Customer experience has become a priority for every company. Almost 46% of companies say that customer experience is their top priority in the next five years. And, why not? Customers are the ones paying for your products and services, helping you generate revenue.
However, when people call your support team, they need immediate assistance with your product. And when they leave without talking to your representative, it is not a good sign. It indicates that they are not happy with the experience and you need to improve your customer service.
But, the good news is, reducing abandoned calls in your call center is easier than it seems.
Don’t believe me? Read on to understand what call abandonment is and how you can reduce it.
What Is an Abandoned Call?
When a customer disconnects the call before they could reach an agent, it is referred to as an abandoned call. It could be because of long wait times to connect to an agent or complicated interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Whatever may be the reason, it can negatively affect the customer experience and your business.
You can calculate your call center’s abandonment rate using this formula:
Abandonment rate = (Abandoned calls / Total Calls) * 100
For example, if you receive 1000 calls in a day, out of which 50 callers hung up the phone before your system could connect them to an agent, your abandonment rate would be:
Abandonment rate = (50 / 1000) * 100 = 5%
An abandonment rate of 5-8% is considered as an average as per industry standards. However, if your call center abandonment rate exceeds 10%, you should focus on optimizing your calling experience.
Why Are Call Center Calls Abandoned?
Though the exact reason varies from customer to customer, here are some common reasons for abandoned calls
- Your IVR system confused the caller, leading them to hang up the phone.
- It took too long to connect to a human agent.
- The customer disconnected the call before a live agent could pick up because of personal reasons.
- They couldn’t find the option to connect to a human representative.
- The caller figured out the answer to their question through other means (e.g., your website) while waiting for an agent to pick up.
8 Ways to Reduce Abandoned Calls In Your Call Center
Follow these easy-to-implement actionable strategies to minimize your call center abandonment rate.
1. Offer Callback Options
Callback options (also known as virtual queueing) are one of the best ways to improve customer experience and reduce abandoned calls. Even with callback options, callers will have to go through the same options as everyone. However, when they are presented with the estimated wait time, they can choose to either wait or receive a callback.
Some people might argue that in this case, the customer hangs up the phone before connecting to an agent, but this isn’t an abandoned call as the caller chooses to get a callback, meaning they will still talk to your representative.
CallHippo, for instance, offers a power dialer feature that you can use to manage callbacks. When callers request a callback, CallHippo will start dialling them one by one (based on First In, First Out strategy) when your agents are available. This ensures all your customers receive a callback.
2. Upgrade Your Call Center Software
Your call center software plays a vital role in the customer experience and your call abandonment rate.
The best call center software would let you customize your IVR to fit your business’s unique requirements. You can use it to provide basic information (e.g., billing, subscription details, account information, etc.) and share product updates to keep callers engaged while they wait in the queue.
It should also provide insights into your abandonment rate without you spending hours calculating it. Also, ensure that your call center software has an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD). It distributes incoming calls to specific agents in your call center to minimize repeated calls and maximize customer experience.
Did you know you can set up CallHippo call center software in less than 3 minutes?
3. Use Multiple Support Channels
When customers have only one support option (i.e., phone), you will likely receive more calls than your agents can handle. As a result, customers will experience long wait times, and your agents will become stressed quickly.
By using a multi-channel communication strategy, you can reduce the phone calls (therefore abandonment rate) and relieve your agents from high call volume. This will also give your representatives more time to handle each query and solve them efficiently.
Below are some of the channels customers prefer to use when communicating with a business:
- Social media
- Text messaging
- Live chat on the website and mobile app
And when you offer multiple support options, let your customers know as CallHippo does. And when you offer multiple support options, let your customers know as CallHippo does. It provides:
- An email address.`
- A physical address (just in case you want to visit the office).
- A live chat option.
You can even schedule a demo of the product at your convenience (if your query is related to sales).
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4. Let Customers Know The Estimated Wait Time
It is vital to let customers know the estimated wait time. If you keep a caller on hold without letting them know how long they will have to wait, they will get frustrated quickly and might disconnect the call.
Providing an estimated wait time reduces frustration, sets expectations, and increases the chances of them waiting in the queue. Another benefit of giving an estimated wait time to callers is that it increases customer satisfaction as they can decide whether to wait in the line.
Even if they disconnect the call after hearing the estimated wait time, they would be less frustrated than if they were not indicated how long it would take to connect to an agent.
5. Prepare for Volume Spikes
After being in the call center industry, we know for sure that there are certain days in the week when call volume typically spikes. However, the exact days and times differ from company to company. Use analytics to determine when you receive most calls (time and day of the week).
To avoid customer frustration and call abandonment, get creative on how you schedule your support team. For instance, if you have two or more support teams working in different shifts, you can consider overlapping their shifts on the most demanding days to handle the spike in call volumes.
You can even consider hiring more agents to minimize the pressure on your team while ensuring customer satisfaction. If you are not sure how many agents you will need to hire, make sure to check out this guide on call center staffing.
6. Train Your Agents Regularly
Well-trained agents are much more efficient in solving customers’ queries. Though most call centers train their agents when they onboard, they don’t realize that education is a continuous process.
Offering training modules, classes, and guides can significantly improve an agent’s confidence when talking to a customer and ensure they follow the call center best practices. Also, when your agents are well-trained, they will take less time to solve customers’ issues, which, in turn, will benefit the ones waiting in the queue.
7. Increase First-Call Resolution
First-call resolution refers to the ability to resolve a customer’s issue in their very first call. Your call abandonment rate is more likely to be high if a caller has not gotten their issue resolved in their first call.
Because people are more likely to get frustrated and abandon the call if they are calling for the second or third time for the same problem. Again, this could be attributed to the agent’s skills and ability to solve customers’ issues.
Call center platforms, like CallHippo, offer skill-based routing to ensure the customer is always connected to the agent best equipped to handle the caller’s queries.
8. Keep Your Callers Engaged
Customers are more likely to get frustrated if they are put on hold for longer. One way to minimize frustration and abandonment rate is by keeping them engaged while your agents get free.
You can ask them to enter their details (such as customer number, registered mobile number, etc.). The chances are they won’t have these details memorized, so they might take an additional minute to search for the details and then enter them. This will keep them engaged and provide the agent (who picks up the call) with the basic customer details. As a result, your representative can directly move to solve the issue, thereby improving the overall customer experience.
Call abandonment is one of the major problems for any call center. It is a clear indication that the customer is not happy with your company, which you would never want. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize abandoned calls. Follow the strategies mentioned above to reduce call abandonment in your call center!
Did we miss any great tips to reduce abandoned calls in a call center? We would love to learn from your experience. Please let us know in the comments!