- Call Avoidance
Call Avoidance is a popular strategyFact|date=January 2008 implemented to reduce inbound call volumes to contact centers in the
customer serviceindustry, particularly in the consumer market. It is based on the fact that person to person service calls are time consumingFact|date=January 2008 and costlyFact|date=January 2008 and should be accessed only when there is no viable option. Voice calls can then be reserved for high priority, complex service requests, or emergency situations where the quick response of skilled phone agents is essential.
It is impracticalFact|date=January 2008 and expensiveFact|date=January 2008 for call centers to provide a “live answer” for every caller during peak demand periods such as certain times, days of the week, or seasons. Callers in urgent need to discuss an issue with a live person are typically put on hold along with callers whose request could be better served through other channels. Both are competing for valuable talk time. With the proliferation of the
Internetand Interactive Voice Response(IVR), or computer generated emails. Passwordresets are the most popularFact|date=January 2008 means of self service where clients are asked pre-established confidential questions that verify credentials before sending them a temporary password. Other typical areas to employ call avoidance strategies include the following:
*Voice message indicating wait times, unusual activity, downtime, etc.
*Web forms that gather pertinent information before a call is answered
*Electronic chat via the Internet
*Online software update notices of upgrades to prevent security or virus breaches
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ), web site links to common problems
*Simpler, clear and concise product documentation and descriptions
*Automatic return policies and procedures
*Reports that identify key problem areas for corrective action, i.e., additional instruction/trainingA Call Avoidance strategy requires constant vigilance beginning with popular service requests that are constantly being analyzed to reduce or eliminate voice calls and re-direct them to other alternatives. Whatever the strategy, it is important to remember that the contact center is the voice of the company to the outside world. That voice and message should enhance and not detract from relationships with customersFact|date=January 2008.
* “Please Don’t Call Us”: Building a Customer-friendly Call Avoidance Strategy for the Support Center by Rober S. Last, Published in the Help Desk Institute Newsletter, November/December 2007
* "Getting Call Avoidance Right" A White Paper by Contact Babel, August, 2007
Help Desk Institute
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