Abandoned calls are missed opportunities. Every caller who hangs up while waiting on hold is a potential loyal customer who may be easily tempted to choose a competitor.
Unfortunately, the causes of abandoned calls are not always predictable or preventable. Natural disasters, such as last year’s volcanic eruption in Iceland, which disrupted air traffic around Europe for well over a week, happen all too frequently and without warning.
Infrastructure failures and unforeseen product issues are also frequent culprits for the unexpected spikes in call center volume that inevitably lead to call abandonment. The cost to a call center during these disruptive events can be staggering. For instance, assuming an average sale of $50 per call, lost revenue during one hour of high call volume could reach $20,000.
Moreover, long periods of high call volume can lead to significant agent fatigue, which has a real effect on the bottom line due to lower quality of customer service, high turnover, and increased training costs. While you can’t prevent someone who is stuck on hold from hanging up the phone, you can do everything practical to prevent customers from ending up on hold in the first place. In fact, call centers have a responsibility to manage the risks under their control in order to minimize hold queues during both predicted and unexpected call volume increases.
The key is to empower your critical call center technologies with elastic properties that let you:
• Diversify your agent locations to prevent partial or total disablement of the call center.
• Scale your on-duty agent response quickly when call volume rises.
• Quickly deploy call-management features that help optimize the caller experience despite the circumstances.
A unified call management platform can enable a variety of advanced tactics that help minimize the risks of high call volume and the abandoned calls that come with it. The solution could provide simple remote log-in methods, which means that agents can work from home or on the road via smart phone, increasing their overall availability and willingness to work overtime. The right solution will also increase agent effectiveness using advanced features, such as instant messaging, presence awareness and video conferencing. By making all of the productivity and convenience features of the company contact center solution available to the remote worker, you immediately harden the call center against geographically focused events.
Furthermore, traditional call center tools, such as IVR, are enhanced with additional features to help reduce or soften customer wait times. For example, an up-to-date recorded message can often satisfy the informational needs of many customers. Customers in queue can also be offered the opportunity to schedule a call back. Proactive outbound communication, whether via telephone, email, text or social media, can be extremely effective at preventing a spiraling call volume during a crisis. Contact centers do not have to be hostages to the whims of fortune. Call BCS today to learn more about modern, effective and diversified call center operations that minimize lost revenue caused by call abandonment.