Little Things Part 2: Don’t Give Them A Sales Pitch

OK, put yourself in the place of the customer. Your customer just died and you go to call Dell, navigate through their expansive menu system, and finally end up in the PC Support hold queue. While you’re waiting, every 30 seconds there is some sort of sales pitch saying “Buy a Dell computer and we’ll double your RAM for free” or “Dell computers bought today include a free flatpanel monitor upgrade” or something like that.

While I don’t believe Dell actually does give their customers a sales pitch while on hold, some companies do. Most customers that call technical support or customer service are frustrated and have a problem of some sort. They are not in the mood for a sales pitch, annoying hold music, or anything else that can further annoy them.

Here’s some tips on how to ensure you don’t frustrate customers further while they’re waiting:

  1. Only pitch them when they want it. The only place you can remotely get away with giving your customer a sales pitch while they are on hold is in a sales queue. If they aren’t calling sales, assume they aren’t interested. Don’t gives customers a sales pitch for customer service, billing, technical support, or any other department besides sales.

  2. Give options. A lot of customers do not like hold music. Even when a customer calls sales, there should still be an options to: hold without music and to hold with just music. Most PBX systems can be configured so customers can be given an option to hold without music completely or with just music (and no sales pitches).

  3. Don’t pitch anywhere else. Just because you exclude a sales pitch from your hold music does not mean you’re home free. There are no technicalities – just no pitches. Do not make it so your customer service, technical support, billing, etc. representatives pitch callers before they hang up, either. There should be absolutely no pitches anywhere but sales.

  4. Let them know how much longer. Let customers know what position in the queue they are or, better yet, how much longer they’ll be waiting. If a customer hears they are number 50 in the queue, it may seem like a lot, but for a company with 45 representatives, it’s no big deal.

  5. After awhile, do something. Set an “unacceptable” time, and have customers automatically transferred to someone after that time. It doesn’t matter if the person can necessarily help them with their problem, just have the customer transferred to someone who’s able to find out how much longer it’ll be and apologize for the long wait.

  6. If a customer has to be transferred, don’t make them wait. If a customer ends up in the wrong department (i. e. wireless support instead of PC support), don’t make them wait again. Have the representative in wireless support find an available PC support representative to take the call. The wireless support representative should give the PC support representative all the information (ticket/reference IDs) before transferring the customer (this way the customer doesn’t have to repeat anything).

If you implement these methods, you’ll find that your customers will be much happier and in much less frustrated by the time they get to your customer service representative and start describing their problem.