Call abandonment is often considered as a lower-level metric, and thus people do not focus on the implications of abandoned calls to the organization, which include staffing issues (too few agents indicates that staffing levels are not in alignment with business needs); technical equipment issues (lack of proper technology for directing and handling calls); and strategic business issues tied to the organization’s mission statement and positioning in the market. It is important that contact center managers be proactive in building relationships with other departments, so as to stay ahead of customer-impacting issues such as media ads, mass mailings and other marketing strategies that may impact call volumes. In many instances a lost call is a lost sale. Sales centers, in particular, should calculate average revenue per call to determine what abandon rate is financially acceptable.
Here are some key strategies for your abandonment metric:
- Analysis Strategies:
- Outages – are any of the inbound phone lines down (“dinglers”), or interrupted?
- Call trees – are callers making the right choices and are they being routed properly?
- IVR containment – this occurs when people hang up after finding an answer to their call during an IVR interaction. These calls often get logged as abandoned, when in reality they are a product of successful self-service.
- CTI data mining – this approach is done when conducting a root cause analysis of caller abandonment. It often involves high volumes of call data and a complex method of data analysis.
- Reduction Strategies:
- Training – are agents properly cross trained in order to take the overflow calls from other groups?
- Outsourcing – sending overflows to an outsource vendor. This allows call volumes to stay consistent and manageable within the call center as peaks, valleys and overflows become absorbed by your teleservices partner.
- Call back technologies – these technologies take information from the caller and schedule a return call at a later time.
Remember, additional focus should be given to abandonment when call abandonment rates become greater than 5%. Abandonment rate peaks are often related to time of day issues or schedule adherence issues. Studying these peaks and applying good workforce management practices reduces abandonment and increases caller satisfaction and ROI to the organization.
Tip of the Week: To differentiate between intentionally abandoned calls and “dropped” calls (calls that became disconnected due to technical reasons), look at ANI reports. A caller whose phone dropped from the line will usually call back within a 1 – 3 minute period as opposed to a person who deliberately disconnected.
CallTalk™ Caramels: Sweet Snippets from BenchmarkPortal’s Best CallTalk Episodes
This CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamál Webb. It was drawn from a CallTalk episode with Mike Mastro, entitled “Reducing Abandon Rate: Where To Start, What To Do.” To listen to the archived episode click play below:
CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore. “Caramels” distills “Aha!” moments from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.