A person waiting on their phone and laptop

The ROI of Virtual Queuing

4 min to read · By Tony Iero

A who’s who of the largest companies in the world use VHT to deliver a premium customer experience while reducing operating expenses for their call centers. One of the most impactful tools to both their customers and their bottom line is the VHT callback, the virtual queuing solution invented by VHT in the mid-90s. VHT treated over 130 million callers last year, providing their customers with an alternative to repetitive IVR messaging and instrumental versions of the 80s greatest hits that serve to “entertain” and “inform” you while waiting on hold. It has become the Novocain to numb the customer from the fact that their business is not that important to the company.

Some important questions:

  • Why are so many companies leveraging virtual queuing?
  • What’s in it for my company if we use VHT callback?

Let’s take a look at the tangible, financial benefits of using a VHT callback solution. In a perfect world, we would answer every call as soon as it arrives in queue or, alternatively, answer 80% of all calls within 30 seconds. Neither scenario is cost-effective or easy to consistently maintain. So what’s the next best thing? Providing customers with the option of a return call when it’s their turn. It shows that you, as a company, value your customer’s time. This can significantly impact the caller’s perception of your company, as evidenced by tweets like this:

  • @Delta @DeltaAssist is handling the storm calls, etc. much better than @JetBlue Love the “call me back” feature rather than being on hold
  • VHT is the best thing ever. Makes calling the DMV almost okay
  • southwest phone line will call you back so you don’t have to wait on hold. best idea i’ve run into today! #customerservicedoesnthavetosuck
  • I love companies that offer a call back option instead of making me wait on hold. Thanks, @Hertz, for calling me 15 minutes after I called.

The evidence of the customer sat improvement isn’t just from the Twittersphere. A third-party comprehensive study, launched by one of the nation’s largest utility companies, sought to measure a change in customer perception. The findings were as illuminating as they were significant. A caller choosing VHT had top-box satisfaction scores 4% higher than callers not using the callback option during the same periods. Customers also scored the agent that handled their issue as more knowledgeable and more courteous, and customers had more confidence in the information provided by the agent as well.

While the increases in customer satisfaction are significant, an even bigger benefit of VHT is the ROI that stems from the operational impacts to your business. Last year, over 65 million callers accepted a VHT callback. That’s 65 million customers, not occupying a trunk, accruing toll charges or abandoning before being connected to an agent. The solution also drastically reduces average speed to answer and increases service levels. VHT eliminated over 1.1 billion minutes of hold time last year.  If you’re keeping score at home, that’s over 2,100 years of time put back in the lives of real people around the world.

A reduction in real queue minutes improves call center service level because additional calls are answered within service level goals. In addition, studies were recently conducted comparing occupied wait vs. unoccupied wait time. Customers report lower than actual wait times when their time is occupied during the wait. The same was proven true when callers waited in a virtual queue.  This was because customers were free to go about their day and the perception was that the wait time had been eliminated.

The last operational impact is that of abandon reduction and subsequent repeat call reduction. A caller choosing a VHT callback cannot abandon in queue and negatively impact your abandon rates. Last year, VHT was able to recover over 11 million potential abandoned callers. These customers had their issues resolved the first time they call in, and did not need to hang-up and retry over and over again. They also didn’t need to be serviced by your IVR a second or a third time, wasting even more precious time. When the callback took place, customers by-passed the IVR and went directly to a properly skilled agent. The elimination of these repeat calls help clean up your call forecasts as well, allowing for better labor allocation by your workforce management group.

Why do so many of the world’s largest companies use VHT? It’s because it is one of the few technologies that can positively impact customer satisfaction scores while at the same time reduce operational expenses. Regardless of your company’s key performance measurements, VHT has such wide reaching impact that it makes good financial sense in almost any situation. Learn more about how VHT impacts brand perception in this white paper.

Written by Wally Lash and Troy McNall

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