Study: Consumers Waiting On-Hold More Than One Minute Won’t Convert or Refer

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Ifbyphone® research finds 58 percent of consumers more likely to buy when brands respond in under a minute; 73 percent more likely to recommend highly responsive brands to other consumers.

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Ifbyphone®, the leader in voice-based marketing automation, today announced the results of a consumer survey designed to measure the impact of response times on sales conversions and brand referrals.

Leveraging a sample of 531 U.S. prospects and customers, study participants were asked a series of questions related to company response times. Answers were based on participants’ most recent experiences calling a brand under two circumstances: calling to make a new purchase or calling as an existing customer.

Companies Respond Faster When A Sale Is At Stake
According to the survey data, sales calls were answered faster than existing customer calls. Half of all sales calls were answered in less than 60 seconds, while 78 percent of existing customers waited longer than a minute to reach a real person.

The study found this mark is a critical timeframe for brands, as consumers who get a response in less than a minute are 58 percent more likely make a purchase and 73 percent more likely to recommend the brand to someone else.

“Speed counts in a sales situation,” said Irv Shapiro, CEO of Ifbyphone. “If a prospect can’t talk to the right person immediately, your chances for making that sale are dramatically reduced. These results show that delayed responses not only lose sales, but also seriously jeopardize the company’s ability to generate brand advocacy.”

Unresponsive Companies Hurt Their Brand
Marketers must pay attention to responsiveness because it has direct impact on customer loyalty and brand advocacy. Four out of five respondents indicated a desire to abandon a brand due to poor response times, but nearly half (45%) reported they couldn’t walk away for contractual or other reasons. In many instances, existing customers are forced to tolerate delays due to long-term contracts with a brand or a lack of viable alternatives.

While existing customers may be stuck doing business with less responsive brands, successful companies don’t neglect their customers. According to the survey, speaking to the right person quickly is an effective way to ensure customer advocacy. Customers are 69 percent more likely to refer a brand when that brand responds in less than a minute.

“If you aren’t perceived as a customer-facing organization, you run the risk of customers abandoning the brand when their contracts expire – and an even greater risk is that existing customers will advise their friends to steer clear of the brand,” Shapiro said. “Forward thinking organizations get the buyer to the right person faster.”

As customer engagement, brand advocacy, and referrals have become basic assignments of the modern marketing department, this research indicates that marketing must work with the entire organization to ensure responsiveness is a top priority. For both sales prospects and existing customers, keeping response times under the critical one-minute mark can pay tremendous dividends. Marketers, therefore, must consider solutions like voice-based marketing automation as a way to dramatically improve conversion rates from sales calls and increase brand advocacy from their existing customer base, added Shapiro.

Download a full copy of the study.

About Ifbyphone®

Ifbyphone is the leading voice-based marketing automation platform that manages, measures and automates voice interactions in the marketing process — including lead capture, lead nurturing, lead routing, and lead analysis. The Ifbyphone suite is a set of software-as-a-service applications implemented easily across an organization for better decision making and improving interactions across the customer lifecycle. Companies of all sizes and across all industries use the Ifbyphone platform, including health care, real estate, home services, and a variety of marketing applications.

To learn more about Ifbyphone’s suite of voice-based marketing automation services, including Call Tracking, Call Distributor, Hosted IVR, Lead Response, and Customer Notifications visit

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Meghan Reilly
Walker Sands Communications
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