Now supporting Webex Contact Center! Click here for more details!

Callback (Virtual Hold) and Abandon calls impact


Callback or Virtual Hold is seeing an increase in adoption across all types of call centers, contact centers and demographics.  Callback is the approach of offering the caller the ability to hang up the call and not lose their place in queue and the system will automatically call them back.  The exercise of implementing a callback should be taken very seriously as it can have staffing and infrastructure impact that most organizations are not prepared for or haven’t thought about.  Additionally there is a customer journey component that needs to be thought through as to not confuse the customer and to properly handle the calls if you end up in their voicemail.  For this blog we will focus on infrastructure and abandoned calls.

Infrastructure Impact

First we will discuss the infrastructure impact.  Most call centers, contact centers are designed to handle mostly inbound calls and very little outbound calls.  Sometimes is roughly 99 calls in to 1 call out.  Your phone line configuration also known as your trunks are configured to support the inbound traffic and not the increase in outbound traffic.  Your IT department should definitely participate in a Callback Virtual Hold projects as there will most likely be changes that need to be implemented. 


Secondly, staffing considerations are critical when implementing a Callback Virtual Hold solution.  Call center contact center staffing is based on some basic data elements but the most important once to consider is abandoned calls.  Every call center strives to reduce their abandon call rate by balancing a service level coupled with the proper staffing model.  As a quick example, if you have a busy hour of 100 phone calls and your average talk time is 2 minutes and the normal queue is 1 minute you need a staff of 5 to handle that volume.  During that 1 minute wait there will be a percentage of callers that hang up or abandon and in this case the average could be around 10 to 15%.  So roughly 15 callers will hang up and callback later leaving a true number of 85 calls left for the agents to handle.


When you implement a Callback Virtual Hold solution it is those callers that will normally hang up that will select a callback instead.  There will of course be other callers that would normally wait that will opt in for callback as well and that could add another 20 to 30% on top of the callers that normally abandon.  Your true number for that same busy hour goes from 85 to almost the true 100 calls in that same hour which could impact your normal traffic for that hour and roll into the next hour.

Designing a Callback Virtual Hold solution must be taken very seriously and engineered to support the true volume based on the reduction of abandoned calls. 

Please reach out to us at Workflow Concepts if you would like additional information or check out our Steps to Success!