A Perth-based company has revolutionised the dreaded 'on hold' experience by developing new technology that transforms call wait times into payday time.
Mark Horwood, chief executive officer of Captivate Connect, compares being on hold as akin to waiting for luggage at an airport. “There’s nothing you can do but stand and wait.”
His company, now run from modest offices in Burswood, stunned the corporate world in 2002 by offering daily news, sport and weather information to callers on hold.
“Commercially, it was very successful for us. The technology was internet-based to help accommodate the immediacy of updating the daily news and sport,” Mr Horwood said.
Captivate Connect is now inspired by internet multimedia technology and once again is refining the “on hold” experience; this time for mutual enrichment of callers and businesses.
The company sponsored a website called Horrible on Hold to determine exactly what people disliked about waiting on hold. There was an overwhelming response that it’s generic, repetitive and boring.
“This wasn’t anything new to me,” Mr Horwood said, “but how can we play audio everyone will be happy with? We give them the choice.”
Music not your thing? Perhaps a quiz or a podcast may be more up your alley. Globally, this interactive-on-hold has never been done before and there’s no-one else who can do it, he says.
Callers become immersed in the business, causing these callers to become loyal brand ambassadors, relaying their experiences to friends and associates – in turn, boosting sales.
“The only way to win word-of-mouth referrals is by delivering an experience that exceeds expectations,” Mr Horwood says.
Interactive-on-hold collects caller data. A caller being directed to the sales department can be offered a brochure on any new/best-selling products. The Caller opts to receive the brochure by entering their number, it is then sent via text and, in return, the sales team effectively gathers the caller’s details to follow-up.
After two minutes, callers are invited to leave their name, number and reason for calling to receive a call back. This costs as little as $1. Mr Horwood believes businesses employing more than 20 people would readily pay $1 to retain a customer.
Statistics suggest that, within five years, 68% of all business transactions will involve the human voice – down from today’s 72% – but the importance of these transactions will become more valuable.
“Fax is virtually redundant, snail mail doesn’t work, and trying to get anybody to respond to emails is like pulling teeth, which is why we’re seeing a shift back to phones,” Mr Horwood says.
Visit www.captivateconnect.com to find out more.