In my work I’m regularly put on hold as suppliers find out whether they’ve got something, when I can have something or why I haven’t received something. Most of the time the hold music is cheesy, generic and bland but mostly irritating which I suspect is to encourage you to hang up and go get a coffee instead. Some companies have even started replacing the music with constant ads for their products, one of my suppliers never really changes the product range and I’ve found myself saying, without thinking, “I know about that, we buy it already”.
Which reminds me; always bear in mind that when you’re on hold the person on the other end can often hear you even if you can’t hear them so don’t be impolite unless you want them to know you’re pissed off.
New research by TalkTo and ResearchNow has found that people spend on average 10-20 minutes per week on hold, which equates to 43 hours in a lifetime.
Only twice in twelve years have I been impressed by being on hold. Once was with a company which used “I Need a Little Time” by The Beautiful South. The other was a firm who always had a good variety of good, modern, well-known songs to listen to while you waited, you felt slightly disappointed when it ended. There was one song they played I hadn’t heard since I was clubbing years before and, I’m not embarrassed to say, I did dance to it behind my counter. Which is one way to spend those 43 hours of your life you’ll never get back.