6 Things to Do When You’re Put on Hold

6 Things to Do When You’re Put on HoldIf you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve been placed on hold at least once in your lifetime. In fact, 45% of customers can’t remember having a recent positive experience, and 35% of them say it was directly related to poor response times. This is a serious problem since timeliness is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service. When organizations make customers wait for assistance, it can force them to seriously question why they still do business with you at all. Take a quick look at onholdwith.com for some shocking insight on hold time offenders, or check out our annual list of the Top 10 Worst Companies to Call.

Okay, okay, we’ve spelled out why hold times are so terrible, but unfortunately they are still a regular occurrence. Let’s see how we can try and make it a little more bearable.

Here are 6 things you can do to make it through those long, lonely, wait times:

1. Tweet About It

47% of consumers aged 18-34 have used social media to complain about a brand’s customer service and 52% have used it to ask a customer service question. Whether you’re sick and tired of waiting on hold, or hope to get your question answered faster, social media sends a clear message to the brand to step up their game, and hopefully resolve your issue in a timelier fashion. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #onholdwith when tweeting!

2. Troubleshoot Your Problem

Parature reported that 70% of customers expect a company website to include a self-service application. Not all companies have done so, but if you haven’t explored the self-service option for the business you’re calling, we recommend doing so. If you’re able to find a solution through self-service, then the company is doing their part to provide a good experience, and accommodate customers when call volume gets hairy.

3. Request a Call-Back

If the previous two options fail you, the best alternative to waiting on hold is to put the phone down, go on with your day, and have an agent call you back. Not all businesses have a call-back option, which is a problem in itself, but for those that do, it’s definitely better than keeping your head stuck to the phone all day. Next time you hear “press 1 to get a call-back” take it, you’re doing yourself and the call center a favour.

How to Deliver Great Customer Service in a Crisis


If you’re a contact center professional who wants to eliminate the endless hold time that plagues your customers, join us for our next live panel discussion, “How to Deliver Great Customer Service in a Crisis”, on Thursday, November 30th at 2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT for the live Q&A.

Here’s a sneak peak at the slides!


If all of the above fails, and you’re still tied to the phone, you’ll have to take some tips from this epic Friends episode:


4. Play a Game

Solitaire, crosswords, and Sudoku are a few games that can be played solo to keep you occupied while you wait. The mind-numbing elevator music, promotional message, or repetitive “Your call is important to us,” loop, playing over and over can send anyone into a rage. Take this time to relax, exercise your brain, and stay optimistic about getting your problem solved.

5. Reorganize Your Furniture

Maybe you’ve been meaning to move that armoire for months and haven’t got around to it. Heck, throw your phone on speaker and by all means, go ahead and feng shui your entire living room. It’ll definitely take your mind off waiting, and in the end you’ll have something to show for all that “wasted” time.

6. Meal Prep

You might get a little famished after holding for a while, so why not give your inner sandwich artist a chance to create something spectacular? If your wait time is extra long, put those cold cuts to good use and meal prep for your week. It’s way better than binge eating whatever stale cereal you have laying around.


Google Hangout: How to Deliver Great Customer Service in a Crisis

Join our panel discussion on Thursday, November 30th at 2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT to hear our experts discuss the proper techniques for handling customers in crisis situations. Tweet your comments and questions to @Fonolo with hashtag #CustServ, or comment on our conversation streaming live on YouTube.


We talk about:

  • Social Media for Crisis Management
  • Ways to Reduce Customer Frustration
  • How to Smooth Out Spikes in Call VolumeWatch Now
  • Plus So Much More!

Who should watch:

  • VPs & Directors of Contact Centers
  • VPs & Directors of Customer Experience
  • VPs & Directors of Customer Service
  • VP’s & Directors of Web/Social Media


The Panelists:

Nate BrownNate BrownUL EHS Sustainability

Director of CX, UL EHS Sustainability

Nate Brown manages the contact center for UL EHSS, providing guidance to a cross-functional team of leaders and facilitating change to improve the overall customer experience.

Twitter: @CustomerIsFirst 


Jim RembachJim RembachBeyond Morale

Consultant, Beyond Morale

Jim Rembach is a customer service and employee engagement expert. He is a recognized industry thought leader by ICMI, IQPC, CXPA, CVCI, CustomerThink, and ATD.

Twitter: @BeyondMorale


Shep HykenShep Hyken

Shep Hyken Logo

Chief Amazement Officer, Shepard Presentations

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, business speaker and New York Times bestselling author, helping companies deliver amazing customer service and experiences!

Twitter: @Hyken


Rainer UphoffAvionlineRainer Uphoff

Founder & CEO, Avionline

Rainer Uphoff is the founder of Avionline and has been providing customer experience management solutions to aviation and travel companies for 10+ years.

Twitter: @rainerup


Omer MinkaraOmer Minkara

Omer Minkara is the VP, Principal Analyst within Aberdeen Group. Omer’s research includes best practices and emerging trends to enhance the customer experience, and is used by executives worldwide.

Twitter: @omerminkara


Shai BergerShai Berger

FonoloCo-Founder & CEO, Fonolo

As a thought leader, innovator, and CEO of Fonolo, Shai Berger is on a clear mission to educate the call center industry on how to improve the customer experience.

Twitter: @shaiberger