-3% kind of low), customers are immediately placed on hold.

On average, only 6% of marketing budgets is spent on handling customer phone calls. That sets the bar dreadfully low for the customer experience your customers will have with your organization. On the one hand, the marketing message tries to show that customers matter and companies want customers, then the customer service experience shows that individual customers really don’t matter.

I don’t see this as the fault of customer service, rather there’s a misallocation of resources in the organization to make the customer experience consistent across all customer contact channels that the organization manages.

The customer service disconnect

More, much, much more can and needs to be done to align organizations and make a more consistent customer service experience. Hold time is just one component of overall customer experience. Hold time is attention. It’s customer care.

Services today are available that can help organizations manage their hold time and even eliminate it. I’m a big fan of call back services because of the potential that they have to help manage high volume of customer service requests.

Call back services eliminate customer service hold time

Call back services are like letting your customers set an appointment for a future customer service interaction. Call backs allow customers to use their time more effectively than waiting on hold and give organizations the ability to route customer requests to the department or agents that are most likely to solve the customer’s concern.

The data is still new when it comes to call back services improving customer service hold times, but looking at the statistics on the hold time crisis we have today, something needs to be done and it’s time to give these alternative solutions a chance.