Hotels are at risk of losing business by leaving customers hanging on the telephone for almost 30 seconds at a time, new research has revealed.
A recent survey of 3,630 UK companies by audio branding company, PH Media Group discovered hotels leave customers on hold for an average of 28.83 seconds per call.
As a result, the implications for profitability can be dramatically affected. Previous research has shown 50% of callers will hang up within 20 seconds if forced to listen to silence while on hold.
Mark Williamson, PH Media Group’s sales and marketing director said: “The results represent a significant challenge for the hospitality sector and could pose a threat to profitability. Callers are simply unwilling to wait on the end of the line while subjected to silence, poor quality music or beeps, so firms are putting themselves at risk of losing business.
“Good call handling is often overlooked as a key sales and marketing tool, but the telephone still acts as an important touch point and first impressions count. If each caller enjoys a positive experience, customer service standards will go through the roof.”
But hold time isn’t the only consideration for businesses wanting to make a good first impression on callers. As part of the study, the group also audited each company, giving them a score out of 100 based on overall call handling practice, and hotels and B&Bs averaged just 33.
Elements including the time taken to answer a call, the number of tiers a caller experiences before reaching the necessary department, use of consistent voice and music, professional and personalised voicemail and out-of-hours messageing were weighted to reflect their importance.