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One of the challenges call centers face is how to handle short abandoned calls. When a customer hangs up before reaching an agent, it’s considered an abandoned call. But is any abandoned call an abandoned call, or do we carve out short calls abandoned in less than 30 seconds, for example? What is the best practice?

The answer to this question isn’t straightforward, as there are different schools of thought on how to handle short, abandoned calls. However, here are some best practices that you can consider when dealing with this issue.

Define what counts as an abandoned call

The first step in addressing short abandoned calls is to define what counts as an abandoned call. Some call centers consider any call that’s abandoned before reaching an agent as an abandoned call. Others carve out short abandoned calls that are less than a certain time threshold, such as 10 seconds or 30 seconds.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. Counting all abandoned calls can give you a clearer picture of your call volume and customer demand. Carving out short abandoned calls can help you focus on calls that are more likely to have required attention, such as those that have reached the interactive voice response (IVR) system.

Analyze the reasons for short abandoned calls

Once you’ve defined what counts as an abandoned call, the next step is to analyze the reasons for short abandoned calls. Short abandoned calls can happen for various reasons, such as:

  • The customer changed their mind and didn’t want to wait any longer.
  • The customer accidentally dialed the wrong number.
  • The customer was testing the IVR system.

By understanding the reasons for short abandoned calls, you can identify the areas that need improvement. For example, if you’re getting a lot of short abandoned calls because customers are accidentally dialing the wrong number, you may need to consider improving your IVR system’s routing options.

Implement strategies to reduce short abandoned calls

Once you’ve analyzed the reasons for short abandoned calls, the next step is to implement strategies to reduce them. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Reduce wait times: Customers are more likely to abandon a call if they have to wait for a long time. Consider optimizing your staffing levels, using call-back options, or providing estimated wait times to customers to reduce wait times.
  • Improve your IVR system: The IVR system can have a significant impact on short abandoned calls. Consider providing clear and concise instructions, improving routing options, and minimizing the number of options presented to customers.
  • Provide alternative channels: Some customers may prefer alternative channels, such as email or chat, instead of waiting on hold. Consider providing alternative channels and making them easily accessible to customers.
  • Train your agents: Your agents can have a significant impact on reducing short abandoned calls. Train them to handle calls efficiently, provide accurate information, and address customers’ needs quickly and effectively.

Short abandoned calls can be a challenge for call centers, but there are strategies you can implement to reduce them. By defining what counts as an abandoned call, analyzing the reasons for short abandoned calls, and implementing best practices to reduce them, you can improve your call center’s performance and provide a better customer experience.

Angela Irizarry

Angela Irizarry is the President and Chief Operating Officer at MetricNet, where she is responsible for managing day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and new client acquisition. She also oversees the company's sales and marketing efforts and manages its intellectual property and online resources. Angela has been with the company for 10 years and has over 20 years of experience in business development and strategy. She has been featured in Fortune magazine and has received recognition for her work in competitive and trends analysis from executives at a variety of Fortune 100 companies. Angela is a dynamic and accomplished professional who consistently delivers exceptional results for MetricNet and its clients. She has a wealth of industry experience and a track record of success in driving business results, particularly in the financial services, insurance, and healthcare sectors. Angela is highly skilled in communication, problem-solving, and project management, and is committed to delivering the highest level of service to MetricNet's clients.

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