Whether you admit it or not, if you have a business, you will inevitably have to put callers on hold to find the information they need, to answer the next call, or transfer the call to the person they’re looking for.
It is important to make your callers feel welcome and confident that you’re taking care of their requests. The following steps are some ideas on how to ask a customer to hold politely and effectively. Especially when you have someone on the line that won’t let you get a word in edgewise. The goal is to always have a happy caller when you return to the line.
- If you don’t want to sound rude…never just pick up the phone and say “hold please”. Taking those few extra seconds can make a huge difference in the callers’ perception of your company.
It is always good practice to find out your customer’s name and ask if you can put them on hold. Saying “Mr./Mrs. Smith will you please hold for a moment while I transfer your call?” or “Mr./Mrs. Smith in order to help you better, may I put your call on hold?” are good ways to ask a customer to hold.
If it is necessary to interrupt a caller, a phrase such as “Sorry for the interruption Mr./Mrs. Smith, but may I please place you on hold for a moment?” is a polite way to ask the question.
If possible it is also a great idea to give your caller a specified wait time and a reason why you are placing them on hold. For example “Mr./Mrs. Smith may I place you on hold for about 2 minutes while I do some quick research on this issue?” or “Mr./Mrs. Smith may I place you on hold while I transfer your call; it will just take a moment.”
- Always make sure that the customer is agreeable to waiting. Thank the caller and then place the call on hold. You can do this confidently knowing your on-hold production is informing and entertaining your caller with custom marketing messages and great music!
- When you return to the line make sure your customer is still there by using their name and thanking them for waiting. “Hello, Mr./Mrs. Smith, thank you for holding.”
- You can now resume your conversation with a customer who feels important and reassured that they’ve called a professional company.
Being placed on hold is one of the top pet peeves of many people. Answer calls efficiently and treat callers on hold to an effective message while they wait and you will relieve customer stress and truly make your clients feel that their call is important to you.
After all, customer satisfaction plays a key role in every business.
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf