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Ben - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

3 Simple Steps to Reduce Hold Time in Your Contact Center

Think back to the last time you had to reach out to a company on the phone. Do you remember how long you had to wait on hold?

If you were kept waiting for any longer than a couple of minutes, the chances are that you’ll remember exactly how frustrating listening to that hold music for 25 minutes is.

If you even lasted that long.

Unsurprisingly, longer call hold times are directly correlated to higher call abandonment rates; people often give up and hang up before they get through to a support agent.

If you consider that 34% of people who abandon a call never call back, it seems highly likely that abandonment rate — and therefore caller wait time — can be linked to customer churn.

Safe to say, if there’s one thing you can do to give all your KPIs a little boost, it’s eliminating hold time in your call center.

Improve Your Self-Service Platform

As mentioned above, there isn’t much point in having self-service options for your customers if it doesn’t actually help them or they don’t like using it.

People are too busy to spend too long finding answers; if they can’t find the answer they want quickly, they’re just going to reach out to a person and ask.

Make it easy for people to resolve basic issues for themselves and you’ll see an immediate reduction in call volume and hold times.

Take advantage of some of the great technology available today and make your self-service platform smart. Really smartYour chatbot or online knowledge base should be so easy to use that a child could find what they’re looking for.

For some examples of how to set up a self-serve system the right way, check out this post on 5 Brand Websites Doing Customer Service Right.

Empower Agents with Better Resources

Your agents are the driving force behind your call center. And the best call center agents are hardworking, empathetic people who are always looking for ways to improve the service they deliver to customers.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the workplace, agents have not traditionally been empowered to improve their call handling on-the-fly or mitigate the impact of call spikes with informed decision-making.

The best way to improve your agents’ ability to handle calls better and faster is to give them better and faster access to the information they need to do their job. That may be through more thorough training, but in all likelihood, it’s your knowledge base that could be improved.

The final way to empower your agents is to provide them with a way of making routing and call management decisions themselves.

Provide agents with a dashboard so that they can monitor their own queue and take steps to reduce their average handle and call waiting times. This may mean making adjustments to how they handle certain calls when call queue times are above average. 

Get a Call-Back Solution for Your Contact Center

Organizations should offer a call-back option instead of forcing callers to wait on hold.

Call-backs, sometimes known as ‘virtual queuing‘, work by sending a bot to wait in line on behalf of the caller, so they don’t have to stay on the phone. Once the bot reaches their place in the queue, it calls the person back and connects them to an agent.

To summarize, here are the three things to do to eliminate hold time in your call center 

  1. Improve your self-service platform
  2. Empower agents with better resources
  3. Get a call-back solution for your contact center

Publish Date: February 19, 2020 5:36 PM

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