View Poll Results: Leave a message or get placed on hold?

Voters
50. You may not vote on this poll
  • I prefer to be placed on hold and wait.

    36 72.00%
  • I prefer to leave a message.

    10 20.00%
  • Other, I'll explain...

    4 8.00%
Results 1 to 31 of 31
  1. #1

    Leave a message or be placed on hold?

    We use our phones a lot, probably almost as much as our email. Right now if the lines are busy, rather than being placed on hold a caller is forwarded to where they can leave a message.

    I'm wondering how people see this, our initial feedback is that they prefer to be able to leave a quick message rather than get held up on hold or in some queue where it takes them 10 minutes to leave a message.

    What's your preference and why do you feel that way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Nashville - It's not just Country
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    215
    That's an easy one.

    Put on hold. At least it starts off with a personal greeting, and makes me feel more special.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Kalamazoo
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    33,190
    I'd rather have the option. Be put on hold and while on hold have the option of leaving a message.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Duluth MN
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    3,864
    I don't like leaving messages on peoples voicemail, unless it is someone I know very well, even then, I don't like leaving messages.

    I'll call, get an answering machine or voicemail message, and hang up right away. In high school, my girlfriend's mom became quite annoyed with me as I would call, no one would be home, and I wouldn't leave a message. So they would get home and there would be 7 calls on their caller id, with no messages



    Funny thing is, I really don't like talking on the phone that much, and yet I work for the helpdesk on campus....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    889
    Hold... gets rid of the "I didn't get your message" excuse. Also, it prevents them from taking 2 days to return your call, leaving you in the dark in the meantime not knowing whether they are ignoring you or just really busy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Twin Cities Area
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    5,651
    hire more people to answer the phone
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  7. #7
    Originally posted by LaurenStephens
    hire more people to answer the phone
    You should pass that advice on to AT&T and some of those other Fortune 500 companies...

    Would the amount of time you're on hold make a difference? For example would you get more ticked off if you were on hold for longer than 5 minutes as opposed to leaving a message from the outset?

    I guess that's probably why Dennis chose the option of being able to leave a message when he wanted to from a menu option in the hold queue...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Twin Cities Area
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    thats probably why a lot of people prefer to deal with smaller companies
    if you haven't considered chapter 7 bankruptcy, maybe you should.
    eliminate your debt, keep the property you want, most people qualify.
    contrary to popular belief - no attorney is necessary!

  9. #9
    Do both.

    If they call and you are "busy", then put them on hold. The hold message should immediately ask them if they want to leave a message.. or they can continue to hold.

    However, you MUST be careful to ALWAYS return the messages. I have used several companies that never return my message even though they say they will.... and there's nothing worse.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,134
    "If you would like to continue to hold, please stay on the line. Otherwise, press XX to leave a message in the general mailbox, or dial your parties ext. to leave a message for them."
    ---
    Dan Ushman
    Co-founder & CMO
    SingleHop, Inc.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Australia (Crikey)
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    2,271
    give the option for both....if not, just keep them on hold. Leaving a message sucks as you never know whether it will be returned...

  12. #12
    I say hold is a better option. This way clients will think twice before constantly calling over the smallest issues that can easily be resolved over email.

    I too hate leaving messages because you have to constantly talk and it's hard as heck to end a call with a machine - "Thanks, bye" just seems wierd to me.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
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    9,576
    On hold. I almost never leave a message on a machine.
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  14. #14
    Greetings:

    I believe our customers would prefer the option of holding or going to voice mail is a person is not readily available.

    Thank you.
    ---
    Peter M. Abraham
    LinkedIn Profile

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
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    1,579

  16. #16
    While we use a specific message for calls that come when the lines are tied up, it seems the general consensus is that being place on hold with an option to leave a message is preferable.

    My own preference is to leave a message, I hate wasting time being put on hold or in some queue. If I don't get a prompt return call I won't be doing business with <insert company name here> very long anyway. Looks like my preference is in the minority though.

    From this poll it looks like we should re-evaluate the phones....

    Thanks for the input....

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    454
    I think it all goes to who your target demo is. I can think of two customers in particular who only have a cell phone and no land line at home. They hate to be put on hold because it just eats up their minutes.

    But then again, what good is it to leave a message if no one returns it?

    Rick

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Personally, I have too many other things to be dealing with to sit on hold. I'd rather leave a message; if I don't hear back from someone within a reasonable period of time, then I'll call back.
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    I don't know how sophisticated your phone system is, but ideally I'd say have a recording come on saying that all operators are currently busy, and the estimated wait time is *enters time here*. Then give them the option to hold or to hit # or some key to leave a message. At least this way, they have an idea on how long they would have to wait if they decided to stay on hold.

    And for the record, I'd much rather stay on hold. I'm calling by phone because I want/expect info quickly. Otherwise I would have emailed to begin with.

    Vito
    DemoDemo.com - Flash tutorials since 2002
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    610
    Are there any companies (Kall8?) that have phone queues or would you need a real inhouse system?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,598
    I would rather stay on the line and wait. I hate having to leave messages with companies not knowing when they are going to call me back.

    When I dial up a company, I expect to talk with someone immediately, if not wait a while to eventually be served. It would be such a nuisance to have to leave a message or to continually call the number again.

    If your phone system really is busy, and serves as an essential component to operating your business, then I would suggest upgrading the system to offer whoever's calling the option to do both (stay on line or leave a message).

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Vito
    I don't know how sophisticated your phone system is,
    It's not that sophisticated...

    Basically it's just two lines and if one is busy you go to the next one, if the second one is busy then you get a message but the message is a different message than one if you were to call and no one was to answer the phone.

    Phone systems are pretty expensive and right now the number of times we actually need more than two lines going are not so common that I want to think about dropping a few thousand to get a system set up that can do the <insert # of minutes left on queue here>.

    It's not bad for existing clients who know who you are and have had all positive experiences with you. They know that a return call would be coming in minutes not even hours. It's the sales and people that hang up without leaving a message that could be a concern.

    @mpalamar
    Kall8 has some terrific Routing features and we use them but as far as I can tell there are no queue systems they offer....

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    1,434
    Queue systems are often quite expensive. http://www.bizfon.com is a lower cost phone management system, but it does not have a queue feature either.

    To answer the question, I prefer to be on hold and have the option to leave a message if I need to.

    - John C.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    3,301
    I am not a waiter. Being on hold longer than 2 minutes annoys the hell out of me, but I'm not particuarly fond of using the phone as a communications method unless absolutely neccessary.

    I would prefer VM w/ a call back.
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  25. #25
    Originally posted by JohnCrowley
    Queue systems are often quite expensive. http://www.bizfon.com is a lower cost phone management system, but it does not have a queue feature either.

    To answer the question, I prefer to be on hold and have the option to leave a message if I need to.

    - John C.
    They have some pretty interesting products there (That VOiP system is eye-catching) , much cheaper than what I had used in the past that's for sure. Thanks for the link!

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    479
    for me it all depends on what department / type of company im calling and what relations i have with them. If im just calling a sales department of some company thies yes i would rather leave a message then be placed on hold and wait x ammount of time.

    If im calling a support department then yes i would rather sit and wait. Thats what speaker phone is for lol.

    It all depends on what im calling for and who im calling.


    Thanks
    - James

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    3,407
    To me you have to have Queuing if you offer toll-free support. It reeks of small time to call toll-free and get dropped into a voice mail if you are calling a support department. People are smart, they know the other line is busy and that you didn't care to offer a better solution for toll-free support. Call Queuing is expensive, as the companies who do it charge for that feature. Adding a professional production for music on hold and messages are too. Ex... "Thanks for calling. Did you know Watcher_TVI now has double the space on all plans? Etc......"

    We use to use a system like Bizphone. No queue, but it had the 'sound' of big business. People got pissed when it went to "leave a message". People call to talk. Not leave a message. They can do that with an e-mail so to speak.

    Once we migrated to our new system with queuing, old customers thanked us. The old system went to a classical music station while on hold. Since then, we paid a production company to do an 8 minute loop with 8 messages for music on hold. It adds a lot to professionalism of your business.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA
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    3,379
    Our goal is to always try to provide a live answer when a call comes in. I know that I personally appreciate it when we call our vendors and get a live person on the other end - much more so than voicemail.

    The only tricky thing is that it seems like every day, there are a few big clusters of calls (a whole bunch all at the same time now and then) and usually one of them cycles through, finds no one available to take it and goes to voicemail. This happens maybe 10% of the time whereas 90% of the time there is a live answer.

    At some future point we may implement a queing system that allows calls to be held in hold until the first available person takes it or until they opt to leave a voicemail.

    The other thing is that we may even start to pro-actively call back on these calls even if they don't leave a message. And we definitely work to return calls v- via phone or e-mail - very quickly to alleviate the most common frustration of folks leaving a message and never hearing back.

    All in all though... a good phone system with a call queing mechanism offering a choice to go to voicemail and leave a message vs. staying in hold seems like the best long term solution.
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  29. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Pennsylvania
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    i'm not part of TVI's hosting business, but i am a customer. If i were having problems or hosting issues, or i just had a question that i wanted answered right away, i'd much rather be put on hold and wait to talk to a live person. It just doesnt make sense for a business to give its customers voice mail when they are having issues... that would only compound the customers frustrations... imo.
    g.
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  30. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
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    1,083
    I think we've got The Best of Both Worlds in respect to this thread's question.

    We use an open-source phone system which supports queueing for fixed extensions and logged-in agents. When callers choose our support option, they hear an announcement that informs them that they are being placed in the support queue, and that, at any time while holding, they can press 1 if they prefer to leave a message instead of remaining on hold. Once they are in queue, agent phones ring if any are not in-use; and the caller hears some weird trance music, with a repeat of my "you may press 1 to leave a voice message" every so often.

    Callers can choose to hold until someone is free to help them, or they can leave a message and receive a call back. Empowering the caller is great. Now if only the business folks would license some more hold music so I can let them select something besides trance ....

    Our system was not expensive at all, and we've had very few problems out of it. If you are interested, send me a PM / AIM / whatever and I can give you more details.
    Jeff at Innovative Network Concepts / 212-981-0607 x8579 / AIM: jeffsw6
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  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
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    380
    We asked our clients in a survey we did regarding phone support and they voted 69% for voicemail over being placed on hold. As well many said they found being on hold waiting for support to get to them was more aggravating than waiting for the return call.

    We are looking into a computer phone messaging system which will allow messages to be directed to specific departments or people and hope to implement later this year.
    Glen Millar
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