Reduce your business call abandon rates

Written by:

John Borillo

Remember that time when you were calling that company’s help desk call center number? Yes, you were asked to press numbers to get to the right department. And then you were asked a variety of other questions. And when you asked to speak with an agent, you were put on hold because all agents were busy that moment. Well, there is an amount of time that you can be patient enough to wait to speak with an agent. And then, after that period passes, you lose all patience and then end the call. After all, why stick around that long?One of the reasons why people end calls when waiting for someone to speak to them is that the call has been put on hold for a really long time, which can be quite annoying. Remember that customers nowadays are quite impatient as there are a lot of things going on and so they would like to take part in that world. Spending time on the phone waiting for that agent to speak to them is definitely not in their list of things to do. Any person not working in a customer support center for instance would think that there are a lot of agents there taking calls so why is it quite difficult to speak to one?

When customers end calls while waiting for an agent to speak to them, that is a bad thing for a company. Businesses need to know how to lessen that amount. These are call-abandon rates and you would want them on a really low number. So for business owners like you, it is best that you learn how to reduce your business’ call-abandon rates.

1. Increase your business’ capacity to take calls
If you are getting a lot more calls lately, then perhaps it is time that you choose to increase your business’ ability to take calls. How do you do that? Well, you can choose to get more agents to help you out. Or opt to get a good customer support center in the Philippines and outsource these tasks there. These centers usually have a huge amount of agents waiting to help out those who do need help. Just like your business. Or you can also upgrade your computers. Sometimes, agents are able to handle calls well. The only problem is that they cannot end a call fast enough because computers are not running up to par. You may want to check on that.

2. Change your welcome message
You may want to change your welcome message. Make it lively. Make it something that people would love to listen to. Provide them with information that they would love to hear. It would buy you some time while they listen to your company’s words of welcome. You can ask help from professionals like Magellan Solutions. They usually have a creative team who help you make that welcome message be professional enough but not boring to make customers abandon their call.

3. Increase your ring time
How many seconds does the phone ring before the welcome message comes in? Do you have it ring only one? Twice? Or three times? Well, you can change that to buy your agents more time to handle earlier customers. You can try to have the phone ringing for ten seconds first before the welcome message comes in. This should help your agents from the Philippine contact center industry finish up on earlier customers and lessen the waiting time for the new calls coming in. Plus, customers who are calling in would have more patience because they heard the ringing first before actually being put on hold for so long.

4. Change your queue message
How many times have you been calling that customer service number? Surely, you have probably called them countless of times already and so you know the numbers you need to press by heart. Chances are, you are raring to speak with a live call center agent that you do not even finish the options. You simply press the button that you know would take you to the live agent.

For businesses like yours, you can help agents in the Philippine BPO industry have less call-abandon rates by changing the queue message. With more changes, the less chances of customers memorizing what buttons to press. Again, this will help buy the agents time to finish up on earlier calls. By the time the call goes through, there would be a lot less waiting time for the new ones.

5. Change your on-hold music
If you have been getting quite a huge call abandon rate, then you may want to take a look at your on-hold music. Many customer service agents have been told by customers just how boring the music can be. Sometimes, companies say that the slow music is for those irate customers and have them cool down before talking with an agent. However, not all customers are irate. You only end up with a high call abandon rate and that is not good. Agents go through proper call center training and they do their best to help customers out. So try and check your on-hold music. Perhaps by changing it, you get better call-abandon rates.

6. Offer a call-back option
Have you tried offering a call-back option for your business? You may want that. If there are some things that cannot be resolved in one call, then make sure that you provide your customers that option. Or you can include that in your call center script that is being discussed during the queue message.

There are a lot of businesses that do not offer this option because it can be too costly on their end. However, if cost is your main problem, then you have not yet looked at the customers’ end. These people are your lifeblood and having them go through all the trouble of just talking to a live agent just is not going to do your business any good.

7. Get some research done and study the trends
What are the new trends that are being used in the world of customer service? What are the trends nowadays in providing service? Are there specific days of the week when there are a lot more calls as compared to other days? Find out what the trends are and work using that information. This is one of those call center tips that most owners do not even put to use. But they do work.

If calls keep piling up on Wednesdays, then go ahead and get more people to take calls on Wednesdays. This should help lessen the call-abandon rate and give your business more positive reviews from customers.

8. Provide proper information regarding the queue
When a customer’s call is not answered for a long time, different thoughts enter his (or her) mind. That should be quite difficult to change. So make sure that you keep them informed while they are on hold. For example, you can provide them with information every 15 seconds or so, telling them how many calls are still on hold and perhaps tell the customer if he is 10th in line or maybe 5th.

There are not a lot of companies who do this though. You can ask any inbound call center agent. But with the changing trends and the need for a lot less call-abandon rate, this could change. It is best to keep customers informed so they will stick on and continue waiting to speak to that agent.

9. Know who your customers are
Do you know who your customers are? Do you know who is calling you? It is important that you learn who they are to be able to provide them with good messages, good music, and everything else that would help you improve your call-abandon rate. These people can stay on the line and on-hold for some amount of time to speak with a call center agent, but they can only take so much. And that should depend on the kind of customer that they are.

So go ahead. Get your hands dirty and get the information that you would need to further improve your queue message and all that. It may mean some work but it would be work that would help your business in the long run.

10. Provide information that your customers need
After several rings and the customer is now hearing the message providing them with their options, it would be best for you and your business if you would be able to provide the customer with what they need right there in the message. Instead of having to wait for call center agents to be free to speak to them, they can easily get the answer that they need. You can do this for very simple questions and for very simple problems.

Most mobile phone companies would provide you with information on how to check promotions or perhaps check their current load balance through this message. That way, there would be a lot less queue and a better call-abandon rate.

11. Train your agents well
Are you training your agents to their full capacity? Or are you simply preparing them for the simple stuff that comes with the call center industry? It is best that you train them to handle even the worst of all customers. This should help them perform better even during times when they are too pressured and stressed out.

But with the right training, these agents can easily handle calls and provide solutions that are needed by the customers. This would mean a lot less time spent on each call and more time to handle new ones that are coming in. With more and more calls being handled for a lot less time, you can be sure that there would be a call-abandon rate that even your grandmother would be so proud of.

12. Find the right agents to do the work
By finding the right people to do the work, you can be assured that calls would be handled quite nicely. With calls handled well, the time spent on one should be short and sweet. That means, there would be a lot less number in the queue. Your customers would be happier knowing that they are going to speak with a live agent as soon as possible.
This is why a lot of business owners look for call centers that hire the best ones in the call center industry. With professionals working for you, you can be sure that work will be done well and there will be a lot less delays.

13. Take the time to find the right tools
Are your agents handling calls a little too long? Have you tried to find why? Well, one of the top things that you can check would be the tools. Some business owners try to save money by letting agents use five different tools which are for free rather than have a developer create one tool that incorporates all five tools. Remember, it is an investment and tools are part of your investment as business owner. If this is how you like to work, no matter how many call center companies you go to, there will always be queues and a high call-abandon rate. Change what needs to be changed and you will see the difference.

14. Use the right technology
Find a good contact center that is not afraid to go with any upgrades that technology may bring. See, there are a lot of companies out there that make use with old tools and old equipment. There is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes, these can run slow and affect how agents work. So find one that uses the best and the fastest. When you are multi-tasking, having fast equipment helps a lot.

Do your research. Talk to call center companies and BPO solutions providers. Find out about their views about technology. Do a visit and see the operations yourself. That way, you can make a guided decision on which company to invest in.

What strategies have you implemented that significantly reduce your abandonment rates? Share your thoughts with us today.