Today’s customers value their time more than ever before and expect to have issues dealt with quickly. Customer service plays a pivotal role in shaping the reputation and success of every modern business.
Average call wait time in call centers is a key metric that companies can use to assess the quality of customer service. This article will explore what defines wait time in call centers, its impact, and how evaluagent can help reduce wait times and improve customer service efficiency.
What is the average wait time for customer service calls?
The average call wait time measures the amount of time a customer has to wait on hold before an agent answers their call. It’s a critical call center metric for good reason: it has a direct impact on customer experience and satisfaction.
The Replicant contact center survey ranked hold time as the number one customer complaint with 44% of people saying they become annoyed or angry with a 5-15 minute wait time. Frustrated customers are more likely to be dissatisfied and take their business elsewhere.
Recent research by Microsoft suggests an average wait time of around 12 minutes, depending on the time of day a customer calls. The shortest average wait time was for telecomms at 2 minutes 3 seconds, while the longest was 85 minutes for the energy sector.
What is an acceptable call center wait time to still ensure customer satisfaction?
Choosing an acceptable call center wait time is not always easy as it varies due to industry, the time of day, and more. In some cases, customers may get through to a live agent in a matter of seconds or they may find themselves on hold for several minutes or longer.
However, there are some general guidelines that call centers can use to help them balance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
- The 80/20 rule: Many call centers aim to answer 80% of calls within 20 seconds. This helps maintain customer satisfaction by ensuring that most customers have their queries answered swiftly.
- Customer expectations: Call centers can use tools like feedback surveys to gain insights into their customer expectations. Companies should consider investing additional resources into reducing wait times if customers have a strong preference for fast service.
- Industry standards: Companies should research industry benchmarks to gain an understanding of what their customers might expect. Industries with high call volumes, such as telecommunications and hospitality, often have shorter wait time expectations compared to others.
Businesses can determine the average wait time in their call centers by tracking and analyzing historical data to identify patterns.
How to reduce average wait time for a call center
Reducing call wait time in call centers can be challenging but there are steps managers can take to improve. Here are five effective ways to reduce average call wait times:
- Call center metrics: Managers should use metrics to assess customer service and identify ways to reduce average call wait time in call centers. Key metrics include average abandonment rate, average handling time, and call volume.
- Advanced forecasting tools: Call centers can use these tools to predict call volume patterns. This allows them to allocate resources more effectively during peak hours and reduce call wait times.
- Self-service options: Self-service allows customers to resolve common issues without waiting for an agent to answer their call. This reduces the load on the customer support team and minimizes wait times.
- Agent training: Call centers should prioritize training and equip agents with the skills and tools that they need to resolve customer queries quickly and efficiently.
- Callbacks: One survey found that over 60% of customers prefer a callback instead of waiting on hold to speak to a live agent. Offering a callback option can greatly improve customer satisfaction by giving them more control over their time.
How evaluagent can help you reduce wait times
At evaluagent we’ve built and developed cutting-edge call center quality assurance software that can revolutionize your call center operations and help you reduce average wait times by:
- Increasing the productivity of your quality assurance by 285% with automated compliance checks and a streamlined evaluation experience.
- Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to unlock actionable insights from every customer interaction.
- Monitoring call center performance in real-time and generating reports on operational performance, correlations between QA and CSAT, and the impact of agent training.
Get in touch with our expert team to find out more – book a free demo today.