In a previous post, we discussed the high cost of abandoned calls in the contact center. Not only do frustrated customers take their business to competitors, but contact center agents become stressed and fatigued, which leads to high turnover and increased costs. However, there are a number of steps organizations can take to reduce the number of abandoned calls by putting fewer customers on hold, reducing time spent on hold, and using technology to optimize contact center operations.

Traditionally, spikes in call volume meant more agents would have to go to the contact center. The ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center allows organizations to bring the contact center solution to agents. This distributed model in which contact center agents work in geographically dispersed locations, or from home, helps organizations handle high call volume. Organizations can “borrow” agents, who can quickly access a unified desktop from any device and pick up the slack during peak calling times. This also reduces the risk of an entire contact center being shut down due to a weather event or equipment failure.

Call avoidance is another approach to handling call volume. A simple option is to use a pre-recorded message that proactively alerts the customer to potentially long wait times and encourages them to call back during a specific, low-volume time period. You can also use call-back technology, which gives customers the option receive a call back when a contact center agent is available. Customers won’t get an immediate solution to their problems, but they’ll be much less frustrated when you are honest about the situation and keep them informed.

Organizations can reduce call times by integrating the contact center platform with customer relationship management (CRM) software and other applications. This feature offered by ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center gives agents immediate access to a detailed call history and allows for calls to be properly routed according to service level, skillset, priority, caller location and other factors. Agents know who is calling and why they’re calling. An integrated solution also allows agents to use the customer’s preferred mode of communication, whether that is phone, text, chat or email.

Session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking, which uses VoIP to connect a PBX to the Internet instead of a traditional telephone trunk, helps to optimize the contact center. SIP trunking enables you to consolidate all communications onto one IP network connection, which reduces telecom costs by simplifying the infrastructure, optimizing bandwidth and eliminating reliance upon legacy connectivity. The customer experience is improved because all agents are connected to the same system with the same information and communications tools.

Using contact center reports, and having a flexible solution that allows managers to make data-driven adjustments, is critical to reducing abandoned calls. Reporting tools provide valuable insight into completed calls, abandoned calls and incoming calls that were never answered. Reports help managers determine not only who called at what time and for what reason, but also why their problem was or was not resolved. The ShoreTel system offers comprehensive reporting features that enable managers to track call volume and analyze the outcome of each call.

IPC Technologies, a member of ShoreTel’s Champion Partner Circle of Excellence, specializes in helping organizations successfully implement the ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center solution. Let us help you reduce the number of abandoned calls and empower your employees to better serve customers and optimize contact center operations.