4 Ways to Utilize On-Hold Time for Enhancing Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Calling customer care may seem old-fashioned, yet a Google study shows that 61% of mobile users call a business during the purchase phase of their buying cycle. People appreciate speaking to a human when making important decisions or dealing with issues, so phone support remains a popular communication channel. Effectively utilizing on-hold time can significantly improve customer satisfaction and engagement.

The Frustration of On-Hold Time

However, being on hold for long periods is a major drawback, with studies indicating that Americans spend 13 hours a year on hold. This wait time can be frustrating, but what happens during the hold can be even more aggravating. Here are a few examples:


Complete silence during hold time leaves callers unsure if they are still connected, creating a frustrating experience.

On-Hold Music

While some callers may tolerate on-hold music, most find it annoying, especially if they are using speakerphone while multitasking.

Repeated On-Hold Messages

Repeated automated messages, such as “Your call is valuable to us. Unfortunately, all our agents are busy. We thank you for your patience,” can quickly irritate callers if played too often.

Transforming On-Hold Time into a Positive Experience

Despite these issues, on-hold time can be transformed into an opportunity to inform, educate, and engage customers. Here are four ways to make the most of on-hold time to enhance the customer experience:

Provide Important Messages

Share valuable tips and information about your product, such as safety tips, simple fixes, or warnings. For example, if you sell electrical appliances, you can advise customers about the risks of using appliances when wet during the rainy season and stress the importance of safety measures.

Customized On-Hold Messages

Some on-hold systems can recognize the caller and provide tailored messages based on their buying history or other information. This personalization can capture the caller’s attention, promote additional purchases, and enhance their understanding of your company.

Gamification During On-Hold Time

Engage customers by inviting them to participate in a quiz while they wait, offering rewards like movie passes, discount coupons, and loyalty points. This not only elevates their mood but also enhances their overall customer experience. Remember to provide an option to opt out of the game.

Offer On-Hold Discounts

For hold times exceeding a certain duration, such as half an hour, consider offering a special discount for their inconvenience. This gesture can turn a negative experience into a positive one and demonstrate exceptional customer service.

Maximizing On-Hold Time for Business and Customer Benefits

Don’t waste the valuable time you have with callers by playing repetitive messages. Use the on-hold time to benefit both the business and the customer. After all, 88% of callers prefer messages on hold to other hold options. It provides an opportunity to educate, upsell, and deliver a positive customer experience.

By providing important information, customizing messages, incorporating gamification, and offering discounts, businesses can transform on-hold time into a valuable asset for both the company and its customers.

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