Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

Customers Prefer a Callback to Being Put on Hold - Conversational - Blog

Customers Prefer a Callback to Being Put on Hold

How do you handle wait times for customers on the phone? Many businesses and organizations simply place the caller on hold when the person they’re trying to reach isn’t available right away, when it will take a few minutes to pull up information or find answers to caller questions, or when there are lots of simultaneous calls coming in. New research shows that putting customers on hold may be a mistake if the hold time is more than a few minutes.

Customers prefer a callback, or receiving a call back from the company once someone is available, instead of waiting on hold. In the study cited, 63% - nearly two-thirds - of customers said they’d rather get a callback than wait on hold.

Why do customers prefer a callback?

Why might this be? When a customer has to wait on hold, they can’t divert their attention from the phone. It traps them in time, making seconds seem like minutes and minutes like hours. Any second, someone could pick up and resume the conversation. It’s an uneasy phone purgatory for customers.

But being able to put down the phone and know that they’ll get a callback from your company makes the situation much more pleasant. That seems to be why so many customers prefer a callback - it allows them to pause the conversation, get back to their lives and obligations for a minute, and resume the call when someone is available to help.

Question two on the survey above asked customers about how long they typically wait on hold before they prefer a callback. A majority of the participants stated they’d prefer a callback after waiting 1 to 5 minutes on hold. More than 25% said they’d always prefer a callback to waiting on hold, no matter the waiting time.

As you can see, the number of customers willing to wait on hold dwindles as the hold time increases. The longer you expect to have a caller wait on hold, the more likely you should offer to do a callback instead. Chances are, they’ll appreciate it and consider it a more positive customer service experience.

Make the callback an alternative to holding

While more customers seem to prefer a callback, you can ensure you’re not stepping on any toes by offering a callback as an optional courtesy rather than making it policy. Make the callback an alternative to holding, and your customers will appreciate your flexibility. They will see it as a company going above and beyond to ensure their customers are satisfied, and that helps create a great reputation for your business.

Here are a few examples of ways to present the callback as an alternative to waiting on hold:

  • “I need put you on hold for just a few minutes while I track him down. Would you prefer receiving a callback when Dave is available?”
  • “It should take about 5 minutes to input this information - would you prefer waiting on hold or receiving a callback?”
  • “I can either place you on hold for a moment or give you a callback within 10 minutes, which would you prefer?”

Customers prefer a callback to being put on hold, but that doesn’t mean that putting customers on hold is obsolete just yet. As long as the expected wait time is less than 5 minutes, most customers don’t mind waiting on hold (as long as you play some hold music or special promotions for them to listen to). If the wait will be any longer than that, however, it’s probably best to offer the callback option.


Publish Date: April 24, 2017

2023 Buyers Guide Recruitment Products/Services


Automated Language Testing
Emmersion offers automated assessments to quickly and accurately test speaking, writing, and grammar fluency in 9 languages and counting. We help contact centers improve CSAT scores by screening for top talent and retaining top performers.


HireTrax, MainTrax's standalone pre-hire virtual interviewing solution, automatically analyzes the behavioral characteristics found in each candidate's VOICE to help you select reps better suited for the specific job at hand. After all, agents speak with your customers for hours each day so it's vital they possess the behavioral characteristics and personality traits necessary to be successful. By picking those with tendencies of empathy and positive behavioral traits, you'll have a higher caliber of candidates who will perform better on the job and stay.

Orion Learning Services Inc.

Assessments for Recruitment, Talent Management, Succession Planning
Looking for assessment tools to help you recruit faster, better and more accurately?

Orion Learning offers a full suite of assessment tools designed to target and report on candidate potential. Our tools are used for recruitment, talent management, succession planning and coaching/mentoring. All of the tools are delivered online and the reports are available online and will provide you with an amazing view of the candidate/individual's potential, interview questions, coaching/mentoring steps and much more.

If you're looking to find the candidate/individual with the highest potential, call Orion today!


VADS Recruitment Services
VADS Indonesia provides a recruitment process with strict selection with various requirements according to client needs. VADS Indonesia also has a database of trained candidates so that it can meet the agent needs quickly and in large numbers.

SalesMatch Ltd

Contact Centre Behavioural Assessments
SalesMatch is an intelligent web based sales and contact centre behavioural assessment platform. It is based on the well known, tried and tested DISC psychometric theory, used by thousands of organisations round the world.

- Reduces Agent Attrition - By selecting the right agent for the role
- Increases Performance - By matching the character profile to the task
- Reduces Time Off - A well matched profile to the role reduced work
- Reduces Recruitment Costs - By early identification of the right candidates

Putting the right person in the job role has become the key focus in the drive...
(read more)

TactiCall Recruitment Services

TactiCall Recruitment Services
Permanent Placement
Temporary / Labour Hire / Contingent and Contract Hire
Recruitment Consulting Services
Assessment Centre Design and Facilitation

View more from Conversational

Recent Blog Posts:
Companies Known for the Worst Customer ServiceFebruary 23, 2018
Glossary of Virtual Receptionist TermsFebruary 21, 2018
Leaving a Lasting Impression with CustomersNovember 29, 2017
Why You Should Stop Answering Your Business PhoneNovember 13, 2017
Customer Service Phone Call vs Email: What’s Preferred?November 9, 2017
3 Surprising Things Virtual Assistants Can DoNovember 7, 2017
Boosting Growth with a Virtual ReceptionistMay 22, 2017
How to Create Content That Answers Common QuestionsApril 26, 2017
Customers Prefer a Callback to Being Put on HoldApril 24, 2017
How to Diffuse Conflict with Angry CustomersApril 19, 2017

About us - in 60 seconds!

Submit Event

Upcoming Events

Europe's leading call & contact center event is now arriving at the U.S., showcasing the latest and most effective technologies, strategies and advancements to industry professionals who are looking to excel in the customer engagement world!

Disco... Read More...

Newsletter Registration

Please check to agree to be placed on the eNewsletter mailing list.

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total = 1
session page-view-total = 1
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =