Remember when Disneyland implemented “FastPass”? FastPass allows visitors to take a ticket for a particular ride at a certain time in the future, eliminating the wait in line. You just go back to the ride at the scheduled time and get right on the ride.
FastPass is similar to a Call Queuing used in Call Center phone systems. While you are waiting to speak with an agent, the call queue, through periodic announcements, informs callers how long they can expect to wait before speaking with “the next available agent.” The caller can either continue to hold, leave a voice mail message or hang up.
The point is, the customer has a choice based on information provided to them by the call queue. Customers with choices tend to be more satisfied.
Call Queuing Empowers Callers By Giving Them Choices
Some call queueing software offers callers the ability to leave their name and number instead of waiting on hold, this allows the caller to completely eliminate waiting in line. The more choices you can give a customer, the more satisfied they will be.
Most callers prefer having this information. They want to have options. Take away options or make a person wait on hold for an unreasonable amount of time without information and you will be left with dissatisfied callers.
If the caller is already having a problem with your product or service, adding additional frustrations invariably leads to lost customers. To make matters worse, a dissatisfied customer is very likely to pass his or her bad experience on to potential customers.
Call Queuing Improves Customer Satisfaction
Automated Call Distribution (ACD) is called Call Queuing and is core feature of call center systems. If your phone system is not capable of queuing calls, your customers are most likely frustrated with your service. Call queuing are used to efficiently distribute inbound calls to agents to minimize caller hold time.
ACD’s hold queued calls on a first in, first out basis until agents become available. Without a call queue, a company has to rely on either a hunt group or a live receptionist to distribute calls. Neither has the ability to quickly and efficiently route calls.
Without call queuing your customers have only three options: continue to hold, leave a message or hang up. None of these lead to an increase in sales or customer satisfaction. This isn’t good for the bottom line.
Call queuing systems can be configured to allow customers to receive a call back from your company instead of waiting on hold. This is analogous to the “FastPass” option used at amusement parks.
While there are several ways to queue calls, most companies use the FIFO call queuing method (first caller in, first caller out). The caller’s place is maintained in line and the queue monitors the number of callers in the queue and informs the caller of their Estimated Wait Time (EWT). If the EWT exceeds a predetermined threshold, the system intercepts incoming calls before they enter the queue and informs the customer of their EWT and offers the option of receiving a callback in the same amount of time as if they waited on hold. Callers greatly appreciate this information which in turn improves customer satisfaction and sales closing ratio.
For callers that decide to leave their phone number rather than continue to hold, a virtual placeholder maintains the customers’ position in the queue while the ACD queue is worked off. The launches an outbound call to the customer as if that caller was waiting in the queue and connects them with an available agent.
Monetary Benefits of Call Queueing
Queuing also has hidden monetary benefits. Managing the call queue to minimize your callers’ wait time leads to less frustrated callers who do not spend valuable time complaining to the agent about how long they were made to wait. If the average person complained for 1-minute about how long they were waiting and the average call was 5-minutes, each agent would spend 12-minutes each hour listening to complaints. 12-wasted minutes an hour equals 20% of a call center agent’s time. This means you need to have 20% more agents to handle the same volume of calls. This is significant.
Amusement Park Operators Like FastPass More Than You Do
So why do you think amusement parks implemented the FastPass concept? It is not because they were being nice and cared that people had to stand in line for hours just to get on a 3-minute ride. It is because the amusement park’s owners were concerned that people were reaching the limit of the amount of time they were willing to wait in line.
It does not matter how much your little ones are begging you to take them to Disneyland, you are not going to wait 8-hours to get on a ride. If people stop coming, the parks will lose revenue. FastPass is an expense item, it does not generate a single dollar of revenue – unless you consider lost sales due to lower attendance caused by unbearably long lines to be revenue. Most people would.
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