When Customers Want Callback…
Glen Taylor, PhD
If you work with a contact center, it is inevitable. A call spike will occur and callers will find themselves waiting in queue, sometimes for a prolonged period of time. When this happens and particularly when this occurs frequently, contact center managers start to look for solutions. One solution they frequently consider is a callback application – offer the caller the choice to wait in queue or receive a callback from an agent, usually after approximately the time interval that the caller would have waited in queue. INI SureConnect™ is an excellent application for this purpose. If you have a situation with this need, please give INI a call and let us help you understand callback issues and SureConnect.
One should be cautious thinking a callback solution completely solves the issue of too many calls for agents to handle. The best use of SureConnect is in situations where it will only be used during call spike periods. SureConnect is usually paired with an announcement of expected wait time, so the caller has information. Offering a callback turns a potentially negative situation (a long wait in queue) into one where the caller has control. He or she can choose the callback or choose to wait; either way, it is the caller’s informed decision.
People don’t enjoy being victims – giving them choices is empowering and satisfying. But the highest satisfaction comes when a caller rarely faces the choice. In those infrequent cases when a caller does need to choose, it may be found that he or she is more willing to wait (fewer abandons) and be more satisfied with the experience of waiting.
How can the contact center avoid the need of giving callers a frequent choice for callback? One obvious, though costly, answer is to have enough agents available that calls are seldom queued. More cost-effective solutions come in other areas where INI can help: self service, customer segmentation and agent productivity tools. Let’s face it; no one calls a business to play telephone tag. Callers have one or more reasons that they call. Some of those may truly demand an agent, but there may be significant opportunities to siphon off some calls and provide self service.
Done well and for the right reasons, self-service applications can be satisfying to the caller. Think of the banking ATM. Who really wants to stand in line and speak with a teller simply to withdraw $40 from a bank account? Many of the calls coming into a contact center have exactly the same characteristic; the caller would actually prefer to get or leave a piece of information without the need to deal with an agent.
In other cases, the caller really does need to speak with an agent, but not all callers are equally significant to the contact center and deserve the same priority in reaching an agent. Before blindly placing a caller in a long queue, INI contact center applications can help find out who the caller is and what he or she wants. Armed with that information, contact centers can ensure that the treatment the caller gets matches business priorities.
Furthermore, when a call is sent to an agent, INI can help with CTI-based solutions to provide the agent with information relevant to the call as it arrives.
So, when your contact center encounters callers experiencing frequent long waits in queue, please consult with INI at email@example.com or 800.732.3236 to discuss the best solution.