Many call centers have a tough challenge with abandonment rates. As we all know, customers hate waiting on hold, so when ASA (Average Speed to Answer) gets high, abandoned calls are the inevitable result. Abandonment leads to higher repeat calling, which lowers First Call Resolution (FCR) and, of course, leads to unhappy customers.
As a call center manager, you can always add agents until the abandonment rate shrinks down to your target level, but the budget for staffing may not always be available. That’s especially true if your call center has occasional volume spikes. If you staff to accommodate peak times, you will experience excess agent capacity at other times. Luckily, there’s another way! Learn how childcare service provider, Bright Horizons uses call-backs to make more efficient use of their agents and deliver an improved customer experience.
About Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons Family Solutions is a nationwide provider of child care, early education and other services designed to help employers and families better address the challenges of work and life.
Their 163 agents handle about 31,000 calls a month using an Avaya-based call center. Although they maintain an excellent service level most of the time, during days of high call volumes, they did see higher abandon rates which resulted in lost reservations and unhappy customers. If they staffed up for the 2-3 week period of high call volume they would be overstaffed the remainder of the year, so this wasn’t a viable option.
Video Success Story: The Magic of Call-Backs
One of the single best ways to reduce abandonment is to offer customers a call-back as an alternative to waiting on hold (sometimes referred to as “virtual queuing”). Call-backs also help “smooth-out” spikes in call volume by deferring calls (in a customer-friendly manner) till a time when there is excess agent capacity. In a sense, call-backs let you do a better job matching the demand for agent time with the supply agent time.
Bright Horizons turned to Fonolo’s In-Call Rescue solution to give callers the option of a call-back rather than waiting on hold. Now Bright Horizons’ customers simply “press 1 for a call-back”, while Fonolo holds their place in queue.
Fonolo’s cloud-based approach and its ability to seamlessly interact with existing phone systems made implementation quick and easy. Deployment took only 15 calendar days and they saw a 33% reduction in abandon rate shortly thereafter.