“Dai l’hamtana” is Hebrew for “enough of waiting on hold.” Photo via Hold No More on Facebook
“Dai l’hamtana” is Hebrew for “enough of waiting on hold.” Photo via Hold No More on Facebook

Wearing loud orange caps, blasting maddening elevator music from truck speakers and shouting through a megaphone that they’re tired of waiting for an elusive customer agent to answer the phone, Israeli actors hired by LivePerson — a leading provider of digital messaging solutions – recently staged an open-air spectacle of the frustration that consumers feel while trying to access customer service.

The two live demonstrations in Tel Aviv may have been set up, but the dissatisfaction and endless waiting on the phone are real. Just listen to the people-on-the-street talking with the actors about their disastrous customer-service experiences.

It’s a scenario played out the world over, and LivePerson obviously thinks a solution could be packaged in blue and white. Israel, after all, is where ICQ was developed and popularized. Yet the instant-messaging computer program – which spawned today’s WhatsApp, instant chats, and live messenger programs — has been overlooked by the one area of business most in need of it.

That’s why LivePerson performed this public wake-up call – “Hold No More” — to create awareness and ensure better results for people trying to reach customer-service representatives.

The face of the campaign is actor and standup comedian Tal Solomon. In December 2014, he uploaded a video skit of himself skewering Israel’s HOT cable channel’s catastrophic customer-service record. That video soared to over 200,000 views.

LivePerson’s Tel Aviv stunts have also gained social-media traction. The video passed 210,000 views in its first week on Facebook.

The company, which trades on NASDAQ and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is the developer of LiveEngage, a messaging platform that allows companies to talk with visitors in real time on websites, mobile and social networks.

The company chose Israel to launch the first public “Hold No More” campaign because the country was the first to issue regulations about wait time in customer service centers, back in 2012. The law provides that a company must respond within three minutes or offer the customer an alternative (either keep waiting or leave a message). But these regulations are not well enforced.

Customers in the digital age – used to pressing a button to get everything done here and now – are still subject to long wait times when calling customer-service centers. Many people opt to hang up before achieving what they set out to do.

LivePerson is promoting its own digital solutions as well as calling on service centers to step into the 21st century.

The company – with offices in London, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, San Francisco, Atlanta, Mannheim, Amsterdam, Milan, Paris, Tokyo and Berlin — recently launched the LiveEngage app, a mobile messaging platform for small and midsize businesses to deliver efficient customer service.

“Mobile communication is first and foremost about connection, and business owners who meet that consumer need will retain and win more customers,” said LivePerson CEO Robert LoCascio.