Losing a call is never a good thing, especially when your call center is offering help to your customers. When a client hangs up before your agent has finished with them, it means they’re unsatisfied. If a client hangs up before they can even talk to an agent, that dissatisfaction is even stronger and may cause them to never call again.
Call abandonment–which is when a caller hangs up before their query is completed–is one of the key KPIs for call centers. While you’re never going to have 0% call abandonment, you want to reduce abandoned calls as much as possible to ensure the happiness of your customer base.
But there are ways to mitigate call abandonment in a way that’s easy on you and your staff, helpful to your customers, and simple to implement via call center software. Let’s take a look at a few solutions to keeping as many people on the line as possible.
Before you can start making improvements to your customers’ call experience, it’s important to know what the overall customer experience actually looks like. Take a look at the process so you can identify the issues and ultimately reduce abandonment rates.
Identify When Calls Are Being Abandoned
In order to know how to stop people from hanging up, you need to know when they abandon the call. After all, if people are ending calls prematurely because of long hold times, changing your representatives’ script isn’t going to do much good.
By monitoring the “when” along with the “why,” you can start making educated decisions on where your call volume drops. If callers drop before speaking to an agent, look up alternative ways to queue calls. If they’re hanging up with your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu, your menu options may be too complicated or difficult to follow.
If they hang up while talking to your representatives, it may be time to check in on your staff. Ensure they’re following the script if they’ve been provided one, check to see that they’re being friendly and informative, and consider a company-wide training to give your team a skills refresh.
Check the Call Experience Yourself
For all the data you can pull on call volume and customer experience, there’s no substitute for experiencing it yourself. Make a call to your contact center with a question in mind, and go through the whole process.
Make a note of what frustrating things you find–long hold times, difficult-to-use IVR, the amount of times you’re transferred–and use that information and your own emotions from the call to gauge where you can start making improvements. With that personal touch, you’ll also be more empathetic to your customers and better able to make their experience a great one.
Once you know what areas need improvement, it’s time to start looking at solutions. While some may be reliant on your agents, a number of improvements to the call experience can be made with proper software applications.
When you’re thinking about migrating your contact center to the cloud, these financial benefits cannot be overlooked. Reduced capital expenses, enhanced scalability, and predictable monthly expenses create a trifecta of financial advantages.
Improve Your Self-Help Options
If you don’t have an IVR menu in place, this is your sign to get one! IVR allows callers to use voice commands to access commonly requested things like bill pay, information, replacement and return policies, and a whole host of other areas.
This is a great way to reduce hold time and your agents’ workload, but you need to ensure you’re doing it right. If you’re still seeing calls drop with IVR, it might be worth re-examining your menu options. If they’re difficult to understand or involve too much work on the callers’ side, you’ll see people hanging up before their issue is resolved–or asking to speak to a representative, which makes for longer hold times.
When setting up your IVR, be sure to account for the following:
A big factor in long hold times is that there simply aren’t enough agents to answer incoming calls. You can actually use your call queue software to track the busiest times for your call center, along with letting customers know the estimated wait time ahead of them.
Once you get a solid amount of data and a good idea of when your peak hours are, you can staff accordingly. More agents during a known busy time period mean fewer customers waiting and less frustration for the callers. Also, be sure to plan ahead for future high-volume call periods, such as after a new product release or update, in order to prevent bottlenecking during a call traffic spike.
A great way to prevent a dropped call is to avoid keeping callers on the line altogether. Rather than putting them on hold, you can use your call management software to create a virtual queueing system. Then, when it’s their turn, it will automatically call them back when a representative is available.
Queue callback and other callback options are a great way to lessen frustration for your callers and thus avoid dropped calls. Not only does it keep them from having to stop everything in order to wait on hold, but it means they’ll be less frustrated when their representative gets to them, and thus less likely to hang up.
No one likes being shuffled between departments to have their questions or concerns addressed, and after so many switches, people are often frustrated enough to end the call. With skills-based routing, callers can be directed right where they need to go at the start of their call.
Rather than going to the first available representative, your software will route the caller to the department they need. For instance, if the caller speaks Spanish, they will automatically be directed to an agent who speaks Spanish rather than shuffling through available representatives until they reach a Spanish-speaking one.
With an awareness of what your customer call experience looks like and modern call management software, you can avoid the typical frustrations that people expect when making a call to a company. Even minimizing a few of the frustrations can go a long way when it comes to better customer service and increasing customer satisfaction.
Plus, by improving your call queue experience, you’re not just making this process better for your callers. You’re showing them that you care, and that will reflect in their attitude when it comes to your business. You’re practically guaranteed to see more business if you make things as easy as possible for your current customers, so they’ll refer you to others.
If your current call management software isn’t doing the trick–or if you haven’t started using call management software yet–then it’s time to check out Xima. Our top-of-the-line software is designed to help make your call center as productive and efficient as possible and boost your customer satisfaction.