Do call centers record you while on hold?

Knowing if call centers can record while on hold

Do call centers record you while on hold

Call Centers and Call Recording: What Happens While You're on Hold

If you’ve ever contacted a customer service hotline or contact center for support, then you’ve been greeted with the notorious “on hold” music or recorded messages. Have you ever thought about how this happens in the time? Do call centers record you while on hold? Let’s look into this typical practice to understand its motives and ramifications.

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When you're on hold, do call centers record you

Do call centers record you while on hold?

Do call centers record you while on hold? Some call centers record their customers when they’re on hold however, others don’t. The ones that record their customers usually use it for quality control for training the new staff, or for resolving customer complaints. If a call center will record your call while you are on hold is contingent on a variety of aspects that include the policy procedures and policies, as well as the kind of phone they employ and regulations of the country or state in which they’re in.

If you’re concerned about being recorded while you’re on hold You may inquire with the representative at the call center to confirm if they’re recording the conversation. You can also request to end recording the call if it is not something you wish to be recorded.

Here are some helpful tips to avoid being recorded when you are on hold:

  • Contact the call center representative to find out whether they record the call.
  • If you don’t want it to be recorded, request the representative at the call center to end recording the call.
  • If you’re not sure whether the call has been recorded, you may hang up and then call again later.

It is vital to know that laws regarding recording of calls vary between states and from country to nation. In certain States and nations, it’s illegal to record a conversation without the permission by both the parties. In other countries and states it is legal to record a phone call without the permission of both parties, however the call center has to inform the client that the call is recording the call.

What is Caller Put on Hold?

When the customer calls an agent and, while discussing the issue or question the agent places the caller on hold, instead of removing the call. The caller is in the hold position until the status is restored by an agent.

The process of putting callers on hold as well as the duration of their hold is important to be monitored because placing callers on hold often or for long periods of duration results in poor customer service as well as higher cost per call. Agents place callers on hold due to a variety of reasons, like locating an administrator or helpdesk rep to assist. Additionally, agents need to access other desktop applications to search for or manage customer information. Additionally, agents place the caller on hold in order to assist in calming the situation if they or the customer is angered.

In most cases, placing the caller on hold or giving them a hold time is acceptable. But, suppose that agents regularly are putting a lot of callers on hold or hold times. In that scenario this should be considered as a signal of a decrease in first call resolution (FCR) as well as customer satisfaction (Csat) which means that root cause must be identified and addressed.

What is Caller Put on Hold

What is Caller Put on Hold Impact on FCR and Csat?

The infographic below shows an important difference with regard to Csat and FCR for those who are on hold, compared with those who are not on hold. When customers are put on hold Csat (top the box’s response) is reduced by 13 and FCR is 16 percent lower than when callers are not on hold.

Also, calls being placed on hold or having long wait times are an indication of potential opportunities to improve the customer experience and reduce operating expenses. We have found that training and coaching agents is the best solution to solving the problem of placing callers on hold and the long hold time issues as well as the negative effect of this on FCR as well as Csat.

People prefer to use a live hold method, which means the caller is able to talk to an agent at any time, rather than being placed on mute and not talking to the agent. The average time to handle calls is shorter for a live call compared to muted hold. The reason for this is because the agent is more motivated to solve the issue when live hold as a business practice is in use.

Best Practices for Put on Hold Standards Calls that are placed on hold must be 25% to less than that, and a caller employs the live hold method. By achieving these caller put-on hold standards will dramatically increase Your FCR and Csat while reducing the price per call.

Why is average handle time important?

Average handle times provide the most precise information on how effective your customer service and support will be for customers. It’s a crucial metric to monitor when you want to improve your customers’ experience with your company.

The average handle time is an essential metric used by customers because it is a measure of the most important commodity of a customer’s time.

Customers today are expecting to speak with a representative promptly when they need assistance. By measuring AHT, it is possible to assess how well your customer service department is able to meet the customer’s expectations. If you do not, you can modify the support and services you offer.

The reduction in your AHT usually results in your customer service team being more efficient. Customers don’t spend more time talking to your staff and your team can solve cases faster. This improves the customer experience but also enables your reps to handle more cases during their day-to-day work.

How to Calculate Average Handle Time

While the formulas are essentially similar, however, the variables that you’ll use in the typical handle time formula may differ a little bit based on the type of communication that you’re considering. For instance, let’s say I run a business which offers email, phone as well as chat support. We can determine AHT for each of these channels. AHT on each channel with an identical, however not exactly the same formula.

  • Average Handle Time Formula for Phone Calls
    Let’s start with the phones. My phone team fielded 200 calls this week. When we add up the values for each call together, we see that the total amount of talk time was 1,000 minutes, hold time was 500 minutes, and follow-up time was 500 minutes.

    If we were to calculate AHT for my phone team, we can see that it would be 10 minutes per call [(1000 talk minutes + 500 hold minutes + 500 follow-up minutes)/200 calls = 10 minutes].

  • Average Handle Time Formula for Emails
    Next, let’s look at email. For email, there are no hold times; there’s only follow-up. So, we would measure AHT by adding up the total time it took to resolve each case, starting from when it was first opened.

    For example, my business received 500 email tickets and took 10K minutes to resolve them all. In this case, AHT would be 20 minutes per email (10,000 minutes / 500 emails = 20 minutes).

  • Average Handle Time Formula for Chat Support
    Finally, we can measure chat AHT using the same formula as email. Like email, there’s no hold time on chat, only talk and follow-up time.

    So, my business took 300 chats and spent 2,000 minutes talking to customers and 2,000 minutes following up with them. The AHT for my chat channel would then be about 13 minutes per chat [(2,000 talk minutes + 2,000 follow-up minutes) / 300 chats = 13.33 minutes].

    You can use this formula to calculate and compare the AHT of each of your service mediums. However, how do you know if your company’s AHT is on par with other businesses in your industry? In the next section, we put together some industry standards you can review to see if your team is resolving cases as fast as your competitors are.

Average Handle Time Industry Standard

Many variables are involved in determining the industry’s standard handle time. Call Center Magazine has come closest to providing a standard figure for every industry using their Erlang Calculator, where service teams can enter different parameters to determine the amount of employees needed to achieve the agreed-upon service levels.

In terms of industry standards, the figure is more difficult to estimate. However, it is important to keep in mind that the work hours of after-call aren’t included in the report, and therefore cannot be included in the calculation. Below is a table that shows the average time for a talk multiplied by average time to hold by the industry.

  • Consumer/Professional services

3 minutes, 36 seconds

  • Financial services

4 minutes, 5 seconds

  • Government & Public Sector

4 minutes, 12 seconds

  • Healthcare

3 minutes, 28 seconds

  • Hospitality

3 minutes, 11 seconds

  • Manufacturing

4 minutes, 13 seconds

  • Media & Communications

3 minutes, 30 seconds

  • Retail, Ecommerce, and Consumer Goods

3 minutes, 29 seconds

  • Telecommunications

2 minutes, 36 seconds

  • Transportation and Logistics

4 minutes, 8 seconds

  • Other

1 minute, 21 seconds

What is a good average handle time?

A reasonable average handle time is based on your industry’s average. If you’re not in the middle or close to it, you’re providing your customers fast solutions. If you’re above the average, you’ll need longer to finish tickets and may be able to evaluate your processes for growth potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Call centers record calls when they are on hold, mostly to ensure quality as well as training and compliance goals. These recordings aid in assessing agent performance, verify compliance with the company’s policies, and help improve customers.


Recording calls when they are on hold differs by region. In many areas call centers must inform clients that their calls are recorded. It is important to review the local laws to know your rights as well as the obligations of call centers in relation to recording calls.

Some call centers might provide the customers the option to opt-out of recording calls. However there aren’t all call centers that provide this option because of the legal requirements and quality assurance standards. It is possible to inquire with the call center concerning their policies regarding recording.


The time frame for archiving recordings from call centers can differ according to the company and industry. Some recordings are kept for a short period of time, and others for a long time. The time frame for retention is typically determined by the laws and compliance regulations.


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