There's been an interesting conversation happening among the North American Call Center Professionals group on LinkedIn. The question originated with someone asking how you measure the effect that abandon rates and ASA have on Customer Satisfaction. In this case, the call center had implemented some internal initiatives to move their metrics, but wondered how it may have affected their customer's satisfaction.
Several have contributed to the discussion:
"This is the ageless question! The answer is like noodle soup. You run out of noodles or broth but not at the same time. My research found the following, 40% of abandons were wrong numbers, 25% solved the problem or did not need services or purchase, 25% called back, 5 percent were not sure why they called, 5 percent were drunk and just wanted to talk to someone! (Smile) We called every number abandoned during a week period to get this data!" – Arnold Talbott
"The correlation between ASA and satisfaction/loyalty can be measured and quantified, as can the correlation between other access-channels/issues and contact-handling attributes by correlated against satisfaction/loyalty and positive/negative WOM. It is an industry and company specific item to be measured. While generalized numbers (TARP's or anyone elses) can serve as a strawman, you really have to measure your customer's experience." – Jeff Maszal
I really liked Jeff's last statement, and completely concur. If you really want to know how your abandon rates or ASA are affecting customer sat, then a small, focused customer survey can easily do the trick. Over a period of time, call customers who abandoned the call and those who did not and ask them a few questions about their overall satisfaction with the experience. Do the same thing with customers who experienced a long wait in queue versus those who had a short wait.
These types of surveys can be relatively simple and do not need to cost an arm and a leg because you're limiting the scope of your inquiry to one basic question: "How satisfied were you with the experience?" The key is not to rely on industry wide numbers that may, or may not, reflect your customer's views. As our group regularly conducts custom surveys like these for clients, we find that there is no substitute for asking your customers about their experience and satisfaction when they called your call center.
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