By phone, most contact centers use call-back functionality to mitigate longer response times. Call-back is also a feature that most customers appreciations. However – what most operational managers miss, is that it’s never 100% certain that the call-back is answered. That’s especially true if the time exceeds 10 minutes between the choice to utilize call-back and the actual call-back. Then the response rate can drop as low as 50%. In below example you can see data from a customer case that experienced the contact debt phenomenon. In this case a customer on average stopped trying after 3 attempts (contact cycles) and at least the debt wasn’t growing. They still had a 70% increase in call volume over the course of 3 days! No organization has the flexibility to counter such an increase.
The driver behind this was the fact that only 60% of the call-backs were answered. This increases the que by 32% (if 80% chooses the call-back option) per contact cycle. Adding other factors (like abandon rate, multiple channel contact etc.), you will have the perfect storm coming up. Considering that you have the same staff and already a problem with waiting times, you’ve started a negative spiral that transfers between 35-40% of the day’s or shift’s volume to the next day/shift.
How to fix it in 48 hours!