From a customer’s point of view, it could be distressing to be on hold when calling a company or business. The experience can also lead to negative impressions of the company. Thus, callback technology, otherwise known as virtual hold technology, can be a solution. Companies and businesses use this tool to improve the customer service experience.
With callback technology, a customer does not need to wait on the phone to talk to an available representative. Instead, the customer has an option to leave a number and expect a return call from the representative within a specified timeframe.
Using Callback Technology in Business
Business owners can utilize callback technology in certain situations, such as high volumes of calls. Callbacks can also address anticipated seasonal increases in customer inquiries and orders, therefore avoiding the need to add more employees.
The technology can also temporarily replace company representatives when they are otherwise engaged—for instance, when they need to be in other activities like training or meetings.
How do you make callback technology available to your customers as a business owner? One possible approach is configuring your existing IT and communication infrastructure. This option requires that you have in-house technical expertise.
Alternatively, you may sign up for a hosted system with monthly charges. Another option entails having providers install a network for your daily use on-site. This strategy may initially cost more but will not carry monthly fees.
Advantages of Using Callback Technology
Most, if not all, customers would rather use the callback option instead of waiting for a long time on hold. Some customers even feel that a hold time of 1 minute is too much. As a business owner, you should consider why callbacks are important in customer service.
Take a look at the following advantages offered by callback technology.
- Callbacks can improve first contact resolution
First contact resolution (FCR) is a crucial metric for contact centers. It defines whether your help desk resolves customers’ issues within one contact or call. When customers make several follow-up calls to resolve a single concern, the result can be customer dissatisfaction. To the company, repeat calls can affect an agent’s time and efficiency.
Unresolved calls can also affect the volume of inbound calls your company receives. If your business utilizes callback options, you can treat it similarly to securing an appointment where you discuss and resolve concerns on the spot.
Agents can prepare for callbacks by reviewing customer information to better address all issues. This will result in shorter conversations and a higher likelihood of resolving customer concerns with only one call.
- Callbacks help reduce abandonment rates
Abandonment rate is another metric among contact centers. It refers to the number of calls customers abandon due to a lengthy hold time. When a customer becomes impatient after being on hold for a long time, some will probably opt to drop or disconnect the call. A high abandonment rate will automatically result in high repeat calls and lower first contact resolution.
Adding a callback feature to your system and processes can address high call volumes. Although you can increase staffing and capacity, such an option can result in underutilized agents when call volumes are low.
Record a message explaining the high call volume situation, with an assurance that their call will be on queue for the next available agent. This way, your customers will also feel that you value their time.
- Callbacks can lead to increased customer satisfaction
A customer whose call is on hold for a long time can become irate. By the time their call gets through, the agent may become the receiving end of the customer’s frustration. As a result, the customer—and the agent—could walk away from the conversation with bad experiences. Worse, your customers could take this as a negative reflection of your company.
It is in your best interest to avoid conflicts and leave your customers with positive experiences. When you give your customers the option to use callback features, you can prevent customers from feeling disgruntled about waiting for an agent to attend to their concerns.
There’s no shortage of data pointing out that customers would rather use callback than wait on hold. Callback options assure them that their call is in the queue, but they can get on with their other activities in the meantime.
- Callbacks increase employee productivity and improve morale
Callback features are not solely beneficial to customers. As a business owner who values your employees, you can use it to increase your employee productivity and even improve their morale.
Your agent receives customer complaints day in and day out. It can demoralize them if they have to deal with irate customers constantly. This situation can even lead to high turnover rates.
Callback eliminates the need to face and assuage dissatisfied customers for waiting on hold. Instead, agents can focus on providing excellent service.
As callback features shorten call time and increase first contact resolution, agents can handle more customers. As mentioned, the agent can quickly prepare for the callback by retrieving customer information before engaging with the person on the other line.
- Callbacks can increase inbound leads
Incorporating callback features in your business website can also enable you to generate more leads. Through web callback technology, customers can submit callback requests pulled by a system into a calling list.
You can then use this data to identify qualified leads to whom you can send follow-up calls. This practice not only converts more potential customers into sales but also strengthens customer relationships.
Challenges in Implementing Callbacks for Customer Service
While callbacks present an opportunity to improve customer service and cut costs for your business, you may need to address challenges for the callback system to serve its purpose well.
- Prioritizing certain customers over others
Treating each customer with equal importance has to be part of your customer service policy. Customers should not feel that their call is less important than others.
Instead, you must assure every customer you intend to attend to their concern. Remember that it is easier than ever for customers to transact with your competitors once they are discouraged; thus, use every opportunity possible to connect with each customer and make sure to follow through.
- Making callbacks available from all channels
Callback solutions are no longer limited to voice options. With new technology, non-voice communication channels such as chat, email, and social media are also available.
As such, you should consider making customer service available through these alternatives. Your business website or digital app should integrate multi-channel capabilities for addressing customer concerns.
An escalation system should also be an essential component of your callback technology. Your customers should find it easy to use digital channels and then use voice conversation as necessary. You may engage your live agents only when digital resources cannot correctly resolve customer issues.
- The right timing for offering callbacks
An important question to address is: at what point of the call should you make the callback offer? Timing is crucial for most callers to hear the callback offer message. In call centers, this variable is called “Time-till-Offer” (TTO)—the time a caller is on hold before he hears a callback offer.
Adjusting the TTO can influence the success of your callback feature. Analyze the average hold time before a caller drops a call, then offer the callback within that timeframe. A better alternative is to create multiple offers, as it helps to ascertain higher callback rates.
- Avoiding using callbacks as resets
Repeating information supplied in a call can be off-putting to a customer. While the caller is on a virtual queue, the agent must preserve the context or information the caller provides. Therefore, it would be good if you linked your call center infrastructures and made them interoperable.
This callback design eliminates the caller’s problem of having to answer the same questions, especially when different agents handle the callback.
- Ensuring a callback is not another hold time
Your callback system should ensure no more waiting time for the customer. This agent-wait approach is more favorable because customers know an agent is already waiting on the other end of the line to help them.
Meanwhile, your customer service team becomes more efficient. They can use the callback system to estimate an agent’s available time to receive the next call.
However, if the system fails to estimate the time correctly, the customer will end up waiting again. Thus, you should determine what works for your business and decide whether or not you prioritize customer experience versus call volume.
Taking Customer Service to the Next Level Through Callback Technology
As a business owner, remember that satisfied customers are your best advertisement. Conversely, poor customer service will result in losing business. Addressing customer concerns promptly and efficiently can significantly reduce dissatisfied customers.
Add a callback technology to ensure customers have a satisfying call experience. Callbacks not only improve customer satisfaction; they also benefit your employees and relevant company resources. That’s a perfect example of a win-win for everyone involved.