A little over a year ago, I started working remotely for Daxko Support. One of the biggest changes for me was no longer having the co-worker sitting beside me to rely on. What I found was that when I worked in an office setting, I would place someone on hold to quickly ask a team member a question. However, after starting to work from home there was no one sitting next to me. My resolution: remove the option to place people on hold.
You may be thinking that I am nuts for doing this, and I’d agreed that there are still times when asking to place someone on hold is completely appropriate. What I found was that by removing that option, I got to know my customers on a more personal level. While I would test something for them or research an item, we would share stories about life, family, football… you name it. Not only was my goal to make their time with me more enjoyable but to be honest because I work from home I valued their conversation. Trust me, there is only so much time in the day you can spend talking to your dog before you begin to think you’re crazy :). I began to love picking up the phone to call someone to discuss an ongoing item to which I’d be asked something like “So how did your test go?” Ultimately, removing the option to place people on hold helped me to build stronger relationships with our customers.
I realized the value that removing this option had on me daily, but I had never thought about the impact it could have on a customer until I was getting ready to travel internationally in March. Prior to travelling, I had put off calling my credit card company until the very last moment- dreading being on hold while they got my account prepped for travel. To my surprise, I was never placed on hold. Now, anytime I am placed on hold I think of the sweet girl who I spoke with that day, how she asked me about Tennessee and told me that she was getting married in the Smokies this fall. I found it so interesting that someone I had never talked to before took the time to get to know me while she was getting me all set for travel. It wasn’t like I was a regular customer she worked with daily, I was a first time caller. However, she made my experience fantastic.
Since March anytime I think about putting someone on hold I ask myself if it’s necessary. If it’s not, then why not have a conversation and get to know each other? Because unlike my call with my credit card company, its likely you’ll be hearing from me again and I’d rather be friends than just acquaintances any day. So forgive me, if you ever call and aren’t in the mood for a conversation, I work from home and placing you on hold isn’t an option.
My challenge to those reading is try removing the hold button from your phone and I bet you’ll find that it will make your workday even more rewarding!