Unanswered calls break the connection between your brand and your customers. From a customer ignoring your call to you being unprepared to answer an incoming call, these types of issues have a significant effect on your brand reputation.
To connect your agents and customers with ease, consider the following tips and strategies for call center software and call center communication.
Tips to Prevent Inbound Unanswered Calls
Long wait times and dropped calls can lead to negative reviews and other issues for your business. Not only do you miss the opportunity to solve a problem or make a sale to a motivated buyer, but you also create a negative experience.
Your customers and potential customers are busy, so finding time to contact your call center is a significant use of their resources. When you put them on hold or cannot answer the call, you risk these adverse effects:
- Negative reviews on social media
- Low customer satisfaction ratings
- Loss of sales opportunity
- Reduced brand image
Thankfully, there are ways to handle each phone call. Explore the following strategies for your call center to boost brand image and customer satisfaction.
You can’t control the volume of inbound calls to your call center. Rather than sending your customers to an automatic hold or busy signal, you can set up an IVR that helps field questions and organize your inbound call service.
An IVR, or interactive voice response, uses automated system technology to ask questions about the incoming call. After receiving a few answers, this system passes customers on to a relevant, live agent. Sometimes, an IVR can answer a question and field an entire call without using a live agent.
Configure ACDs for Skill-Based Routing
Another strategy is to use an automatic call distributor, or ACD. An ACD allows you to create a skill-based routing system to connect callers with the relevant agent. This system is beneficial if you’re fielding complex questions regarding a variety of industries.
Agents with the necessary product or service experience can answer questions without placing callers on hold or transferring them to another agent. Reduced hold times and prompt answers help you manage inbound calls effectively.
Add On-Hold Messages
Sometimes placing a client on hold is unavoidable. A high number of inbound calls may be difficult to manage, even if you have proper staffing.
If using ACDs and IVRs still results in callers placed on hold, consider creating a detailed hold message. A short, professional message reassures callers and informs them that an agent will soon pick up the call. An on-hold message can’t altogether remove the risk of a caller disconnecting during a hold, but it can reduce the likelihood.
Provide Call-Back Options
A long call queue and a caller with a question an IVR can’t answer is a recipe for a long wait. Avoid lengthy hold times by offering a call-back option.
This option keeps the customer’s place in the waiting list but allows them to disconnect the call. Once an agent is free to handle the call, your call-back system will place an outbound call to connect the customer and agent.
Compared to an on-hold wait time, the wait time for a call back typically feels shorter and more convenient for customers. Use the latest software to ensure this feature works correctly and that no one loses a place in the queue.
Finally, you can consider forwarding an incoming call to agents’ personal phones. Create an on-call schedule for your agents to ensure someone is available in the evenings to handle emergency calls. This system can automatically forward a call to a cell phone or home phone. Connect a forward-to-phone feature with an IVR to ensure you only forward emergency calls that your IVR system can’t field.
Ways to Fix Outbound Unanswered Calls
On average, Americans only answer half of the incoming calls on mobile phones. Your outbound calling faces many obstacles to clear, effective communication. Here are some obstacles that stand in the way of a connected call and a positive experience between your agents and customers:
- Blocked phone numbers
- Flagged phone numbers
- Improper dialer configurations
- Outdated dialing lists
Update your outbound calling system with the following strategies to help your call center connect with customers.
Use Enhanced Caller ID Services
Enhanced caller ID promotes clear communication and can help prevent customers from blocking your number. Many prospective customers are hesitant to answer an unknown number, so you can use an enhanced caller ID to add your business name and other information to your call. As long as the service is compatible with the phone service provider, your customer will know to answer a call from your company.
Purchase Numbers From Reputable Sources
There are many sources for outbound dialing campaign phone numbers. Carefully review your sources to ensure you’re using reputable numbers. Customers or phone carriers may already block or flag many phone number lists, making it very unlikely that a customer will accept the call.
Swap Out Numbers Frequently
If you’re not having success with your existing number list, make a change. A number you use too frequently can end up flagged by phone carriers and blocked by customers. Try to change out the number after 100 daily calls to avoid missed connections.
Monitor Your Phone Number’s Reputation
Do you know which of your business numbers your customers have blocked or flagged? One of the major benefits of branded enhanced caller ID is the ability to better monitor your phone number reputation. When you stay on top of potential issues and watch your numbers for flagging, you help protect your call center’s reputation to ensure potential customers answer the call.
Optimize Your Call Center to Grow Your Business
A successful call reinvigorates your call center and strengthens your brand. Contact Caller ID Reputation today to learn more about the ways to fix unanswered inbound and outbound calls. Explore the benefits of enhanced caller ID and other call center software options to create a positive calling experience.