However, high call volume can also point to a lack of resources, such as manpower, to handle such surges. While high call volume can indicate a level of success for your company, it can also mean longer wait times for callers or even unanswered calls, leaving customers feeling frustrated. These can adversely affect customer satisfaction and customer experience in general.
Smaller companies that operate with fewer resources may also find it challenging to handle a sudden surge in call volume. Whether you’re receiving many calls or expecting a normal call volume, are you able to answer as many calls as you think you should?
How Unanswered Calls Affect Businesses
Missed phone calls don’t just mean missed opportunities for your business. Missed calls can affect your reputation, lead to fewer leads, conversions, and sales, and decrease your customers’ lifetime value. You may find that your customers are complaining and giving your business negative word-of-mouth.
SMBs bear the brunt of missed phone calls. Despite your marketing efforts and creating a great website, missed phone calls can impact your online reputation and stifle your growth.
How to Handle Different Call Volumes Better
The good news is you can do something to optimize how you handle different call volumes. Here are some ways for you to answer as many calls without compromising quality and service levels:
Create easily accessible self-service resources
Make it easy for callers to try solving problems on their own by creating dedicated self-service resources that can answer frequently asked questions, such as your store hours, location, or offerings. This way, customers won’t have to call your business all the time to ask if a certain item is available or not, for example.Place these pieces of information on your website while making sure that customers can easily find them.
Give callers the option to call back
63% of customers prefer a callback option compared to being put on hold. With a callback option, you can reduce hold times and minimize call abandonment while still being able to deliver exceptional customer experience.
Invest in different engagement channels
Calls shouldn’t be the only way customers can engage with your business. Give them alternatives like live chat, email, and even social media. Having multiple engagement channels can help reduce call volume while still allowing customers to contact you.
Outsource your call centre
Outsourcing your call centre is an efficient way to manage calls. With an outsourced call answering service, you’ll be working with experienced professionals who are experts in their field. They’re dedicated to answering calls and taking messages on your behalf, so you can focus on your core responsibilities or other more complex tasks. They’re also available round-the-clock, including after-hours and weekends, so you won’t have to miss out on any growth opportunities.
How to Know You’re Spending Too Much Time on Each Customer Service Call
To measure your ATT and find out if you’re spending a lot of time on each call, take your total talk time of all calls and divide it by the total number of completed calls.
When calculating ATT, exclude average hold time, call transfers, calls resolved through your IVR system, and call wrap-up times.
Average talk time varies across industries. In the IT sector, ATT is at 209 seconds, or 3.48 minutes, while for the healthcare and life sciences industry, ATT is at 149 seconds (2.48 minutes). Talk times are ideally at 200 seconds (3.33 minutes) or above to achieve good service level ratings. For outbound calls, the ATT is at 358.2 seconds (5.97 minutes) to give agents more time to engage and convert customers.
However, spending too much time on each customer service call may lead to issues, such as staffing shortages and longer inbound call queues. You need to strike a balance between your ATT and customer service levels.
Note that just because an agent has low talk times doesn’t always mean they’re efficient. You have to listen to the calls to check their quality and look for processes that need improvement. An agent may have a low talk time and may appear efficient, but if you examine the call quality and customer experience, you may find that it has a negative effect on your organization.
Additionally, longer talk times aren’t always a bad thing. If an agent talks a bit longer but is able to deliver personalized service and excellent customer experience, then that’s definitely a win for you.
Optimizing Operations with an Outsourced Call Centre
Outsourcing contact centre services is often a cost-effective solution for SMBs. This way, you won’t have to hire and train new personnel while still allowing you to meet your customer service targets. You get access to and enjoy the benefits of advanced communication technologies and tools. You can also stay on top of things even during emergencies. Furthermore, outsourced call centres like On Call Centre offer flexibility and allow you to rapidly adapt to changes as they happen. Work with us and start equipping your business for growth.
At On Call Centre , we deliver exceptional customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year—sometimes 366. On Call Centre has been providing tailored, fluently French/English bilingual answering services and call centre services to small business owners (professionals, trades) and customer support departments (government, high tech, property management, healthcare, emergency clients) serving Ottawa , Montreal and Toronto —and all over Canada —for almost 50 years.