Many people wonder if it is rude to put someone on hold. There are times when it is the professional way to handle a call for a business.
Sometimes, you have to do it in private life too depending on the situation.
We did a survey to find out what people on the other end of the line think about it.
Is It Rude to Put Someone on Hold?
We conducted a survey of 106 US-based individuals, and 69% of people shared they don’t feel it is rude if you put someone on hold. 31% felt it was rude to do so.
Based on such results, you have to do what works best for you. Of course, the policies where you work play a role in putting someone on hold or not.
In your personal life, try not to do it unless necessary. You don’t want people to think you don’t have time for them or that you are trying to rush with helping them.
Keep It Brief
A hold should be brief, never more than a few minutes. If you know from the start it will take longer than that, ask if you can call them back.
Take down any information you need to reach them if they aren’t saved contact on your personal device.
What to Say:
“I need to check on that, can I place you on a brief hold?”
“I am getting a call from my son, do you mind being on hold and then we will schedule lunch?”
“Let me check on that for you with a supervisor, please hold the line and I will be back in a moment.”
“Do you mind waiting a few minutes while I investigate this further? I want to get the best solution possible for you.”
“I need to take a call from the the office really quick, I will be right back.”
What to Do If It Is Taking Longer Than Anticipated
If your intention was to place someone on hold for a few minutes, but it is taking longer than anticipated, get back to them.
Return to the call and let them know what is going on and ask if they will continue to hold. You can also gather details to call them back.
What to Say:
“I appreciate you holding the call and I apologize it is taking longer than I thought it would. I still need to work on this, do you mind continuing to hold?”
“Thank you for holding, but unfortunately, it will take more time to get this resolved. Can I get your contact details and return a call to you within the next 24 hours?”
“I am sorry your hold time has been so long; it is going to be just a bit longer. I appreciate your patience.”
“We are experiencing delays with our computer system. Would you like to continue to hold or would you like a scheduled call back once we can get into our system?”
“I am sorry but a supervisor is not yet available. Would you like to continue to wait, I will transfer your call as soon as someone is available to assist you?”
Always be polite when you put someone on hold. It doesn’t matter the reason why. This shows them appreciation and shares you value their time.
Customers will get a good impression of your business that way. Personal contacts won’t mind if you are polite about it.
What to Say:
“I would love to help you get scheduled with Mr. Smith; can I have a moment to see what is available?”
“I appreciate your call today, and I am here to help you. Thank you for waiting while I gather that information to assist you.”
“Can you kindly hold for just a moment?”
“I will be right back with you; I appreciate your understanding.”
“Do you mind being placed on hold for a few minutes at this time?”
Telling someone why you need to place them on hold is important. Sometimes, you don’t have a chance to until after you come back on the line. That is especially true for personal calls.
When it is for business, always share why you need to put them on hold and get permission to do so. For a personal call, do what you need to and then explain so they know you weren’t blowing them off.
What to Say:
“It is going to take a couple of minutes to dig into this further, can I place you on hold?”
“Do you mind holding while I reach out to my supervisor for more details on how to handle this for you?”
“Can I put you on hold and contact the 3rd party carrier about the delivery time?”
“I am sorry I put you on hold, the call coming in was one I had to take to get an appointment scheduled. We have been going back and forth for days trying to reach each other. I thank you so much for holding.”
“Sorry, I rushed to put you on hold. I have my car in the shop and they were calling to share what needs to be repaired and get permission to proceed with it.”
Always thank the person on the other end of the line for remaining on hold. Their time is valuable to them, and it is important to acknowledge that.
It doesn’t matter if you were doing something for you or you were doing something for them – don’t forget to thank them!
What to Say:
“I apologize I had to put you on hold and take that other call, I appreciate your understanding.”
“Thank you so much for waiting while I gathered information. I have a solution to share with you at this time.”
“I appreciate you waiting while I took care of something. I know your time is important too.”
“Your patience during that brief hold time was greatly appreciated. It gave me the opportunity to get the information I need to further assist you.”
“I want to thank you for your patience and allowing me some time to look into this matter for you while you were waiting on hold.”
Matt Vargas is an author and public speaking coach with a degree in sociology and more than ten years of practical experience. Matt is responsible for the empirical surveys at everyday-courtesy.com, is a passionate recreational musician, and blogs here about his experiences in the field of interpersonal communication.