Virtual queuing is a dominant technology that can improve your call center in more ways than one. Virtual queuing is in existence for over a decade and yet a large section of the customer service industry seems to be blissfully ignoring any knowledge of it.
Virtual queuing simply means holding a caller’s place in line – “virtually.” This enables the customer to stay in the queue without having to stay on the phone. In most cases, virtual queuing is done by collecting the caller’s phone number and then giving them a call back when an agent is available to take a call. With virtual queuing the concept of hold time can be eliminated.
Here are 5 ways your call center can benefit using virtual queuing.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Everyone knows that waiting on hold is the most boring and annoying thing a customer has to suffer while contacting a customer care. In fact, it is the most common complaint of the customers about a call center, according to a survey done by Consumer Reports on “Top Gripes” about phone-based customer service.
Therefore, to improve customer satisfaction, virtual queuing can be the best possible option. By giving callers the option to receive a call-back as an alternative of waiting on hold, you can remove one of the most annoying parts of the contact center experience.
By offering a call-back, a company can show its customers that it values their time. This shows a brand in a good light. In a recent research conducted by Forrester, it is stated that 75% of customers find call-back option “highly appealing”. According to another research conducted by SoftwareAdvice.com, 61% of customers may prefer a call-back to waiting on hold, every single time.
A study by YouGov shows that 76% of participants said, “Just one unpleasant contact center experience was likely to make them take their business elsewhere”. As per Gartner, businesses that put the customer experience first produce 60% higher profits than their competitors.
Reducing Abandon Rate
Call abandonment not only increases the dissatisfaction in the customers but also leads to higher repeat calls that slow down the call center system.
These days, customer’s expectation from a brand is skyrocketing, while their tolerance for waiting on hold is hitting rock bottom. In fact, 60% of customers are not willing to wait on hold for over one minute, according to a recent research by Velaro.
This statistics is sure to give you a fair idea about the increasing rate of call abandonment, which rose from 5% in 2003 to more than 13% in 2010. And every business owner has a fair idea that with each abandoned call the First Call Resolution (FCR) rates also drops. But that’s not all. The entire experience leaves a bad impression on the mind of the customers and eventually compels them to opt for a competing brand.
Let’s face it! Your customers get tired of hearing “your call is important to us, please stay on hold” for the nth number of time.
So, what’s the solution? Simple as it is, you will have to lower hold times to lower call abandonment rate. And in order to do so, you need you need enough budget to hire more employees until the call abandonment rate drops. Now, that does not sound very realistic either, does it? There’s the cost factor. In such a situation virtual queuing is the only sane option that will bring call abandonment rate down.
Improving First Call Resolution
First Call Resolution (FCR) is critical to an efficient call center operation. Handling every issue with one call leads to
- More efficient use of agent time
- Higher caller satisfaction
- Fewer inbound calls
Therefore, a good first call resolution rate represents both quality and efficiency of a call center. When virtual queuing is applied, an agent can contact the customer and listen to their problem without putting them on hold or keeping them waiting. This leads to more first call resolution.
Smoothing Out Spikes in Call Volume
Due to holidays, bad weather and special promotions call centers often experience peaks in their call volume. Dealing with these spikes can be a challenge while delivering a positive customer experience. During these peaks, the Average Speed to Answer (ASA) goes up increasing abandon rate.
During these peak seasons, the call center does not hire additional staff, and there will be excess agents in non-peak days. In such a situation, virtual queuing can help call center each out the pressure of call volume.
With scheduled call-backs, customers can be given future time slots for their call. With proper configuration, these time slots can be tuned to even out the call volume throughout the period.
Reduce Telco Cost
With the traditional approach, a PSTN line gets occupied for the entire duration of a call on hold. On a toll-free DID, this can carry higher per-minute rates. By swapping hold-time with a call-back, those lines can be freed and the number of total minutes consumed can be reduced. It can also bring down the total number of lines required. This reduces the cost considerably.
But that’s not all. When an agent gives the customer a call-back, he makes an outbound call with lower per-minute rates than the inbound toll-free rate. For a call center that handles millions of calls per year, the savings can even cover the cost of the virtual queuing system.
With these amazing benefits, virtual call queuing shows the promise of revolutionizing the future of call centers.