What is the acceptable call abandonment rate for call centers?

By August 17, 2020Blogs

What is call drop?
How to calculate the call abandonment rate?
What is the acceptable abandonment rate for call centers?
All of your questions can now be answered.

First of all, let’s understand what is an abandoned call?
As the name suggests, calls that the agent does not answer are calls that the agent gives up.
The call may be abandoned due to the following situations: the caller hangs up before the call is connected to the agent, while waiting in the IVR queue, or they hang up the phone without leaving a voice mail.
There may also be other reasons for the call to be abandoned.
For example, connection problems, phone calls after get off work, etc.

A short and boring definition of call center abandonment rate is as follows:

In the terms of a call center, an abandoned call is a call initiated by the caller to the call center, but ends abruptly before any conversation has occurred.
If you are a customer support manager, call center manager or a business where telephone support is a vital channel, you must constantly monitor the call abandonment rate of the call center.

The call abandonment rate is one of the key call center indicators that help measure the efficiency of the call center.

This is also a standard of the customer experience you present to the caller.
A low call abandonment rate means that most of your callers will be answered.
A high call abandonment rate means you must rethink your call center strategy.

But how do you know if the call abandonment rate is normal?
What is the acceptable abandonment rate for call centers?

This constitutes the premise of this article.
Before proceeding with the discussion, one must understand how to calculate the abandonment rate of a call center.

How to calculate the abandonment rate of a call center

Calculating the correct call abandonment rate helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the call center.
Divide the number of abandoned calls by the total number of calls.
For example, if your contact center receives 1,000 calls and 50 are abandoned, your abandonment rate is 5%.
What is a good abandonment rate for a call center? Considering the reduction of call centers, your call center abandonment rate will inevitably be between 5% and 80%.
However, under special circumstances, it may rise to 20%.
Recent research also shows that one-fifth of calls made from mobile phones are abandoned.
To determine whether the abandonment rate is good or bad, the rule of thumb is to keep the abandonment rate as low as possible.

Several factors affect the rate from time to time, including:

Average answer speed

Service level target

Accuracy of prediction

Workforce management

Call center contraction

Call after get off work

First call resolution rate

Average answer speed

The low average answering speed means that the call center can resolve as many calls as possible in a given time.
However, when it is high, it may be due to the complexity of the problem or shortage of personnel, and the call abandonment rate will change accordingly.

The service level target refers to the proportion of calls answered within a given time period.
For example, an 80/20 service level goal means that 80% of calls are answered within 20 seconds.
High service level targets help minimize call abandonment rates.

Call density prediction. Call center managers use call density prediction to determine peak times during which they will need the largest number of personnel to reach service level goals.
The call abandonment rate will vary based on the call density forecast and the number of seats available to handle it.

Labor management is basically a process used by call center managers to plan seat schedules, determine vacation strategies, set IVR menus, or call routing after get off work.

Call center reduction can be defined as: “The number of seats actively serving customers divided by the number of seats unavailable at the time.” The shrinkage may be due to interruptions, absences or even unplanned downtime.
Needless to say, when the call center shrinkage rate is also higher, the abandonment rate will be higher.

Calls after get off work, in the call center, calls made after get off work are basically abandoned.
The IVR menu can help to a large extent, but customers who are eager to wait in the IVR or want to talk to an agent usually abandon their call.

First call resolution rate, IVR and its self-service menu help to maximize the first call resolution rate (FCR).

Only when FCR is not implemented, the call differs depending on the agent extension.
In other words, a higher FCR means a lower call abandonment rate.

These are some of the factors that affect the call abandonment rate of the call center.
Now, how can call centers maintain a healthy abandonment rate?
The best way to solve the problem is to find the root cause of the problem.

Let’s try to understand the main reasons for the high rate of phone abandonment.

Reasons for high call abandonment rate

Complex IVR menu, navigation time is too long

Invalid call routing cannot enable customers to get solutions faster

The shortage of call center staff makes callers need to wait for a long time

If you want to maintain a normal call abandonment rate, here are what you should and should not do.

shouldn’t do should do
With lengthy and complicated IVR menu Keep the IVR menu short, up to 3 to 4 sub-menus
Ignore workforce management to regularly implement and revisit workforce management There is a random call routing process, and there is an effective call routing system based on working hours, language, skills, etc.
_______________________ Insufficient call centers have enough staff or establish self-service portals.

How to reduce call abandonment rate

Even with these measures, your call center cannot reduce the call abandonment rate, and these measures can also help.

Inform customers of estimated waiting time

The time the customer waits to play music

Provide self-service (IVR)

Use a team wall or dashboard

Reallocation hours (WFM)

Overflow calls with too long waiting time (callback queue)

Provide self-service (IVR)

The IVR menu has options for obtaining information that users want to ask agents, which can help reduce the abandonment rate.
In effect, they eliminate the need for callers to talk to agents.
The result is that fewer calls will be abandoned.
For example, a bank customer service number with an IVR option can get the latest account balance.

Announce estimated waiting time

The main reason customers disconnect the call while they are on hold is because they don’t know how long they must stay.
Announcing the estimated wasted time can make the caller decide not to disconnect the call.
They will disconnect the call only when the waiting time is too long.

Take up customer time

It is very annoying that the caller can only hear the beep while waiting for a call.
And this only intensifies the caller’s urge to disconnect.
On the other hand, letting them listen to music, latest offers, announcements, etc. during hold time can help reduce call abandonment.
However, even music and announcements that keep time should be used with caution, as their misplacement can lead to a poor customer experience.Reallocation hours (WFM)Call centers usually work according to the time zone of the country or region where they provide support.
However, this may not exactly match the number of hours with the highest call density.Use the team’s dashboard or wall panel

Dashboards or wall panels that display real-time information on key call center indicators can help improve overall team morale.
They can be used as indicators to keep the entire call center in sync with service level goals.
If too many abandoned calls exceed the acceptable threshold, the call center manager can take remedial measures.

Final advice

No call center can avoid giving up the call.
They are natural phenomena in the call center environment.
However, you can control and reduce the call abandonment rate and ensure that appropriate services are provided to all callers.
You can take many steps to achieve this goal.
However, sometimes you need more than just the process but also effective call center software to help you manage things better.

If you want to learn more about our work, please visit www.cn.astercc.com