The Invisible Queue in a Call Center

With a call center, you can go a long way towards improving customer service within your organization. But, no matter how efficient your system is, your customers will be put on hold at one time or another.

Depending on how your call center is set up this can either be a painless or painful experience. An invisible queue mean can help to make call waiting more bearable, or lead to higher customer abandonment rates, depending how it's used.

Learn what an invisible queue mean call center actually is, how it differs from the traditional queueing approach, and what kind of businesses can benefit from employing an invisible mean call center.

What is a Call Center?

First, we’ll start with the basics. A call center is an outsourced or in-house way to handle customer service calls. It specifically deals with customer phone calls and can be used for support, scheduling and more.

A relatively new upgrade to call centers are known as contact centers. These provide your organization with the ability to offer omnichannel support and include features like VoIP telephone services, text chat, email and more. 

 Offering your customers multiple channels to reach you can help improve the overall customer experience.

What is a Queue?

A queue is typically employed when you don’t have enough customer service agents to handle all of your existing calls. Instead of hanging up, the call a customer is put on hold, or placed within the customer queue.

This is similar to any other kind of customer queue, like when you grab a number at a deli and wait until your number is called. But in this case, instead of grabbing a number, you’re assigned a number and put on hold until a customer service agent is available.

It’s not ideal to have to put your callers on hold, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. 

There are multiple ways you can implement a queue within your call center. But, the most typical question is: Should you implement an invisible queue or not?

Understanding the Invisible Queue in a Call Center

An invisible queue within a contact center utilizes a technology known as Automatic Call Distribution. With this technology in place, the caller that’s been waiting for the longest will be automatically assigned to the first available representative. 

When a caller is placed on hold you’ll typically have music playing, or pre-recorded messages play while they wait. You can use this time to collect relevant customer information, like their name, the reason they’re calling, and more. This will help to speed up the call process once they’ve been routed to an agent. 

The main issue with an invisible queue is that callers have no idea how long they’ll be waiting on hold. It could be minutes, or it could be hours. Without time updates, or estimated wait times being announced, your customer could simply hang up and find another service provider, which leads to an abandoned call.

Having a high number of abandoned calls means that you need to make adjustments to your call center strategy. Every abandoned call is either a missed customer opportunity or a dissatisfied existing customer. Those are two things that are never good for business.

It's important to consider whether implementing an invisible queue is a good idea for your business. 

Here are two circumstances where an invisible queue makes sense:

  1. You’re using the on-hold time to collect customer data and make their call experience faster.
  2. You have short wait times, so it doesn’t make sense to offer estimated call times for on-hold callers.

However, if you don’t fulfill the above requirements, then you might want to implement another on-hold option.

For example, you could include estimated wait times while your callers wait. This will help to give them a sense of completion, instead of the feeling that they’re going to be on hold forever. The other option is to employ more call center agents. 

Creating a positive customer experience will reflect well on your bottom-line, so you should be doing everything in your power to streamline your customer service experience.

Whether to not you employ an invisible queue mean call center depends on how efficiently your call center functions. It can be advantageous if you have short call waiting times overall, but otherwise, you might want to consider including call waiting times or at least alerting callers to their place in the queue.

Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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