Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Service Level and Abandoned Rate

by/ Albin Chinchilla, Business & Call Center Consultant

Can you reach your service level goals and have an acceptable abandonment rate? Amazingly, the answer is YES. Service levels measure how many of your customers will get a decent wait time before they get an agent on the phone. Abandon rate tells you how many customers hung up before reaching an agent.

Let's say your company and your operation have set a Service Level goal of 85/20. This means, you want to set your service level to answer 85% of your customers in 20 seconds or less. You make all the arrangements to have the right number of people and you reach the precious number of 87/20. Still, you see that the number of abandonments is very high. Why? Look at at average number of seconds that customers are taking to abandon. This is a very important figure since it will tell you a lot. First, it will let you know the level of tolerance your customers have. Second, this number will give you the ingredient to calculate the probable abandoned rate you may have given that average. For example, lets see this scenario. You Call Center gets in an hour the following:

---------------------------
Calls arrived: ...... 125
AHT: ................ 125
Service Level: ..... 85/20
---------------------------

For this scenario, your center will need to have at least 7 agents to reach a service level of 85/20. However, you notice that you are getting an abandonment rate of 13.7%, this is, 17 calls out of 125. Why? You now go and get a report from your ACD system and it tells you that the average abandonment time is 15 seconds. There you are! Your customers are low tolerant to wait in queue. See the following scenarios. If you had the following average abandonment rates:

  • Avg Abandonment time 1: 15 seconds. Your abandonment rate would be 13.7%

  • Avg Abandonment time 2: 25 seconds. Your abandonment rate would be 11.1%

  • Avg Abandonment time 3: 30 seconds. Your abandonment rate would be 9.9%

  • Avg Abandonment time 1: 60 seconds. Your abandonment rate would be 5.3%

    Now you know that reaching your Service Level goal not neccesarily helps you reach other goals such as the abandonment rate. In order to have a decent abandonment rate, either you ask your customers to wait longer in queue before hunging up (that's kind of difficult, isn't it) or you increase your service level goals or even further, finds ways to lower the AHT to 75 seconds.

    Isn't this exciting? If you want to learn more about this, please contact us at infoib@ib-solutions.net or enter http://www.callcenter.co.cr/ to get more insights on this wonderful world of Call Centers.
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