Abandoned calls are possible lost sales opportunities for your business and new opportunities for your competitors.
Falling short of customer expectations can bring down satisfaction ratings and make it harder for your business to succeed. Keep customer satisfaction levels high by knowing what constitutes abandoned calls and how you can reduce them.
What Are Abandoned Calls?
An abandoned call or abandoned contact in a call center refers to a contact that a customer initiates but later ends before connecting with an agent.
In most situations, callers on inbound calls will hang up due to frustration with waiting in the queue. Other times, calls are not routed to agents due to a loss of service or connection.
Meanwhile, abandoned outbound calls often happen when the automatic call distributor or automated dialer disconnects the call. These situations are typical when there has been a live contact, but no agent was available to handle the call. (Be aware that outbound telemarketing calls are considered abandoned if no agent replies within two seconds after the recipient’s greeting. The FTC and the UK’s Ofcom have strict rules against abandoned telemarketing calls.)
A call isn’t normally considered abandoned if the customer could connect with at least one agent.
Why Is the Call Abandonment Metric Important?
You can use the call abandonment metric to identify issues before they escalate. When customers keep getting put on hold, it’s only a matter of time before they switch their loyalties. Monitoring the abandonment metric can also help you come up with suitable solutions for your specific issues.
High abandon rates should be a concern because they represent missed opportunities for your business and can hurt customer satisfaction. For most companies, a rate of five percent or lower is acceptable. However, five percent can be problematic if you’re in the retail industry because of the loss of potential sales.
When customer experience begins to deteriorate, the call center must take action. For instance, they could increase staffing or offer options like voicemail or callback.
While you may think of one abandoned call as just another metric, keep in mind that a poor experience for your customer can be a bad review for your business. One bad review can result in a negative perception of your business to many potential customers.
What Is a Short Abandoned Call?
Abandoned short calls are those that have already entered the system but are disconnected very quickly. Unlike standard abandoned calls, short abandons frequently occur when callers incorrectly dial the number or accidentally enter a queue. In other words, they didn’t intend to join the queue in the first place.
It’s up to call centers to define what they believe to be a short call, then either include or filter it out from their abandoned call metrics. Calls under 10 seconds are often considered short calls.
What’s the Difference Between an Abandoned Call and a Missed Call?
While an abandoned call is mainly one that didn’t reach the agents, a missed call happens when:
- An agent handled the call but transferred it to another agent who didn’t answer.
- The call rang at least one agent, but that agent was unable to answer, or rejected the call.
- The caller hung up without leaving a message after being routed directly to voicemail.
- The caller hung up during the agent or business greeting.
Both abandoned and missed calls can mean lost business and make a negative impact on your revenue.
Even if you provide excellent customer service, abandoned calls can hinder business growth significantly. By keeping your abandonment rate low, you can maintain your reputation as a company that offers a convenient and satisfying customer experience.