If you run an inbound call center, you are going to have abandoned calls. No matter how professional and skilled your agents are or how intuitive and easy-to-navigate your IVR is, you can never account for everything a caller is experiencing that may lead them to hang up before they connect with an agent. What you can do, however, is take steps on the call center end to reduce the percentage of customers who abandon their calls. Here are three such ways to lower your abandonment rate.
- Hire More Agents
If it is feasible financially, sometimes the easiest way to reduce your abandonment rate is to simply hire more agents. Adding more people will reduce wait times, making callers much more likely to stick it out until they are connected with an agent. If you don’t have the budget to put more bodies in your call center, consider tweaking your schedule so that more agents are on hand during the highest volume days and times, a change you can compensate for by reducing the number of agents working during low volume times.
- Offer Informative Updates
There are few things worse than waiting on hold while listening to an endless stream of music—or silence—without any updates on when you might reach an agent. In addition, simply offering a message that “your call is important to us” every few minutes is not going to tamp down on this frustration. Keeping callers informed as much as possible is going to make it significantly less likely that they hang up. This may include providing them an estimated wait time or telling them what number they are in the queue. Or if you are unable to get that specific, informing them that they have called at a high-volume time and may experience a longer than usual wait time can also be helpful. You can also use your welcome message and/or other phases of your IVR to offer additional information that can streamline a call, such as the information a customer should have on hand when they do connect with an agent in order to resolve their inquiry faster. This way, a customer isn’t sitting on hold and then using precious minutes to find their account number when they finally reach a person.
- Retool Your Queue
Small changes can make a big difference when you’re working to reduce your abandonment rate. Are customers hanging up while listening to your hold music? Maybe try changing it to different music. Are they hanging up while still navigating the IVR? Consider changing the options presented to customers to make them more straightforward. Are they hanging up immediately after reaching an agent? Try to dig into why this is the case—they could have reached the wrong department or they could have had a question with a very simple answer—and see what steps you can take to limit the number of these super short calls to free up agents to deal with more complicated inquiries.
The easy-to-use and easy-to-edit IVR in CallShaper can help you take these steps to lower your abandonment rate. For more information on how, contact us today.