After pioneering callback technology 25 years ago, we’ve seen how callback has changed over the years, and how it’s continued to rise to customer expectations and demand.
Callback used to mean contacting customers on a voice line in their home. Now, callback is omnichannel, and scheduling callbacks can happen through IVR, the text channel, or online—wherever it’s most convenient for the customer. It puts customers in control of their support experience, gives them more flexibility than ever before, and empowers customers to contact companies however and whenever works best for them.
Callback is a whole set of practices and supporting technologies that helps your business provide a better customer experience. Here are five benefits that a modern callback solution like Mindful brings to your business.
1. You can offer callback before customers get frustrated waiting on hold.
To ensure the best customer experience, you should offer a callback option as early in the call as possible, before customers get frustrated with the amount of time they’ve had to wait on hold. A good rule of thumb is to offer it between one minute and 90 seconds of hold time. This reduces your call abandonment rate and improves the customer experience.
Offering a callback service makes customers feel like they’re in control of their support experience. Rather than having to suffer through long wait times when your call center is experiencing high call volumes, your customer can choose to schedule a callback at a convenient time. This improves the customer’s perception of their support experience (and the brand) as they don’t feel like they’re wasting time waiting on hold.
Historically, clients using the Mindful platform have seen a 22% opt-in rate when callers were offered a callback with a wait time of a minute or less. You could even consider offering it right away before any hold time is even announced. This can lead to the best customer experience and the most predictable call scheduling experience for your support agents.
2. You can allow customers to schedule callbacks even if they call outside of service hours.
Mindful offers the capability to customize how your system treats inbound calls. This means you can let customers schedule a callback even if your contact center has closed for the day.
This functionality offers a much better experience for your customers. Instead of being told, “Please call us again tomorrow,” the customer can arrange a callback for the next day—or even a week later. You can adjust the times and volume of calls scheduled through Mindful’s UI. Customers can also schedule through SMS text or web channels using our low-code widget. By offering omnichannel options, you make sure customers are being served wherever they are, while reducing future repeat calls and leveling your call volume peaks and valleys.
Speaking of peaks, offering scheduled callbacks after-hours also means your support agents can better plan and manage their daily workloads. Callbacks booked in advance are easier to plan for, as you can optimize the level of staffing you’ll need to manage your call volume.
3. You can retry and reschedule missed callbacks to improve the customer experience.
There are lots of reasons customers might miss your return call when your support agent becomes available. They could be busy, or they could begin the call and lose the signal or have to hang up for unanticipated reasons. If this happens, you can improve the caller experience by automatically trying again after a few minutes.
Retrying a little later offers a second opportunity to speak to a customer with a potential problem. If they’re still unavailable, you can give them the option to reschedule their phone call for a later time or another day. This helps customers feel in control of their support experience rather than feeling frustrated about not being able to speak to an agent.
Mindful allows you to customize not only how many times the system retries the customer but also how long to wait between each try. Whether you reach the customer on the second callback attempt or you reschedule for a later date, it makes customers feel like their call is important and keeps them engaged in the conversation. It’s better to keep them in your callback queue than for the customer to give up on your company.
You can maximize agent efficiency with customer-first dialing.
Make sure to use customer-first dialing so you’re not wasting agent time in reconnects! This is where many brands end up losing efficiencies with their callback solution. Customer-first optimizes the callback experience for a brand, only taking agent time once a customer is connected on the phone.
You can reduce missed callbacks by setting text reminders.
You can also send automatic text notifications to remind the customer the callback is coming. This improves your reconnect rate and keeps the customer from having to reschedule or call in again. Our clients experience an increase in completed callbacks when clients use these automated text reminders.
4. You can put customers in control by allowing them to cancel callbacks over text.
Sometimes, customers arrange a callback, and their need is met before your agent contacts them. If this happens, they no longer need to speak to someone on your team—so why waste a team member’s time?
Being able to cancel callbacks over text saves time for both your customer and your agent. It gives customers a low-effort way of canceling, so they’re more likely to do so instead of just ignoring your call.
Mindful allows customers to cancel their callback by sending a text message. As well as improving the experience for your customers, it improves your reconnect rate (a metric that will be closely monitored by LOB managers). It also saves agents the time spent processing cancelations or rescheduling unnecessary callbacks.
5. You can streamline the customer experience and only offer available callback times to customers.
The callback function aims to improve customer satisfaction, but if it’s difficult for customers to find available timeslots and successfully schedule a callback, it could have the opposite effect.
Customers don’t want to guess when callback slots are available. To keep this from happening, Mindful offers the ability to inform customers about open slots to schedule their callback to make it more predictable. This feature provides customers with only the available time slots if their preferred scheduled callback request time is not an option. It removes the guessing game for the customer and balances the callback queue for your business.
Pro tip: Scheduling a callback over voice or in the IVR is a hassle. When you’re on a cell phone, using a dial pad to accomplish a task is the last thing you want to do. Offer customers a callback in the IVR and then transition them to SMS, where they can schedule a call using a web widget or texting.
Summing up: Callback enables a successful customer journey.
We know using callback creates a better customer experience. We also know that it’s more than just the callback itself that makes it successful. It’s the omnichannel approach, the ease of use for agents, and meeting the customer where they are.
Even though a voice call might be the end goal, getting the customer from one experience into voice is a pivotal crossroad—one that must be facilitated by a frictionless transition every time in order to build customer loyalty and meet evolving expectations.
Mindful bridges the gap between experiences, giving customers a premier experience when they need a human interaction. See how it all comes together in this video demo.
This post was originally published in April 2020 and has since been updated.