On Hold. How Long is This Going to Take ?
Wilson Phillips may be willing to “hold on for one more day,” but how long is too long to hold on when you are waiting on one end of the phone line? While there’s no absolute answer to that question, let’s look at the facts.
According to Salisbury University’s Career Services, businesses should not leave a caller on hold for more than 30-45 seconds without checking in, offering to return the call at a different time. That’s really short, and we doubt anyone would have a problem with a 30-second wait. The problem is, we all know that this doesn’t happen in the real world, and certain circumstances demand different expectations.
On the flip side of the issue are the top offenders for keeping people waiting. Continental Airlines and Air Canada are the two biggest offenders, keeping people waiting for an average of 13 and 10 minutes respectively.
So how long is too long? In a study done in 2012, over 90% of respondents replied that 1-5 minutes was as long as they would wait on hold, while 60% of those were in the under-a-minute category.
While waiting on hold can be annoying, it is also something we are learning to live with as a society. Automatic answering machines have become the new norm, so waiting is just something we have come to expect. As long as we can keep it under the wait time for the Internal Revenue Service. In 2013, their wait time was coming in at 17 minutes. On the other hand, maybe waiting is better than when they answer the phone.