Hold times can be a call center’s worst enemy.
When a customer contacts a business, the last thing they want is to sit on hold. Making them wait even longer than expected is sometimes unforgivable. The average caller generally hangs up after less than two minutes on hold. Also, more than one-third of clients never call back. That is a sizable loss of business and a brief window of opportunity. Hence, the importance to reduce hold times and keep customers satisfied.
Six Ways to Reduce Hold Times
Have a Sense of Urgency
When a caller contacts a business, they often have pressing needs that they would like addressed promptly and efficiently. We all have better things to do with our day than sit on hold! Treating each interaction urgently does not mean that agents or managers should rush clients through calls. Instead, strive toward reaching a satisfying conclusion as soon as possible with respect for the customer’s time.
Along the same lines as the first tip, make sure your entire team is always at the ready. A surefire way to reduce hold times is to dissuade agents from engaging in an excessive amount of chatter among one another between calls. A responsive attitude should extend to internal departments and managers. In turn, the amount of time that agents and customers have to spend waiting for an answer to a question or to escalate a call cuts down.
Grow a Knowledge Database
Providing easy access to a database of company knowledge with relevant information and helpful answers to common questions is helpful. That way, agents can effortlessly respond to customer queries without placing them on hold. In case of faulty or slow network connection, make the indexes available both online and offline.
Dig into the Data
Reputable contact centers, such as KPI Connect, have access to a suite of cutting-edge, advanced analytics. These allow them to pinpoint the areas in which they can improve. Take advantage of the data and manage call queues according to the patience level of your customers. You can find information about the callers who hang up, when they called, and how long they waited before jumping ship.
Keep Tabs on Your Team
Determine inefficiencies and reduce hold times by listening in on live calls, providing feedback that only the agent can hear, and conferencing in as the situation warrants. If you are unavailable, listen to recorded calls to get a gauge on how your team is performing and use these examples to train new agents. Do not only spend time with the slower agents either. Check in on your top performers, and try to figure out their tricks and strategies to keep things moving along. You could discover some real gems that you can then pass on to the rest of the department.
Appreciate Your Agents
As a high-stress job, call centers can experience a high volume of turnover. In turn, you spend more time and money on hiring and training new agents, managers, and supervisors. Avoid the hassle and build loyalty among your staff. Reward positive and efficient performance, encourage suggestions and feedback and foster a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere in the workplace.