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Glossary

What is an abandoned call?

It is a call in which the caller abandons, disconnects or cancels the connection before the conversation begins with the call center agent/professional manning the help desk of the outsourcing company. In most instances, customers get irritated waiting in the queue, or get frustrated listening to the recorded messages, before finally terminating the call. The rate of abandoned calls is more in inbound call center processes compared to outbound. The possible reason for disconnecting or abandoning inbound calls is the customer’s frustration with call hold time. A high number of abandoned calls is an indication that the caller is waiting in the queue for too long. This eventually wanes the brand name.

Factors that affect call abandonment rate

In order of how they affect or cause abandoned calls, the following are the factors that lead to customers disconnecting before the final resolution –

High Wait Times –

Most often the customers only eschew because of high wait times. This results when the contact center is overwhelmed with calls and are put in long queues. The position in queue directly affects the wait time. The higher the queue position, the more will be the wait time. According to DataMarket, more than 40% people disconnect in the very first minute of their position in the queue and even more (around 70%) in the next five minutes.

Too long an IVR

When the IVR menu is too complicated or the TTC (time to connect) to the agent is too high, the customers prefer filing grievances through other modes. This casts a very negative impact on the customer and leaves them more frustrated. However, this has become a common practice as it reduces the number of calls landing at a call center by up to 40% (Source: Gapminder)

Network Issues –

If your call center has an extremely high abandonment rate (15%-20% or higher) and none of the above two conditions is true, you must consider switching to another network. The two common indications of persistent network problems are –

     Calls don’t connect or get dropped

     Intermittent cracking of voice over the earpiece

Outbound calls

Outbound calls get abandoned due to unexpected breakdown of connection or the call gets disconnected by the automated dialer when a live agent is not available to take up the call. There are three types of abandon metrics: abandon at the VRU (prompt or self-service); abandon in the queue; abandon at the end of the call center agent.

In closing

Customer satisfaction is a cornerstone of call center service providers. Abandoned call brings a negative impact on business. Thus, to mitigate abandoned calls, call center companies are following some new strategies and methods to reduce the number of abandoned calls, which in turn help in increasing customer satisfaction. Call centers are employing predictive caller or call back technology. A predictive dialer is a telephone control system that helps in automatically calling on the list of phone numbers in sequence.

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