Businesses beware – people in South West among Britain’s least patient when put on hold

By Anita Jaynes on 20 February, 2015

People in the South West are among the least patient in Britain when it comes to waiting on hold during calls to businesses, new research has revealed.

The study of 1,000 consumers, conducted on behalf of PH Media Group, discovered only 43 per cent of people in the region are prepared to wait on the line longer than a minute.

This puts them behind only Londoners and people from Yorkshire and the North East (all 37 per cent) as the quickest to hang up, which should act as a warning for businesses who leave customers hanging on the phone.

People in Scotland, on the other hand, are most patient, with 53 per cent willing to wait longer than a minute.

“Traditionally, waiting on hold is perceived as an annoyance for customers and that certainly seems to be the case for people in the South West,” said Mark Williamson, Sales and Marketing Director, PH Media Group.

“This only 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, using voice and music that reflects their brand and informative, useful messaging.”

The research also discovered women are more patient than men, with 52 per cent prepared to hold for longer than 60 seconds, compared to 38 per cent of men.

Similarly, older people are less patient, with only 38 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 willing to wait more than a minute, compared to 49 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds.