Indian call centres this year, as the number of Covid-19 cases slowed down, saw performance declining in parameters like response time, connecting and time to wrap calls, said a report.
Ozonetel, which provides omnichannel customer communication services, prepared the report after analysing 22 million calls made on its platform by 160,000 agents. The report covered inbound and outbound contact center calls in e-commerce, restaurants and food delivery, insurance, fintech, banking, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, real estate, and logistics contact centers.
The analysis found that contact centres struggled this year to meet customer expectations as ‘average time in call queue’ before calls are connected to a business representative increased to 56 seconds, from 45 seconds in 2021. The increase in average queue time indicates that businesses either need to increase the number of agents or improve their efficiency—and consequently their availability, the report said.
The time taken for after-call work increased from 40 seconds in 2021 to 46 seconds in 2022. 'Wrap time' indicates how quickly contact center agents can complete actions after a customer interaction and be available for the next call. The average wrap time reported in 2019 was 25 seconds. A longer wrap Time either indicates an increase in agents’ post-call responsibilities or a failure to provide agents with disposition codes relevant to today’s customer queries.
While agents spend more time on post-call work, the time they take to answer calls has decreased, indicating that they may have less idle time between calls. This metric has reduced to 7.7 seconds in 2022, as compared to 8 seconds in 2021.
The ‘average talk time’ remained the same as 2021, clocking 3.7 minutes in 2022. On the other hand, the average pick up rate too declined to 39 per cent as compared to 46 per cent in 2021. However, in the restaurant and food delivery industry, 96 per cent of calls connected to a prospect as compared to 54 per cent in 2021.
This year had a higher abandonment rate of calls. On an average, in 2022, 34 per cent of calls were disconnected by the caller when in queue, compared to 29 per cent in 2021. This shows a two-fold increase since 2019 when an average of only 12 per cent of calls.
"This year, we have an increase in average queue time and consequently the abandonment rates are also higher. However, when compared year-on-year this study also observed a rise in customer impatience. In 2019, on an average, 82 per cent of callers were willing to wait in a call queue for 79 seconds. This year, 34 per cent of callers were unwilling to wait in a call queue even though queue times were lower (56 seconds)," said the report.
"Voice remains a critical channel for customer support and consultative sales, but this does not signal business as usual within the contact center industry," remarked Chaitanya Chokkareddy, Ozonetel Chief Product Officer, "Customer expectations are clearly changing, and without an omnichannel, AI-based strategy, contact centers will find it difficult to meet their customer experience goals."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About Ozonetel Systems:
Ozonetel Systems is a Hyderabad-headquartered cloud telephony services firm.
Published: Friday, December 23, 2022
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