The study analyzed data from Q1 of 2013, dividing the companies into four buckets, to determine how many of them are answered right away, how long can the others be kept on hold, who should get which call.
The study found that across all four buckets in the call disposition data, 15% of callers tended to hang up, and they tended to hang up right around 40 seconds into the call. Significant, says the report, if 15% of callers hanging up before ever speaking with an agent has serious implications for your business. If the call was a sales call, a potential sale may have been missed. If it was a support call, it created a bad experience for your customer. If 60% of calls were answered in just over a minute, across all sizes of businesses, consider what answering in 40 seconds could do, opines the report.
Marketing Charts reported that the average wait time differed significantly according to call volume. Companies with a small amount of calls handled during the first quarter (less than 500) averaged the longest wait time, of 1 minutes and 47 seconds, which the report noted that that this could be due to resource constraints on behalf of the business and more patience from a cognizant caller. Average hold time dropped to a low of 39 seconds among “Medium” companies (that handled 500-1,500 calls during Q1), increasing to 45 seconds among “Large” companies (1,500-10,000 calls) and 52 seconds among “Extra-Large” companies (more than 10,000 calls).
Phone Wait Time Benchmarks (Q1 2013)
Customers and prospects staying online for about 40 seconds
Callers sent to voicemail, mostly due to inactive agents
Average time call waited on hold
Average wait time among companies that handled 500-1500 calls
Average talk time between agent and customer or prospect
4min, 29 seconds
Source: Ifbyphone, August 2013
Additionally, the data found that about 5% of callers exceed the wait time that businesses chose as the maximum. That 5% was sent to voicemail to be contacted after agents caught up with the queue. Another 4% were sent to voicemail when the queue size was exceeded. The businesses set a maximum queue size before wait times were deemed unsatisfactory for callers, and additional customers who called were then routed to voicemail.
Another metric from the analysis reports that only 1% of callers jump out of the queue; pressing 1 to be sent to voicemail voluntarily. And 13% of callers were sent directly to voicemail when all agents were in an Inactive Mode (Closed, Lunch, Break, Busy).
The report suggests that an interesting consideration for each business is that 22% of callers being sent to voicemail may not be an acceptable experience. This “benchmark” could lead to changes in the way call distribution is handled: changing queue size, increasing the number of agents during peak times, or others, says the report.
For more from Ifbyphone, including a white paper on the subject, please visit here.