Missing customer calls is never a good thing. It means losing business opportunities, losing customer loyalty, and losing out on valuable interactions with your customers. Lost calls are serious business.
Yet, many businesses see it as an inevitability. After all, during peak time it can be difficult to get to all your customers, and many of them will hang up before talking to an agent – it’s just one of those things you can’t change, right? Well, not quite.
While there will always be a few lost calls here and there, there are also ways to minimise that number and ensure your business gets to your customers when they need it most.
In this blog, we explore four tools that can help you cut down the number of lost calls in your contact centre solution – say goodbye to lost calls and hello to satisfied customers.
Knowledge is power: Queue announcements
Do you know what’s better than on-hold music? No, the answer isn’t “anything” – although that’s also true. The answer is “useful information”.
No one likes to keep on hold without any idea of how much longer they’ll have to wait. As a matter of fact, 60% of customers complained that long holds and wait times are the most frustrating part of the service experience.
And who can blame them? We’ve all been there – you call a business, you wait on hold for ages and then you hang up just seconds before getting through to an agent. Wasting time, losing patience, and having to look for a solution elsewhere – often a competitor of that same brand you were trying to get in touch with.
An easy way to solve this is by giving your customers a little more information about their wait time. Ever been to a store, found what you wanted to buy but decided to leave it because the queue was too long? Or vice versa, you popped in to get something quickly because you could see the queue would’ve only taken a couple of minutes?
Queue announcements give your customers that same power by letting them know either what position they hold in the queue, or how long it will take to get through to an agent. It’s then up to them to decide whether they can wait or whether they should call back at another time – either way, you set the right expectation and provide a more personalised experience to your customers.
Most of the time, having a clear idea of how long it’s left to wait or how many people are left in front of them will be enough to keep them on the phone long enough to reach an agent – significantly reducing the number of lost calls.
But what if the queue is REALLY long?
I know what you’re thinking – wouldn’t an announcement be counterproductive if the queue is really long?
That’s certainly a possibility, but many contact centre solutions will have other features, such as call overflow or intelligent routing, to ensure your queues are never longer than they need to be. Poor management of call load is one of the main causes of missed calls in a contact centre, which is where our next few features come in…
Goodbye on-hold music: Callbacks
You’ve set up queue announcements and you’ve told your customer they have to wait five minutes before getting through to an agent – but their colleague is calling on the other line and the cat needs feeding. Five minutes is way too long to wait on hold.
The easy solution to this conundrum is to offer your customers a callback. A callback is not simply the process of giving them a callback whenever your agent finds the time. It’s a clever feature to ensure your customers don’t lose their place in the queue, while also allowing them to hang up the phone and get on with their lives.
Think of callbacks as the flashy buzzer you get at some restaurants: you ask for a table, they put you on a list and tell you the buzzer will flash once they reach your turn. You take the buzzer, hang outside the restaurant checking your emails and even reply to a few. The buzzer then starts flashing, you go back to the restaurant and the table is ready. Not only you didn’t have to wait, standing at the door and staring at all those people enjoying their meals, but you also managed to get a few things done in the meantime.
With callbacks, your customers don’t have to suffer through on-hold music or get a sore ear waiting to get through. You can set up an automatic message giving them the option to receive a callback, and if they choose to, they can hang up and simply receive a call as soon as one of your agents reaches their spot in the queue.
No more waiting around: Call slots
Callbacks are great but can get tricky if it’s peak time and your agents are really busy. Realistically, it might take them hours to get through that long queue and call back customers.
As a business, you probably know whether your Mondays are busier than your Tuesdays – which is why you should definitely start using a call slot feature.
We’ve already discussed the importance of respecting customers’ time, and we’ve all suffered through the pain of waiting for a call for hours and hours, only to receive it at the worst possible time.
Call slots allow you to give your customers the option to get a call at a specific time and day, so they don’t have to wait around for your call. Plus, you have the luxury of calling them back at a quieter time – taking away some of the stress and pressure on your agents and fostering a better call management culture.
Sure, it’s not the best approach for urgent calls, but it’s a great way to deal with any query that can wait a few hours or days.
Data, data and more data
We’ve mentioned that as a business you already know which days are busiest – or do you?
A lack of data and poor call management is the key cause of lost calls. If you don’t know what calls are lost, at what time and day, and from what numbers, it can be very hard to do something about them.
As a customer service manager, it’s fundamental to understand what’s going wrong (or right) and act on that data to implement the right tools and features.
Callbacks and call slots are only valuable if you know when and how to use them – do you know the average length of your queue and how long it takes to get through five people rather than eight? Do you know whether your agent availability is better in the morning or afternoon? If you can’t answer those questions, your lost calls are bound to skyrocket.
Wallboard is the one tool you need to have in your contact centre and that will truly make a difference in the way you manage customer calls.
Said that – we know patience is scarce these days, and there will be instances when customers won’t even wait to listen to that well-crafted queue announcement or callback message.
This is where automatic callbacks come in. A modern cloud-based contact centre can give you the option to automatically call back anyone that had put the phone down before speaking to an agent or even chose one of the options given to them.
With call data at hand, managers can even check at the end of the day how many and what lost call customers didn’t manage to speak to an agent that day so that this can be rectified as soon as possible.
Respecting your customers’ time and solving their issues as soon as possible is key to delivering a good customer experience. Lost calls can mean poor customer satisfaction and a loss in revenue.
While there will always be some calls that go unanswered, there are plenty of tools and contact centre features that can help you reduce this number to a minimum. Another tip to reduce your queue length and manage calls better is to offer omnichannel services.
However, the first step towards that is giving your managers the visibility necessary to implement those tools appropriately based on your contact centre’s unique requirements.
Learn more about how a modern cloud-based contact centre solution can help you minimise lost calls and deliver better customer experiences today.