Tips for Reducing Your Abandoned Calls (Without Hiring More Staff)

Call abandonment is one of the major banes of any contact center’s existence. Dropped calls ultimately look bad on your team but also mean an unsatisfied customer who may drop your service altogether. But how do you best avoid dropped calls?

Your first instinct may be hiring more agents to handle the high call volumes, but that’s an expensive solution–especially if you’re not a big business. The good news is you don’t have to hire anyone new. By working smarter instead of harder, you can better manage your call load with your current staff and deliver much better customer satisfaction.

Understand Why Calls Are Abandoned

The first step to fixing the problem of dropped calls is to understand why people are hanging up in the first place. Most people who call your contact center have an issue they need rectified, and it hurts them as much as it hurts you to have them hang up before being helped. The biggest problems customers face when calling a contact center tend to be:

  • Long wait times
  • Too many transfers
  • Confusing voice menus

But there’s a range of reasons beyond that. The best way to find out what the customer experience is like is to take some time to call your own call center. Try to time it during a busy time, and note what the experience is like. Is your hold time longer than two minutes? Is the hold music you’ve chosen actually insufferable? When you reach an agent, how many transfers does it take to get you where you want to go?

By having a better idea of what a customer call is like from the other side, you can have a better idea of what areas to target when it comes to improving your system. Then, you can create a plan that keeps the customer in mind.

Look into Your Solutions

There are many different solutions for how to fix the problem of call abandons, both in your system and among your staff. Here are a few worth looking into:

Setup an IVR System

An IVR (interactive voice response) system is an automated system that uses voice recognition to walk customers through potential options. While you’ve likely encountered a version of voice recognition in the past, it’s much more sophisticated than the “robots” of the past.

Now, IVR menus can understand customer queries and information and take a lot of the load of incoming calls. People can get answers to frequently asked questions, ask or give information on their accounts, and even make payments over the phone with IVR. You can also set a recording to let customers know your business hours so they don’t call when you won’t pick up.

If you set up an IVR, though, you’ll want to test it yourself to ensure your menu isn’t too confusing. Make it as simple as possible, and your customer callers will be much happier.

Skills-based Routing

One of the other big frustrations many customers have when they call a contact center is the amount of transfers they need to sit through. If they’re transferred more than twice, they’re likely to hang up–especially if they’re forced to wait on hold again.

Rather than shuffling clients around to different people, let technology help you out. Many IVR systems include Skills-Based Routing in their software. This means that the system logs every agent’s skills–whether that’s experience in a certain department or being able to speak another language–into its database. Then, when a customer calls, they’re prompted to give enough information that the system can automatically route the caller to the agent with the skills they need to continue. 

By delivering exceptional customer service in as few transfers as possible, you’ll reduce abandon rates and improve the customer experience with your brand.

Change Up The Way You Put Customers On Hold

In today’s world, there are so many more options for managing customers who can’t be immediately helped than choosing what hold music to put on. Look at different programs and what they offer instead of just having customers sit there. A few potential updates include:

  • Placing customers in a virtual queue, where they will automatically be called back when it’s their turn
  • Letting customers know their estimated wait time before another agent is available
  • Allowing customers to give their information (such as name, date, issue, etc.) while they wait for an agent
  • Offer alternative forms of reaching agents, such as through webchat or email

 

These options have one important thing in common: they tell customers you value their time. Because you’re acknowledging that they’re waiting and giving expectations or alternatives for what they’re waiting for, they’ll be more willing to wait.

Agent Training

In addition to the technological aids mentioned above, you can work with your most important asset: your agents. While your agents may be great as-is, they can always benefit from training, whether that’s seminars, e-courses, or in-house training from professionals in your field. It teaches them new skills, rejuvenates their minds, and helps them work more efficiently, reducing call abandonment rates.

You can also use their past performance to inform their future performance. By recording and monitoring calls with customers, you can have the data on various KPIs they should be meeting, whether that’s call time, service level, or anything else you’re looking for with your agents. This gives them concrete examples not just of what they need to improve on but also of what they’re doing well.

Update Your System

Whether you’re struggling with wait times or transfer issues, if your call abandonment rate is high, it’s time to look for solutions. And luckily, there’s a service that offers all of the above. By using software like Xima, you can have an all-in-one solution to many call center issues that ultimately lead to dropped calls.

Call abandonment rates can be a major blight on a contact center, and it can even go so far as to demoralize your team. But by using the solutions above, you can change the way you handle high call volumes and any other contact center issues that may arise–all without hiring a single extra agent. So take a hard look at what your customer call experience is, and use these tips and tools to make it as great as possible for agents and callers alike.

Update Your System

Whether you’re struggling with wait times or transfer issues, if your call abandonment rate is high, it’s time to look for solutions. And luckily, there’s a service that offers all of the above. By using software like Xima, you can have an all-in-one solution to many call center issues that ultimately lead to dropped calls.

Call abandonment rates can be a major blight on a contact center, and it can even go so far as to demoralize your team. But by using the solutions above, you can change the way you handle high call volumes and any other contact center issues that may arise–all without hiring a single extra agent. So take a hard look at what your customer call experience is, and use these tips and tools to make it as great as possible for agents and callers alike.

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