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Abandoned calls can mean good customer service

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Most call center managers think abandoned calls are a bad thing. Their dashboards show abandoned calls in red, and fanciful customer service supervisors like to put big frowny faces on reports that track abandons from their ACD queues. Their lives are centered around staffing to pre-determined service levels and answering calls quickly so that customers don’t hang up while waiting on hold.. There’s so much anxiety around abandoned calls that an entire industry around workforce management has sprung up to deal with it. It may seem a little crazy to think that abandons could ever be a good thing, but it’s true – abandoned calls can be a sign of excellent customer service.

All it takes is one critical feature - per-queue hold treatment.

Most call center software, ACDs, and PBXs only play one type of messaging while callers are in queue. Sometimes its elevator music or company propaganda, but usually it’s not useful. Systems that only support one type of hold music mean that every caller has to hear the same message. But what if you could give each caller a unique and helpful message based on why they called you in the first place?

You could play frequently asked questions to callers in your support queue; automatic bill pay instructions to callers in your Accounts Receivable queue; and your website address or product promotions in your sales queue.

If your hold treatment tells your customers how to change their password, pay their bill, or buy online, they’ll hang up - they’ll abandon. And that’s a good thing!  Maybe call center managers should start thinking about “good” abandons as normal calls with negative handle time the next time they see an ACD report with red marks all over it.