6 Mistakes When Calculating Your Abandon Rate
1. Mistake: Treating All Hang-Ups the Same
Solution: Analyze Your Call History to Determine Your Standard For An Abandoned Call
Some businesses treat all hang-ups as an abandoned call, but this could be unnecessarily inflating your abandon rate percentage. Look into your calls and decide on a cut-off time that distinguishes a “short call” from an “abandoned call.”
2. Mistake: Adding in Self-Serve and Navigation Time
Solution: Treat Other Types of Hang-Ups as Separate Issues
Certain customers might use your automated system to get answers to their questions. If they’re never waiting to speak to a representative, but still hang up before they find the answer they’re after, this could indicate a problem with the IVR, such as poor voice recognition, poor enunciation, too many options to wade through before reaching an agent, or an overly long introduction.
3. Mistake: Not Using Call-Backs
Solution: Add a Call-Back Option to Lower Your Abandon Rate
Call-backs are an excellent way to make customers happy. Rather than awkwardly holding the phone to their ear or setting it down on speaker phone, they can instead go about their day and wait for you to call them back when a customer service representative is free. This will immediately lower your abandon rate.
4. Mistake: Seeking an Unrealistic Abandon Rate
Solution: Set an Attainable Goal
Wondering what is an acceptable abandon rate in call center? According to call center industry standards for abandonment rate, you should be striving to hit 5-8%. Anyone hoping to have less than 5% of calls abandoned may simply be unrealistic in their goal, and go crazy trying to get there.
Note: Though, that an acceptable abandon rate can depend on your industry. For example, Medicare Part D contracts with insurance companies specify no more than 5% dropped calls. For outbound calls the acceptable abandon rate is much lower, both in the US and the UK.
5. Mistake: Understaffing Your Call Center
Solution: Hiring an Adequate Number of Employees
If you don’t have enough customer service representatives answering calls, your abandon rate will rise as customers get frustrated with long wait times. Try to find the sweet spot when staffing your customer service department. If you hire too many employees, you’ll be wasting money and have bored team members. Hire too few, and it will negatively affect your abandon rate. Research when you have the most callers, and use that to forecast shift and staffing needs.
6. Mistake: Not Testing Your IVR For Accuracy
Solution: Regularly Test and Adjust Your IVR
Your interactive voice recognition system is vital to lowering your abandon rates. Your percentage will increase if you have an IVR that isn’t actually helping customers in the way they need. Reduce customer frustration by making sure your IVR always leads them to the right department and doesn’t have any dead ends or other errors.
Implementing These Tips
Now that you’ve learned some great tips about calculating your abandon rate, you’re well equipped with the knowledge to improve the rate at your call center. Rally your entire customer service team and explain the importance of this metric—you’ll want to make sure everyone is on board to help you reach your goals. As you strive to decrease your abandon rate, you’ll notice an overall improvement in your customer service quality.