48. Telephone, Waiting On Hold

When people are put on hold on the telephone and waiting for their call to be answered they should be told how many other people have also been placed on hold ahead of them and waiting in the same line. Then, no more often than once per minute or whenever the caller reaches a significant number in the countdown such as multiples of 100 or 10 and when they are the very next or within the next five calls to be answered they should be told what number they are in the holding line and an estimate of the amount of time they must continue to hold to get their call answered. This countdown should continue until their call is answered.

Also, when people are placed on hold, they should hear a message that tells them when both the least and most busy times are to call. This type of statistical information could be given for every hour of the day, and for every day of the week. For example, the message would say that the expected wait time for a 9 AM call today is 5 minute, and for a 10 AM call today, it would be 15 minutes. Messages could also say that Mondays are usually the busiest times and Thursdays are the least busy.

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