Turning wait time into an opportunity


Seth Godin wrote recently about a good idea for making customers on hold feel special, and “rewarding” them for any wait time they have to endure before talking to a live body.

Smart idea, and it should be a reminder to us of just how many underleveraged customer touchpoints exist throughout our organization.

Think, for example, about your on-hold music. It it just pretty music? Or could it be used to communicate something to your customers? What about replacing that music with customer testimonials, samples of your radio commercials, or even a soft voice talking to customers about your latest promotion?

“Thank you for calling, and we appreciate your patience. Have you heard about our new (insert feature here)? Inquire about that feature today and save 50%.”

Businesses with physical locations also typically have underleveraged opportunities. Think about all of the businesses in which you have to wait for something – doctor’s office, chiropractor, oil changes, even take-out restaurants. When waiting the 20 minutes for your oil and lube change, could customers be reading something more than just two-month-old magazines? How about educational information about auto maintenance, maybe even a video playing about tips for keeping cars in top shape? All of this content could be independently valuable to consumers, but also build credibility for the oil change facility and drive repeat business.