People in America’s Midwest are the least patient in the country when it comes to waiting on hold during calls to businesses, new research has revealed.
The study of 2,234 consumers, conducted by audio branding specialist PH Media Group, discovered 53 per cent of respondents in the region are prepared to wait on hold longer than one minute.
This puts them level with those in the South as the most impatient in America, which should act as a warning for businesses who leave customers hanging on the phone.
Consumers in the Northeast, however, received the title as most patient in the country (57 per cent).
“Traditionally, waiting on hold is perceived as an annoyance for customers and it appears people in the Midwest are particularly quick to hang up the phone when placed on hold,” said Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director, PH Media Group.
“This only further 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, combining voice and music that reflects their brand with informative, targeted messaging.”
The survey also discovered women are more patient than men, with 60 per cent willing to remain on the line for longer than a minute, compared to 49 per cent of men.
People were also found to become more patient with age. Fifty-nine per cent of 45 to 64-year-olds are prepared to waiting more than sixty seconds, in contrast to half (50 per cent) of 18 to 34-year-olds.
However, young people are much more receptive to on-hold messages, with 55 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds stating it would make them hold longer. Only 40 per cent of 55 to 64-year-olds would do the same.
Mark added: “Millennials have been found to be a generation which desires instant gratification so it is unsurprising that they are more impatient when it comes to waiting on hold.
“Given younger people are most willing to wait longer if allowed to listen to on-hold messages, companies should look to cater to customers of the future by putting such systems in place and ensure your business doesn’t miss out on valuable communication opportunities.”