Abandon Rate: What It Is, Why It Goes Up, What You Can Do

Abandon: (verb): To leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert:

Sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it?

Call abandon rate is one of the more important metrics at a contact center for good reason – no company wants to have customers leaving them “completely and finally.”

We define abandon rate as the percentage of calls that hang up before an agent could take the call. It is a measure of that specific action, but it can also be viewed as a measure of customer satisfaction. If customers hang up a lot, they are probably not happy with the speed of service, or the company’s perceived interest in maintaining that relationship.

How do you calculate call abandonment rate? Try this formula:

Abandon rate percentage = (Number of calls offered – Number of calls abandoned in 5 seconds – Number of calls handled) / (Number of calls offered – Number of calls abandoned in 5 seconds) x 100

Why do abandon rates rise? There can be a number of causes, the most obvious of which is not having enough agents to efficiently handle incoming calls. Such situations are the result of inaccurate forecasts and schedules.

For contact centers that use an IVR, there is also a risk in too many pre-recorded messages and options that can result in customer frustration and hanging up.

Tips to Reduce Abandon Rate

Here are a few ways to help your contact center talk to more of your customers every day.

  1. Review your IVR

Make changes that will get callers to a live agent faster, while weeding out those that don’t need that level of assistance.

  1. Optimize “on hold” messages

There may be no way to placate some customers while they’re on hold, but recorded messaging that answers basic questions or offers incentives for future business might make those waits more productive.

  1. The Callback option

In periods when waits are longer than usual, some contact centers offer customers the option of receiving a call back at a specified time, so they don’t have to get stuck on hold.

  1. Workforce Management

By creating forecasts and schedules based on historical data and other variables, a contact center will have the right number of agents on every shift; so all calls will be answered within a reasonable amount of time.

Performance management enables contact centers to align people, processes, and systems to your goals and objectives, such as customer satisfaction and experience, cost control and revenue generation.

Find out more about how Monet can help you improve performance management

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