How to Reduce Hold Time in a Call Center

how to reduce hold time in call centers

Don't let bad hold practices be the reason you lose customers! Customers dial call centers for fast solutions and answers, don't disappoint them and place them on hold. No one wants to waste their time by placing their phones on speaker and blasting hold music waiting for an agent to respond. We know that sometimes placing a customer on hold is inevitable however we are here to help you reduce your customer's hold time experience. We have created a list of some helpful tips for reducing call center wait time!

Call Center Hold Time Standards

The easiest way to lose a customer is by placing them on hold for too long. So how long is too long? Average hold time standards suggest that calls are to be answered within the first 20 seconds. When placing a caller on hold if you know that you are going to take longer than 20 seconds that it is important to check in with the customer and let them know you are still working on their solution. According to Call Center Helper, more than 50% of sales callers will leave the call after 45 seconds and 95 seconds for technical support.

Tips on Reducing Hold Time in Call Centers

When calling a call center the only thing more frustrating than being placed on hold is being placed on hold for an extended period of time. We came up with a list of ways to reduce the length of time customers dialing call centers are placed on hold. 

Create a Knowledge Base

Creating and continuously updating your companies knowledge base will not only benefit your customers but also your agents. The idea of a knowledge base is to have a place for customers to go to for a quick solution at their own convenience instead of fo picking up the phone to speak with an agent. This will decrease the amount of call volume to your call center to ensure a faster response for those who do call. This is also beneficial to agents because with so much information at their fingertips they can simply search for the answer in the knowledge base rather than placing the caller on hold or transferring the caller.

Chat Away!

In addition to having the option for calling agents, offering other solutions such as live chat, SMS or email options will additionally reduce call center waiting time. Customers can choose to ask their questions and going on with their day while waiting for a response from an agent.

Continuously Monitor Agents Performance

There are several metrics and tools that can be used to monitor how your agents are performing in your call center.

  • Live Call Monitoring: This allows you to listen to the conversation taking place between a customer and your agents without them knowing.
  • Call recording: Another great tool that can be utilized when you notice trends beginning to form with agents. By listening to these recordings you can pinpoint what is leading constant hold times and address them with your agents accordingly.
  • Call Volume: A great metric to see the amount of call volume you are experiencing each hour. AVOXI Genuis will give you an idea of what hours require more agents to be online and which hours you might not need so many!
  • Call Details: Call status total is one last inbound metric that can give you an overview of exactly how many calls were answered, abandoned, or unanswered. An additional perk of this metric is it shows you the average duration of talk and wait times. An easy way to discover what is working in your call center.
call volume to reduce hold time

Call Back

During your conversation with customers if you know that you need some time to find the best solution to offer the caller offer to call them back. Instead of having them wait around on the phone, calling them back will allow them to go on with their day and give you time to properly address the issue. An important thing to remember when offering to call them back is to give them a time frame. The last thing you want to do is play phone tag with a customer and frustrate them more.

Call Routing

Call routing is another important feature to make sure that customers' calls are being answered as swiftly as possible. There are a few different ring strategies that you can choose from:

  • Round Robin: The call will ring one agent and if they are unable to answer the call within a few rings it would then get transferred to the next agent until the call gets answered.
  • Least Used: The agent who hasn't had a call for the longest duration of time will get the following call routed to them.
  • Ring All: This would simply ring all of your agent's phones at the same time and whoever is available first will answer the call.
ring strategy reduce hold time


By having advanced IVR settings callers can ensure that they are getting routed to the correct department from the beginning vs. beginning a conversation with one agent to then just get transfer to another agent or department.

Still Have Questions on Reducing Hold Time?

Let us know! We want to provide you with the most useful information and are continuously updating our post with more information.

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