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Understanding the Criticality of Call Abandonment Rate in Contact Centers: Exploring Ways and Means to Improve it

What is the Call Abandonment Rate

Imagine you call a customer service center and the first thing they do is put you on hold without connecting you to a service representative. This is what the contact center terminology refers to as “abandoned calls”.
It’s quite a common issue in contact centers. As per Talkdesk, the average call abandonment rate is 5.91% and has increased compared to last year.

Let’s understand this KPI detailing its importance for contact centers and how it can be improved.

What is the Call Abandonment Rate?

Call Abandonment Rate, a crucial metric in the customer service industry measures the percentage of callers who hang up before they are connected with a service representative. This number is a likely indicator of customers who return unsatisfied with your service.

The percentage of inbound calls abandoned reflects a scenario in which most customers go through long hold times and prefer hanging up the call as a result of such frustration rather than talking to a customer service representative. Such call center metrics can help contact centers assess their performance and take corrective action in time.

Call Abandonment Rate: Industrial Benchmark

Abandoned calls can vary as per the industry. Primarily because each industry caters to different customer needs through their products and services which can lead to varied expectations and also varied call volumes.

While it’s impossible to eliminate abandoned calls entirely, service teams can always strive to achieve lower abandonment call rates. On average, Industrial experts believe, the acceptable call abandonment rate in contact centers can vary from 5% to 8%.

As per the Talkdesk Global Benchmark Report, Customers on average spend 4.22 minutes waiting for an agent. And it takes an average of 2.02 minutes to quit the call that was placed on hold.

How do you Calculate the Call Abandonment Rate?

Here are the steps you can follow to calculate the abandoned call rate formula:

Step 1: Set the Time Frame

It’s important to define the time frame for which you want to calculate the abandonment rate. This can range from a day to a week, a month, or even a year.

Step 2: Identify the Total Call Volume & Abandoned Calls

Gather data on the total number of calls received. Calculate abandoned calls by subtracting the total number of handled calls from total call volume. The ACD system or call logs can help identify this.

Step 3: Calculate the Call Abandonment Rate

Calculate the Call Abandonment Rate
Importance of Tracking Call Abandonment Ratios?

Monitoring the Call Abandonment Ratio is an essential aspect of managing a contact/call center. Apart from giving details about operational efficiency, it is an indicator of customer satisfaction too.

High call abandonment rates negatively impact your business, which makes it important to track the outcome of each customer call instead of just assessing the call inflow volume. Efficiently measuring this KPI can help you understand issues related to resource allocation and workflow management in your contact center.

Importance of Tracking Call Abandonment Ratios
What is the Cost Per Abandoned Call?

This refers to the financial impact In straightforward terms, the cost of an abandoned call is the “opportunity cost” of a potential conversation between a customer and agent. To determine this value, a dollar value can be assigned to each abandoned call.

💡 Also Read | The Economics of CX Journey: Why CX can be worth millions? 

It includes the costs associated with staffing, technology, and other resources used in attempting to handle calls that were eventually abandoned by the callers. A lower Cost Per Abandoned Call indicates better cost management and operational performance in handling customer inquiries.

Reasons for Abandoned Contact Center Calls

What can be the possible reason for customers to hang up calls before they connect with an agent? Well, there can be more than just one.

Long Wait Times

This is the reason for the majority of abandoned calls. This usually happens during peak call hours or when there is an unexpected surge in call volumes. The definition of what “long” means can vary based on customer expectations and the nature of the call.

Poor Call Routing Mechanisms

If calls are not appropriately routed to the right agents or departments, customers may become frustrated and abandon the call rather than being transferred multiple times.

💡 CX Scoop | Reduce AHT and Elevate CX with Contextual Call Transfers

Lack of Agent Availability

If there are not enough agents available to handle incoming calls, customers may abandon their calls due to prolonged wait times. This can happen during periods of heightened call volumes.

Poor Call Quality

Technical issues such as poor call quality, static, or dropped calls can lead to customer dissatisfaction and prompt them to abandon the call. Such issues can be especially frustrating for customers and may soil the company’s reputation.

Lack of self-service Options

Usually for routine queries, customers prefer resolving it themselves rather than being made to wait on call for extended time periods. If these options are not available or not easily accessible, customers may choose to abandon the call.

💡 Download Whitepaper | How AI-enabled self-service can transform customer support? 

Effective Strategies to Lower Call Abandonment

Lowering the call abandonment rate metric is important for ensuring a positive customer experience and optimizing the call/contact center efficiency. Some strategies carefully crafted based on the reason for abandoned calls can prove effective in improving this metric.

Effective Strategies to Lower Call Abandonment
Wrap Up

We live in a dynamic landscape of customer service where the slightest loophole in customer service can harm you both revenue and reputation-wise. A high call abandonment rate can signify poor customer service and customer dissatisfaction. Conversely, a lower call abandonment rate can contribute to customer loyalty and positive word of mouth. Managing and monitoring such a crucial metric should be a priority for contact centers aiming at exceptional customer service delivery.

Take the first step towards improving your contact center metrics with NovelVox’s suite of modern contact center solutions.

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