Some of the most persistent complaints of customers that call into contact centers to ask a question or receive other services are that hold times are far too long and that they have no idea the length of time they will have to wait. In addition, when they finally do talk to an agent, they have to repeat information that the IVR system has already collected or the agent they have been routed to cannot resolve their issue. These complaints lead to high call abandonment rates, poor customer experience and worst of all, customer attrition.
Intelligent callback technology, such as IVR Automated Callback with IVR Virtual Assistant, offers customers choices and elevates the overall experience. It also reduces costs and improves contact center efficiency, fostering customer loyalty and retention.
Three ways intelligent callback technology can benefit customers and contact centers:
1. Reduces Costs and Improves Efficiency
Intelligent callback options reduce contact center costs by balancing call peaks and valleys. This eliminates under-staffing which leads to excessive hold times and over-staffing which can leave agents with more idle time per shift.
Efficiency and productivity also increase because the system automatically calls back the customer when they are number one in the queue and allows immediate access to all the information the agent needs to understand why the customer called and how to resolve their issue quickly. Alleviating the need to repeat information already provided saves time for both the customer and the agent. Intelligent callback also routes calls to the most appropriate agent with the right knowledge and skills to answer a specific customer’s question and solve their problem right away.
2. Lowers Customer and Agent Effort
Customers might prefer that an agent is available immediately, any time they call a company. They also know that this is just not realistic. But what happens next can be the difference between retaining or losing customers. When given choices that are conducive to their needs and schedules, the customer experience will be positive.
Intelligent callback offers customers choices and lets them know how long they will have to wait. This feature alone allowed a radiology clinic to cut their abandonment rate in half.
“We’ve seen a massive reduction in abandons just by providing an estimated hold time. Abandon rates used to be 12%. Now it is down to 4-5%,” says the Director of Pre-Imaging Services at ARA Diagnostic Imaging.
IVR Automated Callback also allows customers to reserve their spot in the queue without remaining on hold. When the right agent becomes available, they will receive a callback on the number they called from, or they can enter a different phone number and schedule a specific time for their callback that is more convenient for them.
Customers love intelligent callback because it puts them in control and makes them feel empowered. Agents love it because customers are friendlier and less frustrated when they do connect. It also allows agents to help more customers every shift.
3. Improves Customer Experience, Satisfaction and Loyalty
IVR Automated Callback technology lets customers keep their place in the queue while going about their business, knowing that they will still receive the quickest possible service. This reduces their effort and tells customers that you respect their time and appreciate their patience.
Research conducted by Harvard Business Review reinforces that reducing the effort required by customers to get their problem resolved builds loyalty. The research also reveals that acting on this insight can improve customer service and decrease customer churn.
The fact is that everyone is busy. Customers simply do not have the time to wait on hold to speak with a customer service agent. Although there are many IVR services that can help reduce this time, callback technology is the best option for mitigating long holds, relieving frustration and showing both agents and customers that you truly value them.