Feature News — 09 February 2015

Midlanders are among the most patient in Britain when it comes to waiting on hold during phone calls to businesses, new research has revealed.

Although time on hold is regularly viewed as a consumer bugbear, the study of 1,000 consumers, conducted on behalf of PH Media Group, discovered 51 per cent of Midlanders are prepared to wait on the line longer than a minute.

This puts them behind only the Scottish (53 per cent) as Britain’s most patient callers.

People in London and Yorkshire, on the other hand, are quickest to hang up, with only 37 per cent in each region willing to wait for more than 60 seconds. One in 10 Londoners even claim they are not willing to wait at all.

“Traditionally, waiting on hold is perceived as an annoyance for customers, so these figures might come as a surprise, suggesting Midlanders are willing to wait longer than might normally be assumed,” said Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director, PH Media Group.

“But the fact they are prepared to wait should not be taken for granted. It only emphasises the need for businesses to handle calls in the best possible manner and ensure customers are kept engaged and entertained when they do have to be placed on hold for any period of time.

“Poor-quality audio messages, beeps or silence will only serve to test their patience. Companies should instead give careful consideration to how they sound over the phone, using voice and music that reflects their brand and informative, useful messaging.”

The research also discovered women are more patient than men, with 52 per cent prepared to hold for longer than 60 seconds, compared to 38 per cent of men.

Similarly, older people are less patient, with only 38 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 willing to wait more than a minute, compared to 49 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds.

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