Ringing telephones are the sound of success.
The more business calls you receive, the better.
Research tells us that’s true. One survey says that 80% of business communication happens over the phone. Another says that, with help from mobile phones, caller commerce influences more than $1 trillion in U.S consumer spending.
So, business calls still matter.
But excessively high call volume is a challenge for many companies. When your call volume greatly exceeds expectations, it overwhelms staff, and ultimately it can cost a company business.
High call volume not only hurts sales but also alienates people and delivers poor customer service.
The guide below tells you how to manage high call volume effectively.
When you finish reading this guide, you’ll understand how high call volume and how to manage it quickly and cost-effectively, saving time and money.
Inbound call volume refers to the number of phone calls you get during a period. Calls per second (CPS), for example, refers to how many calls you get in a second.
Depending on your business, you may get 40 to 50 or 200 to 300 a call day.
You may also get spikes in call volume due to seasonality or special promotions.
With proper planning, you can easily handle a modest increase in volume, so customers get epic service and nothing falls through the cracks.
The challenge comes when call volume skyrockets. We’re not talking about a 10% or 20% uptick in volume. We’re talking about four to five times your normal volume, maybe for hours.
All businesses experience spikes like these. Mismanaging high call volumes, however, hurts your business more than you know.
High call volume, as one writer said, is more of a curse than a blessing. Numerous reasons exist for an overwhelmingly high-volume of inbound calls. Below are four top reasons:
These are four reasons for high call volumes. More exist.
Mishandling high call volume is never good. It often leads to abandoned calls—where customers disconnect while on hold—and missed calls—where customers are sent directly to voicemail or worse, no answer.
Research, for example, says that call abandonment costs as much as 40% of lost potential revenues annually. If you’re spending $20,000 monthly on marketing to get 1000 inbound phone calls, each call missed or abandoned can cost $20. Miss 40% of those calls annually and you’re throwing $8,000 out the window.
If high call volume happens frequently, you could be losing a lot of revenue. If your abandon call rate was 35% per hour and your average sale is $50, for example, you could lose as much as $20,000 per hour in revenues during a high call volume period. That’s a lot of revenue to drop in a single hour.
Mishandling high call volume hurts in other critical ways. For one thing, it delivers poor customer experience to callers. As a business, you live and die by customer experience. If it doesn’t measure up to what your customers expect, they’ll sour on your business, costing you revenue and repeat business.
The result of getting poor service like this is that 67% of customers become “serial switchers”— people who won’t hesitate to switch brands because of lousy customer service, says one research report.
It also says that businesses lose up to $75 billion annually thanks to bad customer service. That’s an increase of $13 billion from the last report issued in 2016.
Additional side-effects of delivering poor customer experiences thanks to high call volume include:
The bottom line is that delivering ineffective customer experiences makes a negative impact on all types of businesses as well as companies of any size and shape.
The key to dealing with a high call volume challenge is to develop a plan for shrinking this problem down to size first, then execute the plan. Do that, and you’re staff and bottom line will be thanking you. Below is a seven-step plan to deal with high call volume:
This seven-step plan provides a systematic approach to handling your high call volume challenge.
Key metrics to consider when doing this are first contact resolution, abandoned call rate, the average speed of answer, average handle time, average call transfer rate, and cost per contact.
Of course, the key to dealing with a high call volume is the solutions you choose to address it. Not all of them will help you reach your goal. The idea is to choose what works for you:
Ringing phones are the sound of success. But not when you’re flooded with calls. High call volumes often result in numerous missed and abandoned calls—both of which impact your business negatively. Instances of poor service, they not only chase customers away but also drain profits from your company.
To survive and thrive as a business, you must learn to manage high call volume decisively if they’re a problem. Follow our seven-step action plan above and use proven solutions that fit your needs to beat the high-call volume challenge. Beating it improves customer service, generates positive word-of-mouth advertising, and boosts corporate profitability.