Abandoned Call Rate
Abandoned Call Rate (ACR)
Abandoned Call Rate is the calls that were disconnected by the customers before speaking to the call center rep. However, the Abandoned Call Rate should consist of the inbound calls that typically are lost in IVR or on hold waiting to be connecting to a rep after a predetermined second.
The abandoned call rate is directly related to the wait time.
The higher wait time results in high abandoned rate. People get tired of waiting forever on call to speak with an agent.
While some view is achieving low abandoned rate is a prerequisite to attaining high levels of customer satisfaction; however, the First Contact Resolution no doubt remains the real driver.
The low abandoned call rates increase the cost per contact as it can be only achieved by increasing headcounts. It increases the overall cost of support.
The average industry figure for ACR is between 2% – 8%. Anything above 8% is a poor performance.
Reasons for Abandoned Call Rate
The reason for ACR could point towards two factors:
1) Inadequate staffing: If the number of calls expected is higher, but the call center agents are lesser it will lead to high ACR as the wait time will increase drastically.
It is imperative to ensure near accurate forecasting. There are lots of tools available that can predict based on historical data.
2) IVR Mapping: While it is essential to look at the agent’s queue, you will also need to have a look at the call getting lost in the IVR system. If most of the calls are abandoned in-between IVR options, it could mean that the IVR is too long or it is too complicated. It could also mean that the IVR prompt is not clear to the customers.
You should look at the number of calls that are lost before they are in the queue.
3) Call routing issues: Sometimes improper call routing can lead to high ACR; this could increase the wait time for specific callers.
If the calls are transfered to a different queue it shouldn’t be counted as ACR.
How to calculate Average ACR
The formula for the calculation of the abandonment rate is.
Abandon rate %= (Number of calls offered- the number of calls abandoned in 5 seconds – the number of calls handled) /(Number of calls offered- the number of calls abandoned in 5 seconds) x 100
How to fix the abandonment rate?
There are a lot of ways to help you bring down the abandonment rate.
1) Increase staffing: The old school way is to increase the number of staffs to handle calls.
2) Announcing estimate wait time: Announcing estimated wait time has a psychological effect on the callers. It helps to retain callers in a longer queue compared to the once unannounced.
It also helps callers informed decision if they should continue waiting or abandon the call.
3) Callback: During the peak hours it makes sense to announce the wait time and give an option of a callback.
4) Self-Service: Often customers may call for some general inquiries. If your business receives frequent and routine inquiries, you should spend time on creating self-service for those. For, e.g., if you are a shipping company, you want to create a self-service option for tracking the package on the IVR by simply putting the tracking code or on the website. Another, e.g., Banks will have a self-service option for things like balance inquiry, order bank cheques, last transaction, etc.
It makes a lot of sense as it reduces the number of calls that the number of agents has to handle, reduces the cost of operations, eliminates queuing for simple queries.
When creating self-service, it is crucial to have an option to speak with the agents, too.