Despite the surging popularity of social media and text messaging, traditional phone interactions are still occurring by the billions when it comes to B2C interactions. The number of phone calls made from a mobile device to a business each year has increased steadily. Last year, an estimated 77 billion calls were made to businesses from mobile devices. Projections show that number climbing to 162 billion by 2019.

This increase in phone interactions is a result of growing customer impatience with inefficient services. More and more, customers desire first contact resolution when contacting businesses. When customers are on the phone with contact center agents, they want their issues solved as quickly as possible—that’s why they called in. If their problem is not time sensitive, they may email or post to social media. But when customers really need a solution fast, they call under the rationale that 1) they will interact with a real person and 2) that calling will solve their issue on the first try.

When customers experience an extended period of silence, the purpose behind making a call is lost.  Similar to waiting for an email response, the customer has no idea what is happening on the agent end. While ten or twenty seconds may not feel long for a contact center agent who is busy solving customer issues, it feels like an eternity for customers, decreasing customer satisfaction. “Dead air” kills customer confidence and sucks the life out of customer satisfaction.

To keep up with the shifting needs of customers, it is crucial that supervisors do not neglect traditional phone interaction training for their agents, and allow “dead air” to frustrate and scare off customers.