Determining Your Acceptable Abandon Rate

This blog post was co-authored by Genesys Technology Partner, Brightmetrics.

We’ve all been there: sitting with the phone to your ear, waiting for someone to answer so you can explain your problem. After three minutes on hold, your mind wanders to your sports bracket or the next show you want to binge watch. After what seems like lifetime — but likely is about seven minutes — you begin multitasking and forget why you called in the first place. You hang up. In the call center space, it’s easy to treat a single abandoned call as another metric. But behind every abandoned call is a poor customer experience and, likely, a bad review for your company.

Understanding the relationship between your abandon rates and queue times enables you to tackle the dilemma of callers hanging up before agents speak with them. Let’s dive into the secrets behind keeping high customer satisfaction levels and a balanced abandon rate.

First off, we recommend that your keep abandon rates between 4% to 8%. Having a 0% abandon rate is inefficient and unnecessary; having an abandon rate over 8% likely will negatively affect your satisfaction ratings. So, with an abandon rate between 4% to 8%, you still have a high satisfaction rating without inefficiently overstaffing of your team.

Tracking and investigating average abandon queue times lets you solve just about any abandon rate issues your team has. It’s easier to solve an abandon rate that’s lower than 4%.

Look at your abandon queue time — the time before a caller hangs up — and staff your team to answer any calls within intervals right before the majority of your callers hung up in the past. In this situation, it’s likely that your team is answering a call sooner, before customers are tired of waiting and hang up.

Keeping those callers on hold just a little bit longer probably won’t lower your satisfaction ratings. And, more importantly, you’ll have an efficient, perfectly staffed team.

The harder part is solving the issue of an abandon rate that’s higher than 8% — when callers hang up before anyone is available to engage with them. The intuitive solution to this is to hire (and train) more staff. But that’s a huge endeavor. And while you’re getting those new agents up to speed, you’ll likely still have callers who hang up before your team can assist — or callers who wait around for ages.

Sometimes a more creative route is to find ways to keep callers on the line longer. You can do this by changing up what customers hear while they wait for your team to answer. For example, some organizations will play helpful and interesting automated messages, such as a health insurance company playing a message that reminds callers to get vaccinated during flu season.

Getting Abandon Rates Under Control
If your team is experiencing abandon rate issues, here’s how to fix them.

First, identify whether your abandon rate is lower than 4% or higher than 8%. Then, use your abandon queue time to decide if your team needs to work more efficiently, if you need to hire and train more staff, or if you need to change what callers hear while they’re on hold.

After these changes, you’ll be on a path for happier customers and more efficient employees.

To get more information on how to dig into these historical data perspectives in the Genesys® PureCloud® solution, watch the webinar, “Five key metrics every call center manager should master” and visit Brightmetrics in the AppFoundry Marketplace.

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