Your hold times (and other dirty laundry) are on Twitter right now

Hold times have always been a closely guarded secret of the industry. Companies still don’t publish them in any official sense. Occasionally the press will investigate and report as Time Magazine did at the end of 2010 (See Shai’s post “eBay scolded for long hold times”.) However, Twitter is bringing a new form of real-time accountability to this game.

A fun experiment

Here’s a fun experiment: go to http://search.twitter.com and type “on hold with”. The results that you will see aren’t exactly “hard data” but you can quickly get a sense of which companies are doing well by their customers and which are not. This is a real-time always-on scoreboard for your company’s efforts.

A new accountability

If you run a call center, this means that you have a new form of accountability. It means that hold times are no longer just an internal metric that eventually has an impact on customer satisfaction. The connection between the two is now much faster. Will prospective customers see complaints about hold time when they do a search on your company name?

How to fix it

If you don’t have a big budget for new agents (and not many people do these days) then virtual queuing is the answer. There are a few solutions out there today to choose from, but if you are looking for something that is inexpensive and requires no changes to your call center infrastructure, Fonolo’s Hold-For-Me service is ideal. Check it out and feel free to contact me if you want a free trial.

Remember this great quote:

… a sore neck and a sweaty ear do not a happy customer make.

– Jessica Sebor, Mar 2010, The 2010 CRM Service Awards