Fast Clear Down or FCD refers to the situation when a customer calling the contact center, upon hearing a delay announcement via the IVR, hangs up the call immediately. They are not ready to wait even a minute or two. FCDs impact the call center metrics very negatively. The only way to avoid FCD is to reduce the average waiting time or the ‘average time in queue’ as much as possible. Average time in queue is the average amount of time a customer waits in a call center queue, from the moment they enter the queue, in order to get his/her call answered by an agent. It is a very important call center KPI (Key Performance Indicator). It is the endeavor of every call center manager to keep the average-time-in-queue as low as possible.
FCD is directly related to call abandonment rates. Customers call into a contact center to get immediate support and answers to their queries. No one likes to waste their time waiting in the queue. A good percentage of customers who abandon the calls, never call back. Hence, abandonment rates are tied to customer churn.
Ideally, a customer should be able to reach an agent without any delay. There can be many reasons for a lengthy or even short call center queues. The major reason could be sub-optimal staffing. If there are not enough agents, it could lead to the calls getting piled up. Another reason could be agent incompetency. The agents may not be competent enough to finish the calls on time. Non-customer-centric or outdated contact center software could also stand in the way of an agent’s efficiency.
How to reduce FCD in a contact center
There are a number of ways you can eliminate the waiting time for the customers in your call center. You may not be able to keep your queues free all the time, especially during a sale or when there is a network outage, however, you will be able to get a better grip on your average time in the queue by following the points mentioned below.
- Optimize your staffing
Optimizing your staffing is not about hiring a lot of agents, it is about planning. Adjust your team size based on predicted call volume, especially during the peak time. You can use an efficient call center software, and the historical data to do this. Workforce management will help you to refine your contact center staffing approach. Analyze the historical data to better understand the peak times, and staff accordingly. Make contingency plans for those times when employees call in sick.
- Invest in a modern, efficient contact center software
There are a number of advanced call center software in the market that can meet all your call center needs. They may be a little expensive, however, in the long run, they will definitely help you to achieve as much productivity as possible. With the help of these software, your agents will be able to provide excellent customer service, and resolve the customer’s issue in a very short time. The reason for that is, they will have all the information at their fingertips the moment they start their interaction with the customer. Also, the software will help to optimize the after-call work of an agent. All of this will help the agents to wrap up the call as soon as possible, without affecting customer satisfaction.
- Configuring the call queue settings and features
The modern contact center software offers various features to optimize call queues, and thus reduce the wait time. Some of the features include:
- Queue to voicemail – Instead of waiting in the queue, customers can leave a voicemail. As far as the FCD is concerned, this is an ideal solution. The customers can just leave a voicemail without even waiting a single minute in the queue, and the agents will get back with a resolution.
- Queue callback – This also helps to tackle FCD effectively. The customers are given the option of exiting the queue, and the agents will get back to them.
- Provide self-service options for your customers
Most of the customers today prefer to get help themselves. If they have the option to get help by visiting your website or via social media, they will do that. This will definitely help to cut down FCD, by reducing the call flow to your contact center.
- Provide adequate training to your agents
If an agent is not completely familiar with a process, it will definitely impact the call. The agent may not be able to troubleshoot properly, he/she may have to get help from the seniors on the call which would prolong the overall call time, the customers may get frustrated with the inefficiency of the agent and ask for the supervisor, and so on. Hence, it is imperative that your agents be trained on the process thoroughly, as well as on the contact center software that you use.
The fact that a customer not willing to wait even for 10 or 20 seconds in the queue makes it a little harder to tackle FCD in an effective way. However, by adopting the above-mentioned points, you will be able to make a significant difference.