Forging strong customer relationships with existing and potential clients is one of the main goals of a call center, so successful communication and interaction with an agent are essential. Call abandonment rates serve as a key performance indicator (KPI) in the call center industry to measure the success of a client’s call.

Each abandoned call is a potential lost sales opportunity and a negative mark on customer satisfaction.

Short abandoned calls are sometimes included in measuring the call center abandonment rate. However, the definition of short abandoned calls is not the same as abandoned calls.

For call centers, it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two to ensure that the metrics used for measuring abandonment rates are accurate. Here’s a quick overview of short abandoned calls, when they happen, and how they differ from other types of calls.

Short Abandoned Call Definition

A short abandoned call refers to a caller who enters your system but disconnects before a connection to a live call center agent has been established and after a set number of seconds have elapsed. The number of seconds set can vary depending on your system’s settings, although these calls are typically under 10 seconds.

Most short abandoned calls occur when customers realize they have accidentally dialed the wrong number or entered a queue. In short, these clients have no real intention of joining the queue in the first place.

Here are examples of common scenarios that lead to short abandoned calls:Biracial female hold cell at ear look at pc screen stock photo

  • The client dials your system’s interactive voice response number for your support team but is trying to reach your sales team, and they hang up upon realizing their mistake to try again.
  • Someone accidentally dials your call center’s number, realizes their mistake upon hearing your system’s interactive voice response, and quickly hangs up.
  • The client dials the right number yet thinks they have dialed a digit incorrectly, so they hang up and re-dial the same number to make sure.

How Do Short Abandoned Calls Affect Call Centers?

Depending on the call center’s system settings, short abandoned calls can be included in measuring your call abandonment metrics. However, this may lead to inaccurate insights because these calls are not indicators of customer service failure or customer dissatisfaction. Therefore, it is common practice to exclude them when measuring call abandonment rates.

Company management should set reasonable threshold times to determine which calls are short abandons to prevent these calls from affecting measured call abandonment rates.

They can use specific time intervals as their basis, such as 0–5 seconds and 5–10 seconds. Most companies consider calls under 10 seconds to be short abandons.

Call centers can determine which calls are made with intent and collect accurate data useful for assessing areas of improvement by analyzing the caller’s log data and duration.

If you use an IVR (Interactive Voice Recording) system, conduct frequent maintenance to ensure it works correctly. Faulty IVR systems can result in caller drop-offs that can be recognized as short abandoned calls by your system.

What Is the Difference Between Abandoned Calls and Other Types of Calls?

Short abandons are frequently mistaken for regular abandoned calls. Here’s a closer look at the differences between them.

Short Abandoned Calls vs. Abandoned Calls

Regular abandoned calls refer to calls where clients hang up before an agent answers their call, even if they have completed the IVR process. This disconnection is usually due to a client’s frustration with the time they are on hold.

If your IVR process is unclear or confusing, clients might also opt to disconnect, resulting in an abandoned call. Outbound calls can also be abandoned when the system disconnects the call because no agent is available to take it.

Unlike short abandons, where clients typically have no real intent to speak to an agent, abandoned calls are dropped due to frustration or because no agent was available to answer. Unfortunately, these types of calls can negatively affect overall customer service and impact the performance of a call center.

Missed Calls vs. Abandoned Calls

While abandoned calls are disconnected by the caller without having the chance to speak with an agent, missed calls refer to calls that an agent does not attend. These calls might have been deliberately missed due to an agent attending to another call or if a client was transferred to another agent and was not answered.

Here are common scenarios of missed calls:

  • The client was able to ring at least one agent but was rejected or not answered.
  • The client was routed to voicemail but proceeded to hang up.
  • One agent handled the client, then was transferred to another, but the transfer went unanswered.

Why Is It Crucial for Call Centers to Monitor Call Abandonment Rates?

Call abandonment rates measure how many people who reach out to your call center disconnect or hang up before being connected to an agent. It is measured by dividing the number of abandoned calls by the total number of calls within a specific timeframe.

Generally, industry standards consider an abandonment rate of 5% or less acceptable.

Aside from being an important performance indicator, this metric also gives insight into your customer’s loyalty and satisfaction. High abandonment rates are also a key to identifying operational issues, such as faulty IVR processes or the need to increase your customer service capacity.

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