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Stop the Waiting Game, Your Clients Sure Want To
January 8, 2014 @ 01:02 PM | By Sarah Murphy


Picture this scenario: You’ve been sitting on the phone for five minutes, waiting for a business associate who is late for a meeting. You’ve checked your calendar to confirm the time, as well as the clock. Should you hang up? What if you hang up, and the person you are waiting for joins the conference as soon as you do? Will they know you were waiting? Will they think poorly of you?

Anyone who has experienced a situation like this during a conference call can attest to how awkward it feels when the other party does not enter the call. Moreover, determining proper phone etiquette, including at what point you can hang up, is no small feat. Unfortunately, there is no standard rule for dealing with this problem and every situation is different, depending on who is on the other end of the line.

If it’s your boss, for instance, or a key client, that you are waiting for, you don’t want to be the one who hangs up too early. In this case, it’s advisable to endure every possible awkward minute that you can. This could be five minutes, or it could be 10. Only you know the habits of your co-workers and clientele. Some people are just always late. And if you are on the phone with a client while your boss is late, it is up to you to appease them and keep chatter going for as long as possible.

Occasionally, however, the situation could work in your favor. If, for instance, you did not get your work done and you know that you are truly in for it, there is nothing better than a botched phone call. It’s the same magic feeling one would experience in grade school when the teacher would get sick before a test and cancel the assessment. By the fourth minute of this call, you might as well hang up and celebrate.

No matter the circumstance though, there is oftentimes the empty feeling knowing that your client or co-worker blew you off. Further, there is a somber email to write, expressing a desire to “follow up at a later date.” And the next time you get on the phone with them, there will almost always be an apology waiting.

The point is that we’ve all experienced this awkwardness, and it’s not fun when you get stuck waiting forever for someone to pick up the phone. But if stellar customer service is your priority, then you should never put a client in this situation. If you can’t make a call, it’s best to let them know that you will not be able to make it. And with the right conference services for your mobile phone, you can log in to a meeting and inform participants of your status wherever you may be—no matter how busy you are.

So, how long do you typically wait during a conference call before you hang up the phone? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sarah MurphySarah Murphy is a marketing manager at InterCall. With over ten years of experience in the conferencing industry, Sarah has worked with customers and products that cover all segments of conferencing, including traditional operator attended services, video and online meeting solutions.

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