2014

Call back rather than wait on hold?

I have some outdoor equipment that I use at home and occasionally that equipment can break.  Last week something broke on a piece of hardware that I needed replaced. I knew immediately that this was not going to be available at any local store.  So I pulled out the manual and search for a web address, nothing.  I searched for a telephone number, nothing.  So I went online and searched using the product name and model, success! I found multiple places where I could get the replacement parts I needed.

I have everything ready and I dial the number from the website.  I select option 2 to place an order and then I listen to the message.  There are 7 callers ahead of me and a 37 minute estimated wait time.  I can either stay on hold or leave my name and number and they will call me back in the order of the current queue.  I left my name and number talking very clearly because I know things can go wrong with messages.  I checked the time and estimated they would call me in 45 minutes.

An hour and fifteen minutes later still no call.  This happens to me whenever I try to get people to call me back.  So I call again.  This time there are 6 callers ahead of me and an hour estimated wait time.  Wow, I thought these parts take a long time to order or the agents are not aware that they have customers they are supposed to call back.  I am not going to wait an hour for a call back I will just find another provider of my parts.  It might take me an hour to find the parts I need so I will leave my name and number again.

Within five minutes I get a call back from the parts provider.  The agent does a great job going through the website and finding my parts and taking my order.  The entire time on the phone was about 10 minutes.  This got me thinking about this call centers IVR message and the estimated call back time.

The first message was 7 callers for 37 minutes and that was either not accurate or no agent was aware of the call back or agents knew of the call back and did not make the call.  The second message was 6 callers for one hour and I got a call back in five minutes. Did this happen because this was my second message, agents were made aware of the message or agents were pressured into making the call back?

I asked the agent about the call back and he said that his supervisor came over and told him to call me back.  This told me that this agent was not aware that there are callers leaving messages for call back.  I see a few issues with this company’s call center reporting.

  •  The agents are not immediately aware of calls in queue or if they are they are not paying attention to the numbers.
  •  Agents are not aware of the number of call backs that are waiting.
  •  The IVR set up is not working properly or the call center does not care. I could have easily gone back online and bought my parts elsewhere.

If the call center is using the call back option the manager needs to make sure it is set up properly and agents are aware of the need to call customers back.  Not calling customers back is a sure way of losing revenue.