Callback: The Most Important Contact Center Feature That You're Probably Lacking
In an ideal world, a customer calls and his concern is resolved within minutes. This is efficient, resolves customer concerns immediately, and leaves no work piled up for later. Contact centers even have a metric for it: it’s called First Call Resolution (FCR). It’s a time-honored metric and KPI for call center efficiency, but at the same time, it’s dangerous to get too attached to this metric.
In reality, queue times are real and can prevent customers from getting in touch with your agents. Some customers will wait in the queue for minutes and just end up being frustrated, thus hanging up without ever having addressed their concern. For the best customer satisfaction, it is imperative not to let these concerns fall through the cracks and be forgotten.
Fortunately, it is now possible to give callers an alternative: callbacks. Callbacks are an option for callers who do not have time to wait in the queue. They are looking to do something else that is more productive with their time. That is why callbacks are important: sometimes, it’s better to have customers leave a message and hang up, so we can contact them later at their convenience. It’s a much better customer experience than sitting for minutes listening to hold music.
Why Callbacks are Important
A study from CTS shows that 63% of customers prefer a callback instead of waiting in queue. Not only is it better from the customer point of view, but it also helps your center with several KPIs like reduced Abandonment Rate and improved First Call Resolution, as well as a more-evenly distributed Occupancy Rate.
Nowadays, it is easier to provide callback options. But there are several things to keep in mind:
The callback option should be offered to the customers early during their call. The optimal time is 90 seconds into the call while they are waiting on hold.
Callbacks should only be offered during business hours.
Communicate when the customer should expect the callback.
Provide the capability to call again if the customer misses their first callback.
The system should be able to check the number of a call in case of multiple callback requests from the same customer. Some customers may be frustrated with the wait and call several times consecutively.
About half percent of customers will hold for up to five minutes before hanging up, but it’s better not to test their patience if you want the best customer satisfaction. When offering callback, you want to gather a few bits of information from the caller.
Your callback solution should capture the number the caller used to make the call and set that as default for the callback. This prevents customer-side mistakes in entering the callback number. An option to callback at a different number should be provided as well.
The ideal time frame for when they are available to take it.
A brief description of their concern.
Their account number, if your system wasn’t able to identify them from their phone number.
While it is still preferable to resolve a customer’s concerns there and then with no waiting time, callbacks are still the preferable alternative to placing the customer on hold for many minutes. Is your call center providing a callback option for customers? If not, now may be the perfect time to rethink that strategy.