Top 10 Ways to Lose Customers Over the Phone

You couldn’t live without your phone, could you? The average American spends 58 minutes a day talking on their smart phone. That’s 2 full weeks each year!

While phones are hard to live without, they are also a great source of annoyance – especially when talking to other people.

Here are the 10 worst things callers experience when communicating with other individuals from the human species, and are sure to drive away your customers.

ways to lose customers over the phone1: The Breather

There’s actually no reason for a long explanation here. All of us know the icky feeling you get when you’re on the phone with someone who decided to place their phone’s microphone right in their breath exhaustion corridor, making them sound like a creeper calling at 4am. Stop sounding like Darth Vader!!!

Phone Queue2: The Queue

You are now number 34 in line, the estimated hold time is 58 minutes. Why? Queues are great if they are no longer than 5 minutes – but it’s not an excuse to hire less staff. Do you really think your employee is going to talk to a nice and calm customer, after he’s been waiting in a queue for an hour with the same hold music only interrupted by two variations of a message telling him that your company also has a website?

call center supporter3: The Untrained Call Center Supporter

If you’re going to have a call center, at least spend some time teaching your employees about your products – and if the caller is savvy, at least let him talk to a second or third level supporter immediately instead of having to go through a matrix of “did-you-plug-in-the-power-cord” questions.

4: The “Voice Recognizing” IVR

“Please say which department you would like to talk to”… That’s a great feature, if it works. Which it most often doesn’t.

ways to lose customers over the phone5: The Loud Speaker

Back off… Just back off! Are you trying to eat your phone while talking? Seriously?!

6: The Awkward Silence

We all know how horrible awkward silence can be. It’s even more awkward when you can’t see the person you’re talking to. This happens especially during conference calls.

ways to lose customers over the phone7: The Speakerphone

No, there’s no reason to put your cell phone on speakerphone – especially not when you’re walking down the street. And if you do, don’t hold the microphone end up to your mouth. See point #5.

Oh, and you look like an idiot!

8: The Dropped Call

Dropped calls are annoying – so get a carrier that works instead! The only thing that’s more annoying than a dropped call, is to be waiting in a queue for 58 minutes, finally getting through to the customer representative and THEN get a dropped call.

No, wait – scratch that. It’s even more annoying to be waiting for 58 minutes in a queue and then the call drops without you ever getting through. ARGHH!!!

9: The “For No Reason” Call

ways to lose customers over the phoneIf you don’t have anything to tell me, don’t call me. Yes, you might be bored or have to look like you’re doing something to your boss, but I’m busy and I value my time.

ways to lose customers over the phone10: The Voicemail at the end of the Queue

See point #8 and #2… Waiting in a queue is annoying, and so are dropped calls. But waiting in a queue for 58 minutes and then getting a voicemail? That’s how mental institutions get most of their patients.

Peter leads innovation at Telzio. Born and raised in Denmark and coding since the age of six, Peter thrives on creating new efficient solutions and minimalistic, modern designs. He now lives in Los Angeles where he enjoys hiking with other thought leaders and his Siberian husky.