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Hold times are the black holes of customer satisfaction. They suck customers in, and sometimes it feels like they will never get out. Most people understand being put on hold for a certain length of time, but after a while they start to feel like their call is lost and will never get answered. At this point, they start to lose patience, some will get angry, and others will hang up and take their business to a competitor. You know that hold times are causing problems for your customer service, but perhaps you aren’t sure how you can fix it.

A great way to reduce hold times is through a Contact Center Management Solution. They provide comprehensive monitoring and reporting on all incoming, outgoing and internal calls, giving you insights into every aspect of your calling, including hold times. Here are 4 ways to use your contact center metrics to reduce hold times and improve customer service:

  1. Uncover Peak Calling Times – The busiest times are often the most stressful for contact center agents and supervisors. With more calls coming in than there are agents, it can seem like the calls never stop coming. Pinpoint peak calling times by finding trends and patterns in historical reports. Once you know exactly when you have the most incoming calls, readjust your employees’ schedules to match your customer needs. By knowing when your peak calling times are, you can better prepare your agents to more quickly handle calls and therefore reduce the time that customers spend on hold.
  2. Pay Attention to Abandoned Call Details – Abandoned call metrics represent customers that hung up after being put on hold for too long. If you have a lot of abandoned calls, then it is important to dig deeper into those calls and learn about why they were abandoned. If your customers are waiting a long time before hanging up, then you know that your hold times are affecting your customer communications. Examining the effects of long wait times can help you learn more about when they become a problem. For example, if a majority of your abandoned calls happen around lunch time, then you know that your customers aren’t willing to wait during that time of day. Make sure that you have extra agents taking calls during that hour to meet customer needs.
  3. Take Advantage of Wallboards – Wallboards are a great way to display vital contact center metrics to all of your managers and agents. Display agent states and vital statistics in a prominent location, helping supervisors better handle assigning breaks. If there are a lot of agents in an idle state, they know that it is an optimal break time. Wallboards can also be helpful during busy times by promoting a little friendly competition. People are naturally motivated by competition and the desire to win, so displaying contact center statistics can help bring out your agents’ competitive instincts. This can encourage them to answer calls more quickly and to take on more calls during busy times. Create teams or goal-based incentives to further promote productive, friendly competition.
  4. Set Up Alarms – Just like your car alerts you to engine issues, call reporting software has alarms in place to tell you about changes in your calling. Set up an alert for when there are too many calls in queue, or if a customer is on hold for a certain length of time. Alarms watch vital contact center metrics for you, so you don’t have to constantly check your screen. Alarms help you be proactive in getting customers on the line with an agent. The sooner you know the queues are backing up, the sooner you can take action to optimize your contact center to reduce hold times.

To learn more about DATEL’s Contact Center Management Solutions for both small to mid-sized businesses and enterprises, please visit www.datel-group.com.