The Hidden Cost of a Free Callback Solution

November 30, 2022
6 min to read

Today’s customers demand low-to-no hold times. They start online and go to voice when they have to, but customers expect the ease of a website to meet them in the IVR. Instead, brands meet them with long, unclear waiting games in the queue.

They hate the experience. Abandoned calls skyrocket. And when customers do connect, they take up 1-2 minutes of handle time to vent and leave with a negative NPS perception. All because of long and unclear hold times.

With expectations and operations coming to a head, many telephony platforms promote their free callback software as a simple, no-fee, built-in remedy. Just turn it on, and your hold time woes are wiped away.

But almost immediately, many brands find out these “out-of-the-box” callback features aren’t as plug-and-play as they seem. Many require additional costs and resources to implement. They’re forced to exist solely in the IVR. And they obstruct call flows and complicate contact center configurations.

For many, these out-of-the-box callback features make matters worse—routing calls to who-knows-where while often shuffling, skipping, or dropping callers in the process.

The story usually ends with a bandaged stopgap that’s expensive and taxing on development and customer service resources while delivering a jarring customer experience that negatively impacts agent and contact center efficiency.

We hate the idea of callback getting a bad wrap. So we compiled a list of what “free” might actually cost you and what you should look for in a real deal customer callback solution.

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The unspoken costs of a built-in callback solution

Built-in does not mean free.

No callback solution is plug-and-play or ready to go right out of the box. While some can just be turned on with a button, they often distort call routing and either underperform on the callback queue or the traditional queue.

Meanwhile, many vendors and implementations require brands to build everything themselves, tying up their development resources and costing additional professional services fees.

The final approach of in-house stands in the way of being future-proofed. DIY solutions increase the likelihood (and costs) of rebuilding from scratch.

The features are not just limiting—they can be damning.

Check it out
Connecticut DOL switched to Mindful after trying a built-in solution and immediately cut out 11k daily repeat calls. Read more of their story.

IVR-only callbacks create negative experiences.

Customers begin their search for help on your website. So when callbacks are only available through a phone call it creates a disconnect in the customer journey—making it impossible to collect context, forcing customers to start over, tanking customer satisfaction, and increasing AHT by one or two minutes on average.

Agent-first callback = agent idle time.

Many platforms only offer agent-first callback, which stands firmly in the way of efficiency. Even though customers get their free time, agents are tied up in forever ring cycles, customer voicemail, and have to handle their own retries—only adding to AHT and compounding wasted agent time.

More metrics take a hit.

And it’s not just handle time. Since most callbacks keep the agent engaged even though the caller is not, contact centers see negative impacts across average speed of answer (ASA) and service level metrics.

Repeat callers, meanwhile, further complicate how contact centers manage calls and callbacks. Without the right callback software, repeat callers might register multiple callbacks—distorting call volume, weighing on infrastructure, and making it impossible to staff appropriately.

Lack of reporting into vital CX analytics.

CCaaS platforms are notoriously limited in reporting key callback experience metrics, including how many people chose a callback, the number of successful callbacks, callback time estimate, punctuality, reconnect rate, repeat calls, and more.

Who knows if it’s even working right if the info to find out isn’t available?

Generic callbacks are not in tune with your contact center.

Even though CCaaS platforms offer a callback option, it’s typically a one-size-fits-all feature that requires tweaking to work with CCaaS platforms. Brands quickly begin to see the operational shortcomings, which result in rapidly rising callback wait times, bloated queues, and overloaded call ports.

“We tried to use an out-of-the-box callback solution, but it failed,” comments Evan Johnson, VP of Contact Center at U-Haul. “There was too much volatility and not enough visibility into how these calls were connecting. It just wasn’t helping customers.”

Check it out
Hear more about U-Haul’s contact center transformation.

The payoff of a premium, intelligent callback solution

Contact centers are fine-tuned machines, so you need a callback solution that fits right in and works hand in hand with your call and queue flows. Anything less might pacify the angriest of customers, but it won’t improve efficiency or satisfaction.

After pioneering virtual queues nearly 30 years ago, Mindful Callback delivers our premier callback solution effortlessly in a rapidly deployed SaaS platform trusted by the world’s top brands.

When pulled off well, instead of hearing complaints, you’ll hear customers compliment your callback offer and talk about how they felt valued. For real. We’ve heard the recordings.

And this is what it takes to pull it off.

For more
We’ve been perfecting the perfect callback recipe for three decades—and now you can see the secret sauce in our official callback guide.

Omnichannel by design.

Many believe click-to-call drives more call volume and longer hold times, but with Mindful, that’s a myth we can confidently bust. Mindful’s click-to-call solution lets customers schedule a call with the next available agent (or at a later date and time) from any digital channel—like your website, live chat or mobile app—and removes hold times, proactively preps agents ahead of the call to improve first call resolution, and eliminates repeat callers across every experience.

For more
Meet customer expectations with an omnichannel contact center.

Maximize efficiency with customer-first callback.

Customer-first callback—a callback function that contacts the caller first so the agent’s not idle while waiting for the call to connect—is available with Mindful by default to maximize agent efficiency. Agent-first dialing is just a configuration change away if that better suits your brand. Agent-first callback is always an option and can be configured by line of business, department, or any way that best suits your brand.

Callback pacing, accuracy, and the integrity your business expects.

Accurate estimated wait time, call pacing, and queueing integrity make for a perfect and precise callback every time and never interrupt existing queues and agent workflows. And Mindful’s callback double-check function prevents phone numbers from doubling up on a callback request—keeping queues squeaky clean and improving the accuracy of workforce management forecasting.

Intelligent callback dials the perfect experience.

Mindful works exactly how your unique organization works, so it’s easy to plug in, configure, and route anywhere, offering callbacks to specific lines of business, queues, agent skill sets, or particular individuals. You can even switch between customer-first and agent-first anywhere you want.

The callback experience your customers (and brand) deserve.

With Mindful, you can define and dynamically adjust the callback experience offered to customers based on business hours, holidays, or closing time. Mindful even intelligently handles callback volumes and caller experience when the call center is approaching closing time—meaning your support team can actually get home on time.

Ready for any platform.

Whether your contact center runs in the cloud or on-premise, Mindful Callback is ready for your tech stack. Mindful is platform-agnostic, making it easy for any brand to integrate into any environment quickly and seamlessly, including leading CCaaS platforms like Genesys Cloud, Amazon Connect, Twilio Flex, and any on-prem solutions.

Customers love a premium callback experience.

Mindful Callback is table stakes for brands that value customers. Sure, you can click a checkbox and hope. But you risk missing out on stats like these from Mindful:

  • 3-5% NPS growth
  • 47% lower ASA
  • 28% lower abandon
  • Improve SLA by 13%

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Next steps

Evaluating a new virtual hold and callback solution is mission-critical to your CX program. Let us show you why Fortune 100 brands rely on Mindful to deliver world-class customer experiences.

You can preview our standard voice experience with Mindful Callback, our online click-to-call with Mindful Scheduler, or a holistic, Total Experience on our demo page.

Not quite ready? Download a PDF of this post and share it around. See if your current provider is guilty of any pitfalls mentioned, or if they’re delivering on any of the payoffs.

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