Half of them spend, on average, 10 to 20 minutes on hold per week, which amounts to 13 hours per year or about 43 days over a typical lifetime. And when they finally get someone on the phone, 48 percent of survey respondents say the people they talk to aren't helpful.
Fortunately, businesses today have more options than simply spending more money to hire more phone representatives to be available for customers. Facebook, Twitter and even texting are the new avenues companies are turning to for handling customer queries.
Tweet Your Troubles Away
Follow the Twitter feeds of many companies and you'll spot interactions with customers there. For example, click into @MaytagCare's Twitter feed, and you'll spot exchanges such as this:
- @jan_kenny @MaytagCare - note to self -- dishwasher uses water, b smart, include protection for electrical parts to stay dry & not break 3 yr later
- @MaytagCare @jan_kenny Sorry to hear about the concern. You're welcome to follow & [direct-message us your] name, address, phone # and the model&serial # s for us to review.
- @momofbnl "@SodaStreamUSA: RT if you've registered your SodaStream at http://www.sodastreamusa.com for your free gift!" I did but have not got anything yet!!!
- @SodaStreamUSA @momofbnl Don't worry Missy, it will be sent to you in the mail. It takes about 2 months to process and ship. :)
However companies go about it, it's good business to minimize customer aggravation and maximize good feelings.
Motley Fool contributor Selena Maranjian (@SelenaMaranjian) has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook and SodaStream. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and SodaStream.