The rise of the smartphone and the always-on consumer has created a sea change in customer service. Customers, once accustomed to patiently waiting for their turn, today expect quick responses and results, and most customers that actually make phone calls to businesses are unhappy or unwilling to wait on hold.
There is a direct correlation between the amount of time customers wait on hold and their overall satisfaction levels. More than two-thirds, or 64 percent, of customers will hang up if a company forces them to wait more than five minutes on hold, according to recent research from Virtual Hold Technology (News - Alert). That jumps to 91 percent when customers are forced to wait more than 10 minutes.
That explains why a growing number of businesses and other organizations are employing and considering callback solutions. Callback enables an organization to offer callers that reach it during busy times the ability to avoid waiting on hold and instead receive a return call when it’s their turn or at a future time that’s mutually convenient..
Not all callback solutions are the same, however, nor are all companies that provide such capabilities. The experience of your callback solution provider can play a pivotal role in whether or not your implementation of this capability is a success.
In addition to the broadest portfolio of patents in this area, Virtual Hold Technology offers a wealth of callback experience and specialized knowledge. As an expert in cross-channel communication solutions that eliminate wait times – focused on improving customer interactions, operational efficiencies, and revenue opportunities, VHT understands that every contact center is different, and helps customers navigate through their unique architectures and requirements. That includes assisting clients in addressing everything from agent handle times, callback hold times and punctuality, and reconnect rate (all key performance indicators), to predictive algorithms and virtual queuing.
It’s important to understand how callback will impact your contact center’s key performance indicators (such as agent handle time and service level) and to figure out what new KPIs (such as callback hold time, callback punctuality, and reconnect rate) you should start tracking following a callback implementation. That helps ensure that your callback implementation both meets your own internal expectations and results in a positive customer experience.
“Your center runs on statistics,” Jeremy Starcher, vice president of business development for VHT, notes in a recent white paper. “Managers are measured by statistics like Service Level, Average Speed to Answer (ASA), and Abandons while agents are measured against Occupancy and Handle Times. Tracking and reporting on important KPIs are the lifeblood of the contact center and are often at the core to making important decisions throughout the day or week.”
Routing & Queuing
Callback also has an effect on routing, queuing, and agent desktop platforms. So it’s important to understand those affects and how to manage them.
“At the foundation of an exceptional callback strategy is a basic, yet broad understanding of queuing and how contact centers use queues to manage their business,” says Starcher. “When deploying callback it is imperative that the systems integrate with your current queuing approach rather than requiring wholesale changes, or worse, a dedicated queue for callbacks.
“This is best accomplished through the use of virtual queuing,” he explains. “Virtual queuing leverages your existing agent queues to track a customer’s callback request. When done properly, this strategy allows your center to manage both holding calls and callback requests together for the same agent resource.”
As setting the proper expectation for customers is paramount, quoting accurate information around estimated wait times is essential. Organizations implementing VHT’s callback solutions typically run predictive algorithms atop virtual queuing to calculate expected wait times and communicate that information to customers.
Since every contact center’s call flows and external conditions are somewhat unique, a single predictive algorithm can produce wide variability as conditions change. That’s why VHT is building a library of algorithms so their customers can optimize the accuracy of responses based on conditions. One such example is “Storm Mode” which is utilized by VHT’s airline customers when weather conditions wreak havoc on flight schedules and customers overwhelm the customer service lines.
Understanding and addressing the workforce management implications of callback is also key, as callback can provide strategies for managing operations as you approach times in which your contact centers are closed.
A quality callback system, like the one from VHT, can automatically manage the customer experience based on current conditions. That includes, for example, the ability to determine when the wait time for a particular caller exceeds the amount of time left in the day and offer to schedule a callback during normal business hours the following day.
As you can see, callback offers a wealth of benefits, but also requires detailed knowledge and sophisticated yet easy to use solutions for best results.
“The devil is always in the details, and implementing callback is no different,” notes Starcher.
To get more details on the benefits of callback and best practices for its implementation, download the white paper “Callback: Does It Do More than Just Call Them Back?”at www.virtualhold.com or email VHT at [email protected].
Edited by Maurice Nagle