Customer and visitor waiting times and how to shorten them

Customer and visitor waiting times and how to shorten them

Nobody wants to be placed on hold and be forced to listen to a succession of tunes while they wait to speak to a living, breathing person. The longer a person has to wait, the more likely they are to be angry and frustrated once they do get through, which isn’t good for the operator taking the call, and it certainly isn’t good for your company’s reputation.  Also customers or visitors don’t want to be waiting by reception for long periods of time so a good system is needed.


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A few years’ ago, BBC Watchdog conducted a series of tests to check how long it took companies to answer customers’ phone calls. Waiting times varied between a respectable 50 seconds from Vodafone, up to a completely unacceptable 29 minutes, 33 seconds from Sky – and to add insult to injury, the call was then disconnected by Sky!

Automated telephone systems are a fact of life, and it’s not always possible for phone operatives to handle the number of calls that are queued up, and if you have lots of staff in the building a simple register to take count of who is in the building may not be sufficient but there are plenty of things that can be done to minimise waiting times, and here are top 6 suggestions:

1 No chatting between operators

Don’t allow operators to spend time chatting with each other when they should be talking to customers.


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2 Management system

Installing a Visitor Management System UK within your business could help with tracking staff signing in and out, building contractors and visitors.  If there is a fire alarm or an emergency it’s a portable safe way to log everything.  For sites that can help with all your management needs one option available is
3 Provide robust help strategies

Phone operatives need to be able to access information quickly and easily, if they are to avoid placing customers on hold for lengthy periods of time. Choosing a knowledgeable international VoIP wholesale provider is a good first step in improving internal systems.

4 Employ pro-active staff

Your employees should understand how to access the information they require quickly and efficiently, if they’re going to respond to customer enquiries in the most appropriate manner.

5 Regularly update the knowledge base

Your agents must have access to high-quality, relevant and up-to-date information if they are going to provide your customers with the information that they require.

6 Ongoing training processes

Your call operators need to have regular training sessions to ensure that their customer handling skills are up to the job. Make sure that they all receive appropriate coaching in the best way to handle calls and resolve problems.