SOURCE: Virtual Hold Technology

Virtual Hold Technology

June 30, 2011 10:00 ET

Cable Companies Improving Service to Callers With Virtual Hold Solution

Eliminating Caller Hold Time With Virtual Queuing Offers Payback in Customer Satisfaction, Toll Savings

AKRON, OH--(Marketwire - Jun 30, 2011) - Several operators of cable systems across the country have invested in new virtual queuing technology that reduces or eliminates hold time for callers and pays for itself in toll cost savings and labor efficiency gains. Leaders in adopting the technology are Comcast and Time Warner Cable, with each company implementing Virtual Hold® systems in about 10 locations, while others with installations include Cox, Frontier Communications, SaskTel and Shaw Cable (Canada).

Virtual queuing technology lets callers know their wait time and offers them a callback option without losing their place in line, so customers are freed from telephone hold. The company providing the solution, Virtual Hold Technology® (VHT®) of Akron, Ohio, reports that in 2010, inbound callers to its cable operator clients were saved the equivalent of 38 years of hold time. But the companies saved money, too, according to Chris Swansiger, Vice President of Business Intelligence and Analytics, Virtual Hold Technology.

"When callers to 800 numbers wait on hold, it costs a lot of money. Many times, Virtual Hold systems pay for themselves within a year by reducing toll minutes," Swansiger said.

Aggregated data indicates cable operators using the company's Virtual Hold solution were saved nearly $600,000 in 2010 in reduced toll costs alone. But there is also monetary value in streamlined labor use and improved customer satisfaction, Swansiger said.

"Customers who make the effort to call you want hand-holding, not phone-holding," he said. "They expect both high-tech and high-touch. When callers are disconnected after a long wait on hold, or when they are transferred and have to repeat information they already provided, they get frustrated and express it to friends both verbally and through their social networks. The reputation damage is costly."

Swansiger pointed to the fifth annual "Customer Experience Report North America" commissioned by RightNow and conducted by Harris Interactive that states that 82 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company as a result of a negative experience; 79 percent of consumers who have had a negative experience with a company told others about it, and 76 percent say word-of-mouth comments such as these influence their purchasing decisions.

Another cause of wasted toll minutes for call centers is abandons - when customers hang up seconds before their call was about to be answered, with no new sale or problem resolution occurring. According to Virtual Hold data, the average speed to abandon is 2 minutes for most phone queues across most industries. Among the cable companies using Virtual Hold software, abandons were significantly reduced.

About Virtual Hold Technology
Virtual Hold Technology® (VHT) is the leading developer of virtual queuing solutions for Fortune 1000 clients. Since its inception in 1995, VHT's patented, award-winning virtual queuing technology has provided return call solutions focused on enhancing the customer experience for financial services, energy/utility, insurance, telecommunications, cable, wireless and retail corporations such as IBM, Bank of America, T-Mobile, Aflac, AT&T, Banco Popular, Verizon, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southwest Airlines, Time Warner Cable and AVON. To learn how VHT's virtual queuing solutions can help increase customer satisfaction and reduce contact center costs, visit www.virtualhold.com or call 877-886-8187.

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    Adrienna M. Frazer
    Virtual Hold Technology
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