Call Waiting: The Ultimate Customer Experience Killer

February 28, 2024
minutes read

In the fast-paced world of financial services, where time is of the essence, the traditional telephone channel seems to be an obstacle rather than a solution. Call waiting, a persistent woe for both customers and financial institutions, has become synonymous with friction, frustration, inefficiency, and lost opportunities. In this blog post, we unravel the complexities surrounding the first issue in this series – the toll of call waiting on customer experiences and the financial industry's bottom line.

Call Waiting: A Barrier to Seamless Financial Interactions

Telephony operations within financial services often grapple with a critical challenge – insufficient staffing. The repercussions of this manifests in the form of prolonged wait times, intricate Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menus, and unresolved calls. As clients eagerly seek timely assistance, they find themselves trapped in a loop of frustration, exposing the inherent inefficiencies of relying on traditional phone channels for crucial financial interactions.

The Waiting Game

Picture this: a customer urgently needs assistance with a transaction, a mortgage application, or a security concern. They dial the customer service number, only to be greeted by the automated voice of an IVR system. Navigating through a maze of menu options, each seemingly more confusing than the last, the customer finally selects the option that aligns with their query. And then, the wait begins.

Call waiting transforms a routine inquiry or transaction into a time-consuming ordeal. As minutes turn into what feels like an eternity, the customer's frustration escalates, eroding their overall experience with the financial institution. In an era where digital interactions are expected to be swift and seamless, the prolonged waiting times associated with phone communication stand out as a stark contrast to modern expectations.

It was recently reported that one in 10 people have to wait over half an hour to speak with their bank over the phone, with 1 in 4 struggling to even get through to the right person. This is alongside the fact that when a customer does manage to speak to someone, quite often they encounter rude and unhelpful staff which can also put people off contacting their banks over the phone.

The Ripple Effect on Customer Patience

Customer patience is a fragile commodity. Prolonged wait times have a direct impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. In the financial services sector, where trust and reliability are paramount, the toll on customer patience can have far-reaching consequences. Clients may question the efficiency of the institution, their commitment to customer service, and even contemplate exploring alternatives.

Beyond frustration, call waiting poses a tangible risk to the resolution of customer queries and may even lead to lost opportunities. As customers wait on hold, their initial inquiry or concern might escalate, requiring more time and resources to address. In the dynamic landscape of financial services, where swift responses can make a significant difference, unresolved queries can have lasting negative consequences.

Consider a client seeking guidance or an update on a time-sensitive issue, if they are left waiting on the phone for an extended period, the opportunity to provide timely advice may slip away. In financial matters, where market conditions can change rapidly, the importance of seizing the right moment cannot be overstated. Call waiting, in this context, transforms from a mere inconvenience to a potential financial risk. 

Customer Dissatisfaction and Brand Perception

The dissatisfaction stemming from prolonged wait times and unresolved queries can tarnish a financial institution's reputation. In an interconnected world, where customers readily share their experiences on various platforms, negative feedback can spread like wildfire. A dissatisfied customer expressing their frustration through and on review portals can influence the opinions of their peers.

The impact on brand perception is undeniable. A company that struggles to manage its phone communication effectively may be perceived as outdated, inefficient, and, worst of all, indifferent to its customers' needs. In an industry built on trust, such negative perceptions can erode the very foundation of a financial institution's credibility.

The Financial Toll on Institutions

While customers bear the emotional cost of frustration and inconvenience, financial institutions also suffer a tangible financial toll. The resources tied up in managing extended call waiting times, resolving escalated issues, and addressing the fallout from dissatisfied customers could be better utilised elsewhere.

Additionally, the potential loss of customers and the negative impact on brand reputation can directly affect the bottom line. Acquiring new customers is generally more expensive than retaining existing ones, making customer satisfaction and efficient communication essential components of a successful financial institution.

No More Call Waiting with Nivo Verified Identify Messaging 

In financial services, where call waiting introduces delays and inefficiencies, Nivo’s Verified Identity Messaging (VIM) emerges as a transformative solution. This secure instant messaging platform, drawing inspiration from widely-used apps like Facebook and WhatsApp, is designed to streamline communication between financial services firms and their customers. The app makes it easier for customers to submit information and send documents to their service provided and check on the status of their accounts and application. 

With bank-standard security to ensure the safety of sensitive information, Nivo replaces outdated communication channels and provides one innovative solution that can be used for all customer interactions. 

Introducing advanced features including document upload, e-signing, biometric Identity and Open Banking, Nivo not only mitigates the challenges posed by call waiting but elevates the efficiency and convenience of financial communications, positioning itself as a strategic solution in the ever-evolving landscape of financial services.


In conclusion, the toll of call waiting on customer experiences in financial services is evident, impacting satisfaction, loyalty, and even the bottom line of institutions. Prolonged wait times erode trust and may lead clients to explore alternatives. Customer dissatisfaction can tarnish a financial institution's reputation, making efficient communication a cornerstone of success. The financial toll on institutions, both tangible and intangible, emphasises the urgent need for innovative solutions.

As the industry seeks to enhance customer experiences and operational effectiveness, Nivo's Verified Identity Messaging (VIM) stands out as an innovative solution poised to revolutionise communication, addressing the pressing challenges posed by call waiting and positioning institutions for a customer-centric future.

To learn more about the challenges that phone is presenting to financial services firms, download our guide 10 Reasons Why Phone Communication is Destroying the Customer Experience and Staff Productivity in Financial Services.

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