Construction businesses in North America risk losing business by making customers wait on hold for more than 25 seconds, new research has revealed.
Every call made to companies in the construction sector as part of the large-scale study, conducted by audio branding specialist PHMG, was put on hold, compared to a North American average of 70 per cent. Those callers are being forced to wait for 25.31 seconds on average, less than the North American average of 28.39 seconds.
To make matters worse, they are left listening to inappropriate audio, which could increase the risk of caller-hang-ups. The research discovered 40 percent of construction firms leave customers waiting in silence, while 24 percent subject callers to generic music, 13 percent use beeps and seven per cent make callers listen to ringing.
Mark Williamson, CEO at PHMG, said: “The research results do not reflect particularly well on the construction sector, as few firms appear to be employing a best practice approach to call handling. It’s worrying that customers are being left on hold for more than 25 seconds as this can be a major irritation for customers, but what makes matters worse is that they are left in silence or listening to poor-quality music, which increases the risk of hang-ups.
“A previous study of 2,234 US consumers found 59 percent will not do business with a company again if their first call isn’t handled to satisfaction. Therefore, it is important companies do everything they can to improve the experience.
“The same consumer study also revealed 65 percent of customers feel more valued if they hear customized voice and music messages on hold. By ensuring all audio is professional and brand congruent, companies can drastically improve customer experience and begin shaping behaviour by tapping into the psychological power of sound.”
This latest study also found construction firms answer the phone within an average of three rings, yet none of the businesses were found to use an auto-attendant service to greet callers outside of normal business hours.