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Lowering call abandon rate in the call center

Is it possible to have zero abandoned calls in a call center? Read Lori Bocklund's advice on lowering abandon rate in this call center expert tip.

Is it possible for a call center to have no abandoned calls? In your opinion, is the abandon call rate related more to the organization of the call center or the capacity assigned to each call center representative? Our goal is to have zero abandoned calls.
While I suppose technically it is not impossible to have zero abandoned calls, practically speaking it is unlikely. Callers can hang up for a variety of reasons beyond being tired of waiting – for example, they realize they've dialed the wrong number, or are interrupted or get another call so decide to call back later. Abandon rate is a function of many factors, as Brad Cleveland's book Call Center Management on Fast Forward points out. In his book, available on the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) Web site, Brad talks about the seven factors for caller tolerance that impact abandons, among other things. These factors include things like motivation, alternatives, competition, expectations, and the highly variable "human behavior." The two things you mention – organization and capacity assignments -- are not among these factors.

Abandon rate is not the best metric to use in your center generally, as you can not fully control it. You might want to revisit your overall metrics strategy, position abandons properly within that strategy, and if it is still a factor to watch, set a realistic target. While there are no industry standards, many companies operate in the 1-3% abandon rate very successfully.

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