Hold it steady! Hold it steady! It’s good! How to use Hold in your Call Center

Another year and another Super Bowl has passed us by. With all the hoopla that comes from the two weeks between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl itself, talking about quarterbacks-this and defences-that, it’s not really surprising that the guys responsible for holding the footballs in place for their kickers get next to no attention. Even though this role is highly overlooked, it can be amazingly crucial to the outcome of a game. Good or even great holds that result in points for the team are par for the course. However, a botched hold can ultimately end a team’s season and perhaps even their chance to take home the Vince Lombardi trophy. We’ve seen these before with Tony Romo in real-life and with Ray Finkle in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective for a hilariously fictional take on the situation. The bottom line here is that holding is very important and let’s have a look at how this can be done in a proper manner.

  • Music on hold (MoH) – Use this feature to its fullest. Being put on hold is annoying enough as it is, so use music that is tolerable for everyone. Music on hold should not make the caller want to hangup out of frustration in regards to your hold music.
  • Queue periodic messages (QPM) – It’s not feasible to expect to be instantly connected to a live agent once you successfully reach your queue. Make sure you use MoH effectively in your contact center ACD as we’ve already discussed, but also take advantage of this feature that allows you to splice in informational messages into the queue’s MoH that could be about your company, like mentioning a new hot promotion, that may entice the caller to upgrade or try a new service.
  • Give your callers an exit – While strategically using MoH and QPM, one of the options in the Q-Suite that you can leverage is to allow your callers a way to exit the queue via a DTMF key press that can route them to a different dialplan or even a direct voicemail box. You can even allow the caller to initiate a callback sequence that will keep their place in the queue once they hangup. When it would typically be their turn to be routed to an agent, the agent simply needs to perform an outbound dial to call the person back.

Holding is just something that is going to happen in the contact center world. We’ve all been there at some point in time. The tools are available for you to make that situation as pleasant as possible for your customers, so it’s up to you to use them.

Switching gears, with Super Bowl 50 wrapped up, I can say that there weren’t any botched holds at all last night. They all did a great job. Carolina’s kicker missed a field goal, but the laces were out!