Welcome greeting is too long.
The initial greeting someone hears when they call you should ideally have a duration of only a few seconds, and it can even be a simple, “Thank you for calling [your business]”.
A quick hello with a brief identification of who you are is sufficient. Callers tend to become irritated if you start trying to pitch them something, right off the bat, so avoid selling your latest promotion in the greeting.
No option to speak with a real person.
Sometimes when we call a business, all we want is to speak to someone because, for a variety of reasons, the automation just won’t fill the need. There are times when the caller’s issue is complex and requires a human touch.
If the option to speak directly with a human is simply not available, then the caller is sure to become frustrated and exasperated from listening to all of your menu options, to no avail.
Silence after the call is answered.
It’s very disconcerting to hear nothing but silence on the line for a few seconds, before hearing your greeting, or some indication that their call is answered. This disorients callers, causing them to either hang up, or to distrust that they have reached the right place.
It’s a good idea to place a test call to your own system every now and then, and if you hear this silence, contact your service provider and ask them if they can adjust the delay.
Repetitive messages while on hold.
While you are waiting on hold, do you ever hear the same message over and over again, until you can’t stand to hear it anymore? You should avoid doing this to your callers because it is not fun, even if you repeatedly let them know that “their call is important to you”.
Playing some calm instrumental music for callers on hold is your best bet, minus the message set to a loop.
Excessive time waiting on hold.
This one is obvious, but it is still one of the primary reasons for caller hangups. People are relatively patient when it comes to being on hold because they have something that needs answering; however, there is a limit to that patience, so try to answer calls as promptly as possible.
Overselling promotional items.
The thing to keep in mind about your phone system is that its purpose is to serve the caller. Those calling you are either your current or future customers, and you have to design the system around providing them with the support they need.
It’s not the best time for a sales-pitch, although you may be able to slip in a brief sound bite about a new product. If you just avoid pushing and promotional message too much, callers will be a lot happier.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.