- Contact centers with high call volumes can leave customers on hold longer than necessary.
- Long wait times can lead to call abandonment and dissatisfied customers.
- Virtual queues can reduce call wait times and improve the overall customer experience.
Contact centers that deal with sudden surges in calls or staffing shortages risk leaving their customers waiting on hold for longer than necessary. Customers are more likely to abandon calls and agents may experience burnout more easily.
Contact center solutions that offer virtual queuing can be helpful for spikes in call volumes. While you shouldn’t rely solely on virtual queues to deal with other matters that may be causing long wait times for callers (such as staffing issues), they can be a significant asset to a contact center.
What is virtual queuing?
Virtual queuing offers contact centers the ability to virtually hold a caller’s place in line so there’s no need for the caller to wait on hold. Instead, callers can go about their day, while giving agents the time to get through customer calls without interruption.
When all agents are busy on other customer calls, new incoming callers are placed in a virtual queue line rather than being put on hold. The caller still has the option to wait on the line for the next available agent, but may choose to have a call-back instead. The caller’s phone number is recorded, and when it’s the caller’s turn to speak with an agent, they’re called back.
Here are some benefits to incorporating a virtual queue in your contact center.
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Improved customer satisfaction
Offering a virtual queue can effectively cut down on one of the biggest complaints that customers have when calling in to a contact center. Not only does this eliminate a hassle on the part of the customer, but it also shows callers that your contact center respects their valuable and limited time. Better satisfaction can help you build a stronger brand.
Reduce abandon rates
Many callers end up giving up midway through their hold while waiting to get in touch with a live agent. That’s the last thing that a contact center wants, which is why taking steps to reduce call abandon rates is so important. Abandonment can lead to more repeat calls, as customers make another attempt to get in touch with an agent.
All these unnecessary repeat calls can place undue strain on your contact center system, as well as irritating customers.
Consumer expectations are increasing. Not only do they expect more from contact centers and other places of business, but they also have a lower tolerance for mishaps. For this reason, contact center managers should keep close tabs on their abandon rate metric.
A virtual queue can help reduce abandonment rates by lowering call wait times. While you could staff your center with more agents, this is a very costly and labor-intensive endeavor even if your infrastructure can handle an overabundance of agents.
Of course, having adequate staffing is important. Every contact center should have the right number of agents to handle the ongoing workload. That’s where an effective workforce management forecasting system comes into play, which can help appropriately schedule agents so that there’s just enough to handle the workload without understaffing (which can overwhelm the contact center) or overstaffing (which can cost the contact center more than necessary).
That said, a cost-effective way to help manage a high volume of calls is to leverage the power of a virtual queue. This is especially useful for the occasional surge in call volume, as opposed to a constant stream of many calls.
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Increase first call resolutions
Rather than having agents juggle several customer issues at the same time, virtual queuing makes it possible for agents to focus on the call they’re currently taking. This results in more effective and productive conversations and cuts down on the length of time spent on each customer call.
Virtual queuing also gives agents some time to prepare in advance for the call-back and come up with potential resolutions ready to go. This ultimately improves first call resolution rates and leads to happier customers.
Better handle surges in call volume
When agents call customers back when they’re available, they can cut down on potentially nerve-racking situations that stem from a spike in calls, especially during busier times. In turn, agents won’t have to worry about a slew of callers waiting on hold or feel compelled to rush through customer calls.
How well a virtual queue works depends, in part, on the resource capacity of the contact center. Used effectively and in the appropriate scenarios, virtual queue technologies can be a significant asset to the modern contact center. While the best way to handle a customer call is to take it within seconds or a few short minutes, a virtual queue can be a solid backup to keep customers satisfied.
Having the right digital tools in place in your contact center has become a key component to success. Technology is transforming just about every facet of life, including the contact center. As consumers become increasingly demanding about the caliber of services they receive, contact centers need to deliver, and one way to do that is to ensure that the right digital tools are in place.
RingCentral offers cloud-based solutions designed to improve agent efficiency, boost customer satisfaction, and protect the contact center’s bottom line. Our cloud-based communications platform integrates all aspects of contact center operations, including telephone, video conferencing, and team messaging.
Speak with a representative from RingCentral today to get your free demo.
Originally published Feb 23, 2022