Bad On Hold Messaging Leads to Bad Customer Service

In a recently posted article, Comcast was taken to task for its reported bad customer service once again, by leaving a customer on hold for over 3 hours.

3 hours people!

I can’t even imagine having to be placed on hold for that long and I am in the business of being on hold.

YouTuber Aaron Spain uploaded his video of the entire ordeal. It was clearly a painful experience. What makes it worse is the fact that for very little effort and investment, Comcast could help their customers avoid such situations by creating informative and professional on hold messaging plus resourceful auto attendant recordings.

Salt on an Open Wound

According to the article written by Mike Flacy for the Digital Trends website, Aaron was calling the retention department when he was placed on hold: the very department responsible for retaining customers. Pause for painful irony.  While he was on hold, the department closed for the day and left him hanging so to speak. Not a great way to treat one’s customers if you want to keep their business.

If you watch the video, you can hear the voice recorded options to press a number to take you to the correct department. This phone tree option can be helpful generally, but not when is it so long that you are pushing buttons for a long time. That is when an extended phone tree is put in place to make customers feel like they are getting help, but in reality all it does is make customers more frustrated.

What Should Comcast Have Done with Their On Hold Messaging?

There is a better solution to this issue. If Comcast had an on hold message in place that provided on hold customers with valuable information, many would not feel the need to stay on hold. For example early mention of hours of operation may have helped Aaron know that by staying on hold in the evening it was unlikely he would get to speak with a human that night.

Comcast could have scripted a program that directed them to the company website or an email address to offer alternatives means of contacting them to help avoid long on hold periods. Increasing intervals between messages helps to provide customers with added information in a more timely fashion. Many companies provide this kind of on hold messaging support to help eliminate customer frustration.

The auto attendant service should not be as long and extended as Comcast’s. The constant moving through step after step after step only annoys your customers by making them work too hard to get an answer to their questions.

Any reputable on hold company can help companies avoid situations like this experience. It is important to always value your customer’s time and business.