There are many aspects of a successful business. For example, one is having an appealing website and knowing how to increase website sales. Another one is offering products or services that have value for your customer base. Additionally, you want to ensure your marketing campaigns are efficient. We could go on and on. However, at the center of every prosperous business is a satisfied customer. Therefore, it’s vital to understand and appreciate them. Although interacting one on one with each customer is next to impossible, it’s very important to have an excellent and efficient contact center. That means that you want every customer that contacts your business to leave happy and satisfied. And the last thing you want is for your customers to leave before they even get in touch with your agent. With that in mind, we’ve prepared this excellent guide for reducing your call abandonment rate!
What is the call abandonment rate?
Firstly, you need to understand what an abandonment call exactly is. So, what is it? An abandoned call is when a caller hangs up before they are connected with your service agents. Many companies don’t define the term appropriately. Sometimes they include the calls that happen after hours or calls that are most likely mistakes. Needless to say, including these calls may lead to wrong interpretation. As a result, you don’t get the right data to base your future strategies on.
Now, how to determine the rate? Before you implement different methods for reducing your call abandonment rate, you need to calculate the rate. The most common way to do this is to divide the number of abandoned calls by the total number of calls.
Why is it important and can it be improved?
An average rate for most call centers is between 5% and 8%. However, the lower it is the better. But, why is the call abandonment rate so important? Because each abandoned call to your business means one unsatisfied customer. And that is what you want to avoid. Unhappy customers are more likely to leave your brand and turn to your competitors. Instead, it’s best to lower this rate as much as possible. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do so!
Locate the problem area
The first thing you should do if your abandonment rate is high is to identify the cause of this. Maybe it’s a specific area. Is the rate high in the technical support sector? Or, is it in the sales inquiries area? If you have different sectors that deal with different aspects of your business, it’s worth finding out precisely where the problem is.
On the other hand, if you’re having significantly more abandoned calls than usual, the root of the problem may be elsewhere. For example, your call center is efficient, but maybe a defect in your new series of a certain product is causing the flood of calls. However, even if there is no deeper problem, the following tactics can help you lower your abandonment rate further!
Be transparent about estimated waiting time
Customers invest their time interacting with your brand in various ways. In return, they expect you to value their time, too. So, announcing EWT (estimated waiting time) is a sign of respect and appreciation for your customers. Luckily, lead engagement software is available in many shapes and forms. You can implement IVR systems that calculate EWT and announce it to the callers. What’s more, you can opt for virtual queueing that allows customers to keep their place in the “queue” without staying on the phone. In both cases, callers are more likely to be patient and wait rather than hang up.
The media blending approach can help you reduce the call abandonment rate
Another excellent way for reducing your call abandonment rate is to handle customer interactions across multiple channels of communication. These include your call center, but also your emails, website, and phone channels. It will shorten EWT for customers and enable your agents to deal with each interaction in the best way possible.
Dial back abandoned calls
For high-value interactions, it’s always a good idea to dial back abandoned calls as soon as possible. For example, you can schedule agents to call back abandoned calls during off-peak times. This solution offers several benefits. For starters, you will show that you care about your customers. In addition to that, it will also help you keep your agents busy, but not overwhelmed.
Engage customers during the waiting period
The key to reducing your call abandonment rate is to lower perceived waiting time. For example, to an impatient or unhappy customer, one minute may well seem like five. Now, by making your caller aware of EWT, you’ve already won half the battle. But, what to do if the wait time is simply too long? The answer is simple too. Engage your customers in various ways and keep them on the line. Here are some tried and true practices:
- Give them a task – your customers can provide information about why they’re calling; this will give them something productive to do and it might reduce the time spent on the call later on
- Play engaging music
- Make interesting announcements and ads, since it can prevent customers from hanging up
For frequent and routine requests, there is no better solution than self-service. Effective scenarios will enable you to tackle these calls across different platforms. Your customers will be able to quickly find a solution to their problem or get an answer to their question. At the same time, your agents will have more precious time to deal with more complex tasks.
Improving the efficiency of your team will help you to reduce the call abandonment rate
When your goal is to lower website bounce rate, you check the efficiency and effectiveness of your website design. Similarly, if you want to lower the call abandonment rate, ensure your customer service team is as effective as it can be.
For example, you might want to consider making changes to your employees’ schedules. Determine your contact center’s peak and off-peak hours. Then, reallocate more agents to work during the high interaction time.
Or, you can use wallboards or team broadcasts to inform your agents about the number of calls. This can function as an effective reminder. However, be careful not to add pressure on your agents or lower their morale.
Lastly, it’s possible that your team needs more training. Quality training will enable them to handle more calls in less time while maintaining quality service. Your employees are a valuable resource to your company, so don’t hesitate to invest in their talent and help them improve their skills. After all, having a strong and efficient team is one of the best ways for reducing your call abandonment rate.
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