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Measuring call center abandon rates

Read part one of this answer here: Exploring U.S. call center industry standards

Our contact center in Australia uses a baseline metric of 80/20/5 against which agent performance is measured. This translates as 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds with five percent of calls abandoning. We manage both CRM and tactical campaigns for a range of clients both inbound and outbound in nature.

My questions are:

  1. What is the industry baseline or standard for US contact centers?
  2. What is the industry baseline or standard for non-voice channels contacts for US contact centers? Could you answer be broken down into each channel or web requests, web chat, email response, email acknowledgment and response.
  3. Do you know of any standards for the non voice channels in the Australian contact center environment?
  4. When measuring abandonment rates what is the most popular point at which the abandon is counted? Is it form 0.5 rings, 6-20 rings, 10 rings and above? Do you know of any US or other country standards for this?
  5. When measuring abandons can you advise if the abandon measure is also counted if the call is routing within an IVR solution or if the counting starts once queued to an agent?

Continued from Part 1...

Do you know of any standards for the non voice channels in the Australian contact center environment?

A: I don't know any specific standards for Australian contact centers. I recommend contacting one of the above resources, particularly the ICCBC. I know the Australian people are among the friendliest in the world, but my guess is that their demands for customer service are not unlike customers here in the states or in Europe. I think applying your 80/20/5 standard to chat/collaboration requests is a safe bet as is targeting four hours or less for your e-mail response time.

When measuring abandonment rates what is the most popular point at which the abandon is counted? Is it form 0.5 rings, 6-20 rings, 10 rings and above? Do you know of any US or other country standards for this?

A: The question isn't quite clear to me, but I can tell you that I am not aware of a specific standard. Abandonment measures (at least in the US and Europe) are generally expressed in seconds because abandonment generally occurs after the caller has worked through the IVR system. Abandonment rates are typically measured in seconds in queue -- where there are no rings to measure.

When measuring abandons can you advise if the abandon measure is also counted if the call is routing within an IVR solution or if the counting starts once queued to an agent?

A: Most contact center managers are interested in abandonment based on when the call was queued. Some systems are advance enough they can keep the contact queued while allowing them to interact with an IVR. These provide true "Cradle to Grave" reporting. For systems that are not that integrated, abandonment tracking usually starts when the contact leaves the IVR and is placed in queue for an agent.

To read Part 1 of this Ask the Expert exchange,  please click here.

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