How to Reduce Customer Wait Time in a Call Center

May 29, 2019

In our accelerated world, customers are simply not willing to wait for a customer service agent to pick up the phone. In fact, recent findings show that most customers hang up after an average of two minutes on hold.

One thing is for certain: the longer customers are put on hold, the more frustration grows before an agent even handles the call.

Finding ways to reduce customer wait times will not only help you improve your processes but also keep customers satisfied. Check out our pro tips to keep your customer wait times low!

Find the bottlenecks

Customer wait times often suffer from bottlenecks. In fact, even companies with the most efficient customer service experience chokepoints where their processes slow down.

In order to eliminate these bottlenecks, an essential first step is to identify these constraints and handle them accordingly.

Measure your processes by utilizing data analytics and ask yourself the following questions: Where do my processes tend to slow down? How does this affect my customers? How can I overcome these constraints and speed up my processes?

By eliminating bottlenecks in your operations, you will be able to reduce your average customer wait times by up to minutes, and you can be pretty sure that your customers will really appreciate it.

Be ready to scale up

Every now and then, customer service departments experience heavy peak times, usually resulting in increased call volumes and customer wait times.

And as calls can often suddenly skyrocket during such times, it’s no surprise that agents often struggle to deal with the resulting high call volumes, with customers being put on hold for large amounts of time.

Managing peak times is a major challenge, and if you can’t efficiently react to increased call volumes, chances are your customer wait time will increase significantly. Therefore, when it comes to planning your staff schedules, never settle for the bare minimum. Instead, ensure you can easily scale up your business by relying on trained reserve agents who are ready to help out when necessary.

Utilize self-service

These days, customers can choose to resolve their own issues by using self-service options without the interaction of a live agent.

In today’s fast-paced world, people want their issues resolved now, not later. Therefore, spending minutes in a call queue to have something fixed — especially on a busy day — may feel like an eternity.

Luckily, your business can now utilize self-service options, such a self-service portal or FAQ page, to help ease up your call queues.

The cost benefits of customer self-service are obvious: if your customers can solve their problems on their own, the result will be significantly-reduced customer service call volumes, and thus substantially-reduced customer wait times!

Go omnichannel!

Omnichannel customer communication is nothing new in customer service. In fact, the idea of directing customers to several channels that are effectively aligned is definitely here to stay.

And, during an extremely busy holiday peak season, omnichannel customer service may turn out to be your savior! As we all know, many customer queries can be easily resolved via email, SMS or live chat.

So, why overburden your call queues when you can direct your customers to your other channels instead?

Providing customer service via a variety of channels will definitely help you reduce your customer wait times, but only if you ensure that customer communication quality levels are the same for all the channels you use. Don’t forget, using a number of channels is one thing, but aligning them effectively is another ball game altogether.

Keeping customer wait times low is vital in your customer service. Make sure to follow our tips to keep your customers happy and satisfied!

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