How to Reduce Wait Time in the Call Center
Most call centers know they have between 40 and 60 seconds of wait time to answer a caller. About 60% of customers won’t wait longer than that, and about a third of them won’t wait at all. In this post, we’ll look at what call centers can do to reduce wait times.
Few things are more frustrating than calling a company with a question or concern and being transferred to a continuous, 30-second clip of elevator music. One of the main advantages call centers have is the expectation that a human will be on the other end of the line to help with whatever it is you need. So, it’s no surprise that when a customer is put on hold for too long, the majority of them hang up and don’t call back.
That being said, you can’t eliminate wait times. But you can reduce them. Here are 3 tips call centers can use to do just that.
“The target industry average speed of answer varies from around 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds to 90% of calls answered in 10 seconds.” But without enough employees on staff, living up to that statistic is impossible. The solution here is quite simple – and efficient. Hire more staff. While it’s difficult to predict the number of calls you’ll receive at any given time, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Having additional staff reduces stress on your team and your customers. Employees don’t have to worry about a call running longer than anticipated, and customers don’t have to worry about how long they’re going to be kept on hold.
Not willing to hire another full-time employee? Consider someone part-time. Identifying your peak business season will help you determine when to hire a part-time employee.
Create a Process
You can never predict what a customer is calling about or how long a call will last. But what you can do is create a process for every kind of request.
Having a standard process for basic technical questions, regular requests and supporting information allows call center team members to proactively guide customers and improve the customer experience. This strategy helps the customer reach their desired outcome at a quick and easy pace and also helps reduce avoidable calls.
Empower Agents to Monitor Their Calls
Empowering agents to monitor calls in their queue is a proactive approach to reducing ASA (average speed of answer). With each call, agents should monitor the average wait time, the duration of the call and the number of calls they’ve received in any particular timeframe. This helps to identify gaps in the call waiting process and encourages them to make adjustments to their interactions to improve KPIs. In addition, taking a broader look every quarter at gaps and areas of improvement will help identify both the need for extra staff and what needs to be fixed.
Customers contact your call center because they want a fast solution they can’t find anywhere else. Making them wait leaves them frustrated, which makes the situation more difficult for your call center agents. Implementing a few simple tips and best practices to speed up the ASA process will allow for increased customer satisfaction and better outcomes in the long run.
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