According to Newsweek “Of all the depressing statistics about a lifetime of consumer existence, this may be the most distressing: each of us is destined to spend roughly 1.2 years on hold”. I wonder if there is any way to solve this problem. I did a little research into the subject and this is what I came up with. I found 3 possible solutions that can make customer-2-business communication less painful.

1. Make customer service call you

FastCustomer, an app for both iPhones and Android phones, delivers an interesting solution. The application contains a list of companies. When you select a company from the list, the app tells you to go about your business while it calls the company for you.
Then, when FastCustomer’s automated phone call reaches a live customer service representative, it tells them, “Please press 1 for your next customer.” Then, assuming the representative presses the button, the app calls you back and links you to the representative.

2. Let customer service be more social

The second possible solution is offered by Cisco. They have a customer collaboration tool that tracks your social media activity. This information is then passed directly to service people so they can help you in case of a problem. The main point is that you eliminate wasted time on hold trying to reach the service department. All you need to do is just tweet about your problem and the message will be delivered directly to service personnel. You don’t even need the service number, only a mobile phone with a mobile twitter client.

3. Streamline operator performance

Of course another way to mitigate wait time on hold is improving operator performance. The faster operators work, the less likely you will be put on hold. Our solution here is to implement automated processes in operator’s front-office. Processes can guide the operators through every step that is required to solve a problem, they also make communications transparent to both operator and customer. Furthermore, a single process can be deployed through multiple channels. This mean a process started in one channel can be completed in another.

The best part of it is that these three options don’t compete, but amplify each other! Please, provide your own examples! Remember, that if we get rid of ‘On Hold’ problem we will save billions of years for humanity and substantially reduce the hair greying process!

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