March 15, 2018 by Matt Beatty

Do I Really Need a 0% Abandonment Rate?

We’ve all been there…

For me, it looks like this: I’m sitting with my phone to my ear, ready to talk about my reason for calling, eagerly waiting for someone to answer. On the 3rd minute of being on hold, I start thinking about all the things I’d rather be doing like sleeping or binging on Netflix.


And after what seems like an entire lifetime (probably 7 minutes), while I’ve started multi-tasking a few other things, I forget why I was on the line in the first place. And with much anger or at least a little consternation , I hang up.


Its critical for us to empathize and remember that behind that (1) abandoned call added to your stats today was the pain in the neck experience (and likely Twitter rant) for that one caller today- this can become a huge issue.


Luckily, you can tackle the dilemma of callers hanging up before your agents can help them by learning about your abandon rate and queue times.


Watch this quick video to find out the secret to keeping high customer satisfaction levels and a balanced abandon rate.




Key Metrics - Abandon Rate from Brightmetrics™ on Vimeo.


If you’d rather read how this happens- check this out:

We recommend your abandon rate be anywhere between 4 – 8 %. Having a 0% abandon rate is inefficient and unnecessary, and having an abandon rate over 8% will likely affect your satisfaction rating negatively.


So, with an abandon rate between 4 - 8%, you can still have a high satisfaction rating without inefficient and costly over-staffing of your team.


By tracking and investigating your average abandon queue time you can solve just about any abandon rate issues your team might have.


It’s easier to solve an abandon rate that’s lower than 4%. Look at your abandon queue time (the time before a caller hangs up) and make sure to answer any calls right before the majority of your callers have hung up historically. In this situation, it is likely that your team is answering the line sooner, before your callers are tired of waiting and hang up.


Keeping those callers on hold just a little bit longer will probably not lower your satisfaction rating. And more importantly, you will have an efficient, perfectly-staffed team.


The harder part is solving the issue of an abandon rate that’s higher than 8% where callers are hanging up before anyone is available to engage. The short answer to this is to hire (and train) more staff.


This is a huge endeavor.


While you’re getting your new agents up to speed, you’ll likely still have callers who hang up before your team can assist or callers who end up waiting around for ages looking like this.






Sometimes a more creative route is to find ways to keep callers waiting on the line longer. You can do this by changing up what customers hear while they wait for your team to answer.


For example, some organizations will play automated messages (a health insurance line reminding callers to get vaccinated during flu season).


Others will play music...yacht rock, anyone?


Some extra fun companies will allow their callers to play trivia while on hold.


So, if your team is experiencing abandon rate issues and doesn’t know where to start- here’s the breakdown.


First, identify whether your abandon rate is lower than 4% or higher than 8%. Then, use your abandon queue time to decide whether you need to allow your team to work more efficiently, hire and train more staff, or making changes to what your callers hear while they’re on hold.


After these changes, you’ll be on a path for happier customers and more efficient employees.


See Your Abandon Rates and Queue Times


This is the first of a 4-part series of blog posts about The 5 Key Metrics Every Call Center Manager Should Master video series.

Learn about Part 2: Agent Productivity: The Good, The Bad, The Cherry Pickers

Interested in Part 3? Let's Talk Balancing Staffing Levels

The last in the series! Using Wrap Codes for a Refined Customer Experience


 Curious on how to set up these metrics in your own Brightmetrics environment?

The how-to on Part 1: Now that We’ve Found [Abandonment Rate/Queue Time] ❤ What Are We Gonna Do?

Here's Part 2: Check Out the Big Transfer Rate on Brad

Excited for Part 3? But Really, How Do I Build that Agent % Available vs % Calls Answered Already???

Curious about Part 4? London Calling… Again? Could Wrap Codes Help Answer: “Why?”


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