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4 Tips to Reduce Call Abandonment

How many times have you called up a company, only to drop off somewhere down the line? It happens to most of us at some stage. Even if you’ve made it through an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system with enough options to make your head spin, you might still face long hold times to speak with a real person, which naturally creates the urge to drop off the call. Not only will this increase call-abandon rates, but it can also reduce first-contact resolution and leave a sour taste with the customer — both of which are detrimental in the world of customer service.

Although IVR messages and hold times are inevitable, there are still ways to improve the process and thereby reduce your call-abandonment rates. Think of these tips as options on your automated response system — please read each entry fully, as our options have recently changed.

Press 1 for “Anticipate high volumes.” Having a solid understanding of your weekly volume trends and high-traffic periods throughout the year will help you prioritize staffing efforts. Know when to maximize your capacity to properly accommodate the demand. Manage the customer’s expectations by using pre-recorded alerts that acknowledge the high volume, or give the caller the opportunity to leave a message. If people are left waiting too long, they’ll either give up on the call or take out their irritations on your agent.

Press 2 for “Implement a smart IVR.” Talkdesk recently explained that inbound callers don’t just abandon in queue, but also typically abandon in the IVR. That usually means that the IVR is either too long, too complicated, or uses unclear prompts. Using a concise, helpful IVR can go a long way; the customer’s needs may not be fully understood, but they’ll feel that they’re making progress. Something as simple as a menu including live call, voicemail, call-back, and a prompt on where find information online would be a great start.

Press 3 for “Set proper expectations.” During periods of high volume, it’s hard to avoid putting customers on hold at some point. A great way to combat this is a simple IVR message letting the customer know where they are in the queue or how long they will need to hold. Customers will know their expectations and agents will know what their goal is for each call — everyone wins!

Press 4 for ”Properly configure your support software.” It’s not uncommon for an abandon rate to seem higher than what it is; this could be due to the way your talk software is configured. If a caller can’t be answered by your agent because of a software issue, the customer will have to wait longer and will be more inclined to abandon the call. Ensure strong technical performance by staffing those with a solid understanding of how to identify and fix these issues before they affect your customers.

Now that you’ve gone through each step, you’re likely providing more efficient and communicative phone tree messaging and management. You’ve successfully improved the quality of your customer support, evidenced by your lower drop-off number. Congratulations — and thanks for calling.

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