Life's too short , don't let your customers waste their time

We’ve all heard horror stories about people spending hours on hold trying to change bookings, fix issues, discuss incorrect invoices, or just needing to be heard. No one has time for that, let alone someone you want to impress.

While the average incoming call abandonment rate by customers is 6.44% - which may sound okay to most people - the reality is that 22% of customers feel they have to wait too long for their call to be answered.

So, what’s an ‘acceptable’ time to keep your customers waiting, and how can you improve on it?

The ASA (average speed of answer) golden rule varies from around 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds to 90% answered in 10 seconds. This seems to change from industry to industry, and channel to channel – so the ability to analyse your customer hangup rates while on hold will give you accurate and personalised metrics that relate directly to your business.

Options to successfully reduce call abandonment include:

  • Setting an expectation of the ASA with your customer while they are on hold
  • Offering other contact options, including callbacks (instead of staying in a queue) and self-service (which is ideal if a customer wants to update account details or select a standard transaction)


The AHT (average handle time) is another source of frustration for your customers, as is FCR (first call resolution). How can you streamline it?

With a Microsoft Digital Contact Centre, you have several strategies to choose from, including:

  • Intelligent call routing to virtual and live agents best qualified (in terms of skills, experience, capacity, and availability) to help your customer
  • Empowering your agent with access to a knowledge base and an AI bot to ‘listen in’ and suggest answers and give resolution recommendations as the call progresses
  • Handle the call via an AI bot which recognises, understands, and responds with natural language

And to make your support offering even more timely and appealing to your customers, a digital contact centre enables you to provide support around the clock. Onboard agents from multiple time zones (all they need is an internet connection) to assist your customers when required – not just during ‘normal’ business hours.  

Go omnichannel for phone-shy customers

While contacting by phone is still your customers’ preferred way of reaching out for help, it’s gradually declining, with a 5% drop in inbound calls between 2018 and 2020. By comparison, live chat with an AI bot or live agent, social media, and other forms of contact like SMS, email, Teams, or the option to self-serve, are growing in popularity.  

With the Microsoft Digital Contact Centre Platform, you can:

  • Resolve customer needs quickly through self-service or their channel of choice
  • Automate repeated tasks and sophisticated transactions so customer queries can be quickly and seamlessly managed without human intervention

Read between the lines

When a customer call with an agent isn’t going well, you can do more than cringe and hope for the best outcome!

With Microsoft Digital Contact Centre, each call is monitored, and changes in customer sentiment are detected through AI. If stress levels rise or your virtual or live agent isn’t equipped to help, a call can be moved to a team leader or manager to discuss and resolve the issue calmly.

Your customers will appreciate that their voices are heard, their frustration is being felt, and that the resolution of their problem has been prioritised.

Love your customers, and keep them safe

With a Microsoft Digital Contact Centre, you can focus on client-centricity – because that’s what the platform is designed for.

Digital Contact Center Platform uses AI and deep analytics based on your customer’s history with your company to anticipate their requests, predict what they want to achieve from the interaction, and provide rapid resolution. As a customer continues their journey with your brand, your agents or marketing team are equipped with the insider knowledge you need to make personalised offers during or after an interaction. For example, if your customer calls about a running shoe that was supplied in the wrong size, you have an opportunity to promptly fix the issue as well as offer exclusive discounts on other running gear.

And your customer can converse securely through your digital contact centre’s use of integrated biometric identification, authentication, and fraud prevention. Every interaction is private and safe, which helps build and maintain customer trust in your brand.

The feelgood factor

Done well, a great contact centre experience wins hearts and generates customer loyalty.

However, as call volumes increase, it only gets harder to keep up your high standards of delivery. With Microsoft Digital Contact Centre, you’ll have the capacity to scale to meet demand thanks to AI and protect your reputation as being great to deal with in every circumstance. You’d have to feel good about that.

Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

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