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Get Back Your Wasted Call Center Hold Time with @onholdwith

TMCnews Featured Article

February 11, 2013

Get Back Your Wasted Call Center Hold Time with @onholdwith

By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor

Are you sick of wasting precious minutes of your life on hold with customer service? I know I am.  Consider the amount of hours of your life you have spent on hold and how much you could accomplish if you had all of that time back! It is simply not fair that millions of customers are suffering through a terrible call center experience.

Fonolo, a provider of call center call-back software, is frustrated too, so Shai Berger (News - Alert) and Jason Bigue, the founders of Fonolo, decided to create a cloud-based call center solution that eliminates hold time with a call-back.

Berger and Mike Pultz, Fonolo’s (News - Alert) CTO came up with, a three-fold concept that allows consumers to vent their frustrations, bring awareness to companies and provide live statistical information - which can be used by journalists, analysts and anyone else interested. The @onholdwith Twitter (News - Alert) handle picks up on this data and tweets back at the company and the consumers who were waiting on hold. 

Today, Fonolo’s cloud-based solutions improve the way call centers interact with their customers by replacing hold time with a callback. Regardless of where the conversation begins – whether on the Web, mobile or by phone – Fonolo quickly routes customers through the call center, connecting them to the right agent while also eliminating hold time.

“We have created a way for consumers to productively use their ‘on hold with’ time and let companies know how they feel. We feel that greater awareness of the waiting-on-hold problem will increase the likelihood of change in the call center world — the power is in the numbers,” Fonolo told TMCnet in an exclusive interview.

These days, call center executives are tasked with challenges that affect the bottom line, including improving customer loyalty, boosting employee productivity, lowering call handle times, converting visitors into buyers, and protecting brand reputation. A solution in accomplishing these goals is eliminating hold time and offering a call-back. Fonolo’s simple call-back solution can be implemented without requiring infrastructure changes, at very little cost.

“If companies can visually see the amount of complaints they’re receiving from long hold times perhaps they’ll consider the alternatives. So, they should give customers the option to get a call-back when an agent is available, which is called Virtual Queuing,” explained Fonolo.

Today, most of us are familiar with this approach: The "take-a-number" system known as Virtual Queuing. It can easily be added to any call center, resulting in happier customers and lower telco costs. The problem is, many companies simply don’t know about it, or assume it’s an expensive option (which, until recently, was true). 

Fonolo advises that customers do what they can to help. “When you're on hold, let the world know by using the #onholdwith hashtag. Our system catalogs all of those tweets and makes them available here, as a public service, so companies can understand the impact on customer satisfaction,” said Fonolo. “Then, tell the companies that keep you on hold to look into Virtual Queuing - you can write them an email, send a tweet, or search for a company, and use our automated tweet button.”

The bottom line is that every company should be giving its customers the option to get a call back instead of waiting on hold because it makes customers happy and even lowers your call center costs.

Fonolo is hosting a webinar entitled, “Connecting Your Call Center to the Smartphone Revolution (News - Alert)” on Thursday, February 28th at 2pm EST. This webinar will cover the impact of the proliferation of smartphones on customer service. An increasing number of companies are releasing mobile apps as an extension of their customer service processes and more consumers are using a smartphone to call into a call center.

Mark Edelman (News - Alert), an executive from a U.S. credit union, will discuss how his company seized this opportunity to offer a much better customer experience with the help of Fonolo. He will discuss how Fonolo helped enhance its mobile app so that its members could connect to call center agents with one click – eliminating phone menus and waiting on hold.

To register for this webinar, click here.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

Technology Marketing Corporation

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