Abandoned calls often mean customers hang up the call because they had to wait for ages to express their issues. Long wait times piss everyone off and customers, too, leading to a decline in customer retention and loyalty.

Call abandonment happens not only due to long waiting times or unsolved issues. Potential reasons might be many, but the result will always be the downfall of the brand’s reputation. So, no matter the reason for call abandonment, you must think of strategies to reduce it.

To simplify your job, we’ve compiled a list of methods or strategies to reduce call abandonment in a call center. So, let’s explore them!

A brief overview of abandoned calls and the abandonment rate

A brief overview of abandoned calls and the abandonment rate

Before diving into other aspects, let’s first understand abandoned calls and the call abandonment rate. Abandoned call or call abandonment refers to an incident where a customer hangs up the call before it reaches a live agent.

Call abandonment occurs for several reasons, such as long waiting times, poor customer service, or unintentional misdials. Every call center experiences call abandonment at some stage, but it shouldn’t be neglected at any cost.

The more the call abandoned happens, the more the abandonment rate peaks. A high abandonment rate reveals the customer’s unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Hence, a high abandonment rate isn’t good from a call center’s perspective. 

The abandonment rate is a crucial metric that measures how many times a caller hangs up before reaching an agent. To calculate the abandonment rate, you divide the total number of calls received per day by the number of abandoned calls. 

The abandonment rate is usually expressed as a percentage. A call abandonment rate between 5 and 8% is the industry standard at call centers. Any call center experiencing above that margin should try to keep it as low as possible or look for solutions to reduce it.

Why Are Call Center Calls Abandoned?

Long waiting times or taking too much of customers’ time are the most common reasons for call abandonment. However, there are several other reasons; you should identify them first. Then, implement the steps for minimizing abandoned calls at call centers.

  • Lengthy wait times: Waiting is the most frustrating thing for anyone. Customers don’t wait to waste their precious time holding for ages to get a response. They will cut the call and move to somewhere else.
  • Not enough staff: A person must be readily available to pick up the incoming call in the call center environment. Not having enough agents to handle the calls will lead to longer wait times. And a spike in the call abandonment rate.
  • Poor call routing: Call routing aims to route calls to agents available or suitable ones. Inefficient call routing systems can redirect callers to the wrong place. This will waste their time and contribute to hanging up the call.
  • Insufficient Self-service options: Sometimes, customers face complex issues, and in such situations, they have to make calls and wait for a longer amount of time. Self-service options like website FAQs and chatbots are also not very helpful in such cases.
  • Technical Issues: Scenarios in the call center environment are sometimes different, and problems can be encountered at any time. Sometimes, internet disruptions might hamper call quality or ultimately drop calls.
  • There is no option to call back or leave a voicemail: Voicemail and callback requests are ideal methods to engage customers if agents are busy. Customers who have to wait on hold for longer durations will abandon the call. 

Analyzing Call Center Metrics: KPIs Linked to Increased Call Abandonment

Here are some essential call center metrics and KPIs that will improve the call center’s overall efficiency. 

1. Average response time

It is one of the primary metrics that describes a bigger picture of the call center’s efficiency. This metric calculates the average duration for the customer for reaching an agent.

In general, customer service should be able to respond to customers within 30 seconds and hear their issues.

2. Service Level (SL)

A call center with a low service level has a higher call abandonment rate. The service level measures the percentage of calls answered in a specific period. For instance, 70% of calls were picked up in 40 seconds.

Thus, a low service level shows that the volume of unanswered calls is high, which causes callers to move elsewhere.

3. Average Waiting Time

This metric reveals how long customers must wait and is directly linked to call abandonment. It measures the average time a caller sits in the queue before connecting to an agent.

A higher average waiting time is directly proportional to a higher call abandonment rate.

4. First Call Resolution (FCR)

Resolving customer issues on the first call reduces the call abandonment rate. This metric calculates the percentage of calls in which the customer’s concerns get solved on the first call with an agent. 

Similarly, a low FCR means more call transfers or repeated calls. This will frustrate customers, so you need to improve FCR so as not to let customers abandon the call.

5. Abandonment Rate by Time of Day

Measuring abandonment rates during a specific hour or time provides valuable insights into call center efficiency. For example, a call center abandonment rate showing high during busy hours means more workforce needs to be deployed.

Hence, such insights prove helpful in reducing the abandonment rate and streamlining the overall operations.

How to reduce call abandonment in a call center in 2024?

Reducing the call abandonment rate has a more significant impact on the call centers. From improving efficiency to making customers happy for all the good reasons, you must reduce the number of abandoned calls. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Optimize Staffing Levels

Having enough agents available to handle peak hours is critical for the call center’s success. This is one effective way to reduce the call abandonment rate.

Optimize Staffing Levels

You can use historical call data and forecasts to predict the accurate staff requirements. This will ensure the required number of agents is always ready during busy times, which is crucial for lowering abandonment rates.

2. Effective call center scheduling

One of the most significant issues a call center faces is a high number of callers and an insufficient number of agents to pick up those calls. This situation refers to call centers being understaffed to handle the number of callers or peak hours.

Hence, call center scheduling should be done. This way, agent work schedules will be created depending on the expected call volume, availability, and expertise. Remote work opportunities can also be provided to meet the high call demands. 

3. Improved Call Routing

Nobody likes waiting for long; if the customer’s call routes to the wrong person, it frustrates them, no doubt about that. Therefore, intelligent call-routing systems should be implemented at all costs. They ensure that call transfers occur accurately all the time.

This way, customers’ calls are redirected to suitable agents, minimizing waiting times. 

4. Engaged on-hold music and welcome message

Waiting times can also be made entertaining and engaging. Play soft, soothing music in the background to transform boring times into positive ones. Or, you can provide special offers or relevant products to the caller.

Engaged on-hold music and welcome message

During those times, informative announcements about appropriate wait times, their position in the queue, or other product-related updates can also be provided.

Greeting them properly also makes a significant difference. You can customize welcome messages and craft something that they love to hear. You can include crisp and clear audio recordings for all messages and music to maintain the brand image and appear professional.

5. Increase your ring time

Increasing ring time is another way to reduce the call abandonment rate. It may seem like an ineffective option, but it can make a noticeable difference. Callers are usually used to hearing the phone ring for around 20 seconds, and then IVR (Interactive Voice Response) messaging comes in.

A slight change in the ringing duration can be made, maybe from 20 to 25 seconds. Your agents will get a sigh of relief, and such a minor increase is also likely to be unnoticeable. 

Most importantly, since most calls are abandoned in a minute or so, these adjustments help in the cause. 

6. Reveal estimated wait time

Customers mostly abandon the call because they don’t know how long to wait. A caller on hold is likely to become annoyed and instantly cut the call. Being clear about estimated waiting times and revealing it to them can benefit a call center.

If the call center is experiencing high call volumes, forward a message to the customers in Interactive Voice Response (IVR), displaying the expected wait time. This way, they’ll know how much to be on hold and make abandoning the calls less.

7. Provide voicemail and automatic callback options

Customers get annoyed easily if you make them wait for too long. Instead of making them completely cut off, you can provide them with the option to leave a voicemail or make a callback.

Provide voicemail and automatic callback options

Customers can go for these alternative options, and at the same time, they will see that you value their time and attention. 

8. Provide self-service options

Self-service options can enhance customer experience no matter how busy a call center is. This reduces agent dependency, as customers can figure out the issues independently.

You can provide self-service options such as a knowledge base, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), AI chatbots, etc. Ensure that the self-service options include accurate and up-to-date information about your products and services.

Best Practices for Implementing Call Abandonment Reduction Initiatives

We’ve included some best practices for implementing call abandonment reduction initiatives in your call center. So, let’s get onto it:

Recognizing the Problem

Measure the number of calls you’ve received over a specific time and check how many have been abandoned. 

At the same time, analyze your call abandonment rate to understand peak hours and the root cause of abandonment. The following data will pave the way towards improvement.

Alongside pinpointing metrics, create a customer journey mapping. The following strategy will help find solid reasons for abandonment from the customer’s point of view. 

Focus on Improvements

Specific to the previous point, the insights collected from the customer journey mapping could be addressed. Depending on the data, the biggest headaches causing abandonment can be mitigated. 

You should also invest in a multi-channel approach. In this era, focusing on the phone channel will not please customers. Instead, you must offer self-service options through web chat, social media, or mobile apps.

Enhancing Self-Service Options

Similar to the topic mentioned above, you should offer self-service options. Make sure they are easy to use and user-friendly. Self-service content should also be up-to-date and not contain incorrect information.

Furthermore, switching to live agents should be easy for customers who cannot fix the problems themselves.

Communication and Transparency

Customers should be treated with complete respect, and their time should be valued. Make their wait worthwhile by providing accurate estimated wait times; no fake promise there. 

You can also provide updates at regular intervals throughout the waiting duration. These updates can include the position on their queue or other relevant information.


And that’s a wrap! In this article, we’ve demonstrated how to reduce call abandonment in a call center. We hope it helps you.

Abandoned calls are not a good sign for any call center as they openly reveal customer dissatisfaction. If your organization has a high abandonment rate, you must analyze the metrics related to the call center management and the call abandonment rate.

The obtained data gives you insights into the level of service you’re providing. Based on that, you can implement the strategies mentioned above wisely. As a result, your customers will feel more connected to you, eventually creating high satisfaction among them.


What strategies can call centers implement to reduce abandoned calls in 2024?

Some strategies for reducing abandoned calls or the abandoned call rate are self-service options, callback systems, agent empowerment, and multichannel support.

What are some common reasons why customers abandon calls?

Customers abandon calls because of the long wait durations, inefficient IVR system, insufficient staffing, poor self-service options, etc.

How can call centers balance reducing abandoned calls with maintaining high-quality customer service?

A few steps must be considered to balance reducing abandoned calls and maintaining high-quality customer service in a call center. Here are some of them:

  • Attention on first call resolution
  • Focus on agent skill development
  • Accurate wait time information
  • Offer callbacks
Prasanta Raut

Prasanta is the founder and visionary CEO of Dialaxy. He is on a mission to redefine the landscape of SaaS solutions, infusing creativity and ingenuity into every aspect of Dialaxy’s offerings. His fervent dedication to simplifying sales and support processes drives Dialaxy’s forward momentum, delivering unparalleled value to businesses of all sizes. Embark on a transformative journey with Prasanta and Dialaxy as they pave the way for a new era of sales and support excellence.

Prasanta Raut

Prasanta is the founder and visionary CEO of Dialaxy. He is on a mission to redefine the landscape of SaaS solutions, infusing creativity and ingenuity into every aspect of Dialaxy’s offerings. His fervent dedication to simplifying sales and support processes drives Dialaxy’s forward momentum, delivering unparalleled value to businesses of all sizes. Embark on a transformative journey with Prasanta and Dialaxy as they pave the way for a new era of sales and support excellence.