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7 Things You Could Accomplish in the Time You’ll Spend Waiting for Customer Service

What would you do with 43 days?

A report found that half of America’s customers spend 10-20 minutes per week – and up to 43 days over the course of their lifetime – waiting to speak to a customer service representative. 

While many analysts would have expected this number to decrease over the last half-decade based on technology improvements alone, customer service has only gotten worse. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, the pandemic has created 68% more call escalations, 50% more difficult calls and 34% longer hold times. Contact centers are struggling to hire enough agents fast enough to meet unpredictable spikes in call volumes.

To further complicate things, a majority of customers still prefer using the phone when contacting customer service. And despite the rise of digital channels like chat and SMS, they can still include long wait times when trying to speak to a live agent.

Many innovative contact centers have already taken action by implementing Contact Center Automation. Contact Center Automation leverages conversational AI to offload high-volume, tier-1 requests from their live agents and free them to connect with customers who need high-touch service. These contact centers are seeing reduced or no wait times as a result.

But the majority of contact centers are still using ineffective IVRs, costly BPOs, or chatbots that can’t truly automate tier-1 customer requests and come with their own customer frustration points. In other words, 43 days will continue to be the lifetime sacrifice for many customers stuck waiting to get their issues resolved. 

To put that into perspective, here are seven things you could accomplish in that time:

1. Watch every episode of “Friends”… ten times

With 236 total episodes averaging about 22 minutes each, it would take a person approximately 88 hours to watch every episode of Friends. With minimal breaks, that’s 10 binges-worth over 43 days.

2. Learn elementary-level Spanish

15 hours per week is an intensive study schedule for a student learning Spanish. If you’re highly motivated, you could realistically gain around 60 hours of Spanish instruction in one month. That’s the equivalent to one year of formal Spanish education and plenty of time to learn more than “where’s the library.” 

3. Pick up an instrument

There are approximately 1000 hours in 43 days, and according to Hub Guitar, it takes 625 hours of practice to move beyond “Basic” to “Beginner”-level guitar playing. That’s plenty of time to learn some of your favorite “hold music” tracks.

4. Train for and run a half marathon

It’s probably not recommended, but it is possible to “crash train” for a half-marathon in around a month.

5. Travel around the world

It would take about three months to travel around the world if you want to visit several destinations along the way. If you want to travel the world as fast as possible, a trip could be accomplished in about 40 days.

6. Go to the moon (and back) 7 times

Historically, most lunar missions have taken about three days to reach the moon, or six days for a quick round trip. 

7. Walk from San Diego to Maine

According to Google maps, a walking route from San Diego to Maine is about 3,100 miles, or roughly 1,000 hours. 

The alternative? Contact Center Automation could save your customers and agents enough time to simply get more done every day. Long wait times don’t just affect customers. They burn out agents, they risk data loss, and they lead to disrupted technology roadmaps.

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