What is an abandoned call?
An abandoned call is a call or other type of contact initiated to a call center that is ended before any conversation occurs. When inbound calls are abandoned, it is often because the caller is frustrated with the time on hold.
When outbound calls are abandoned, it is usually because the call is disconnected by the automated dialer or automatic call distributor (ACD) when a live contact has been made but no agent was available to take the call. A predictive dialer can eliminate the problem of abandoned outbound calls.
An abandoned call may also be referred to as an abandoned contact. Let's look at some metrics to better understand abandoned calls.
Abandoned call rates
The abandoned call rate is the ratio between the number of the calls terminated before they could be answered and the total number of calls. This is important for key performance indicators (KPIs) that indicate customer satisfaction and service level. A high abandonment rate is often used as a signal by call centers to improve the response time.
In this calculation, the term abandoned calls includes missed calls and dropped calls. Missed calls refers to calls that couldn't be answered because the ACD was occupied, whereas dropped calls refers to calls that were disconnected due to technical issues.
Abandon time refers to the amount of time taken to disconnect or terminate the call before it could be answered. This can happen at one of the following stages:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The caller is hearing an auto-generated voice with the IVR options for continuing the call.
- Call queue. The caller is told their number in the queue. This can be used by the caller to anticipate the amount of time it will take to talk to an agent.
- Wait queue. The caller is waiting in the queue to be connected to an agent.
- Ringing. The caller is at the front of the queue and is waiting for an agent to answer.
- Voicemail. The caller is hearing a voicemail recording rather than talking to an agent.
Tips for reducing abandoned call rate
There are several ways to reduce the abandoned call rate, including the following:
- Reduce the waiting time by increasing the number of agents in the call center.
- If the wait time is long, give callers an option to call back at a later time.
- If the queue is long, give callers an option to submit their phone numbers and request a call back later.
- Experiment with your welcome message to find the one with the lowest abandoned call rate.