Once an agent answers a call, it will never be interrupted. This provides a much nicer experience for callers, as opposed to being repeatedly interrupted with, "Will you hold for just a moment? I have to answer another call." At our answering service the only time a caller is ever placed on hold is if the account instructions are for an agent to patch through a call. In this instance an agent would have to place the caller on hold while they attempt to connect the caller directly to a staff member at your office.
The only other scenario where a caller would not immediately speak with an agent can happens when the call first arrives. Our call center agents answer 85% of our calls on the first ring, at which time an agent stays with the caller until completion. An additional 10-12% of inbound calls are still answered by a live virtual receptionist, who takes the caller to completion, however they are answered on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th ring. The remaining 3-5% of inbound calls will complete the 4th ring, at which time a custom announcement, in your company name, will play to let the caller know all representatives are busy and that someone will be with them in less than 15 seconds. The caller is then placed in a hold queue where professional music is played until the call is answered by the next available call center agent. Our average hold time in this queue is 15 seconds or less. Again, because of how our answering service bills, we do not want callers in the hold queue. If they hang up, you miss a call and we don't earn revenue.