Average time in queue is the average amount of time callers spend waiting to be connected to an agent. When customers experience lengthy wait times, they will likely abandon calls and may never call back. This is a missed opportunity to connect with your customer to ensure they are happy, promote your brand and potentially upsell.
Average Time in Queue is one KPI in particular where it’s especially useful to benchmark against yourself, because defining an acceptable caller waiting time depends on a number of factors. For example, high wait times are unacceptable for businesses that deliver on-demand services such as food delivery. However, for callers with less urgent issues, such as claiming a prize, waiting times can increase.
For Talkdesk users in 2017 we saw an Average Time in Queue of 17.28 seconds. Here’s what the numbers looked like by industry:
Companies dealing in travel, recreation & leisure have the highest average time in queue of all industry, probably because of the high volumes of incoming calls due to events like weather patterns or equipment malfunctions. The computers & electronics industry average is also high, likely because the issues they deal with are complex and require skills-based solutions. It’s possible that these companies are more likely to prefer to deal with customer issues through email or chat, so phone calls are deprioritized. Customer-centric call center software features such as skills-based routing and queue callback can help reduce time in queue by matching the right agent with the right problem in these situations.
Healthcare, pharmaceuticals & biotech had the lowest industry average time in queue, which indicates highly prepared and adequately staffed organizations that respond to calls quickly.
Once you have determined your Average Time in Queue during a specific timeframe it’s important to talk to your team to understand what that means for your call center. Here are a few suggestions:
If the Average Time in Queue is too long, there are steps you can take in configuring your call center software to optimize performance with your given staff levels. For example, create specialized queues for unique teams and provide high-value callers with a VIP phone number so they can skip the queue. You can also leverage sophisticated features such as queue callback and queue to voicemail to provide callers with options to connect with an agent without enduring a long wait.
To learn more about Abandonment Rate and the other metrics in Talkdesk’s 2018 Contact Center KPI Benchmarking Report, click the button below.
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