Silence in customer service calls

What can silence tell us about customer service calls?

In this post, we’ll introduce what silence means in customer service calls, why it’s important to draw attention to it, and how a customer conversation analytics platform can help you measure silence, identify the causes, and learn from it. All for a more efficient and customer-friendly result. 

What does silence in customer service calls actually mean?  

Silence in customer service calls is a period of silence during the conversation when the customer and the agent are radio silent.   

The reasons behind this can be various. Sometimes people on either side need time to respond or the agent needs a minute to find an answer. Maybe the customer needs to step away from their phone for a moment.  

Silence in customer service calls is often a problem that business owners and decision-makers are unaware of.  

Why it is important to pay attention to silence in calls?

Silence can be unremarkable, but it can also be a sign of an issue. Here are some of the reasons: 

  1. Both calls and silence during calls are expensive for businesses.  

Too much silence can be costly to both the customer service agents and the business itself.

Each minute spent on the call means cost for the company. We expect customer service agents to work as efficiently as they can within that timeframe.  

  1. Silence can indicate agent’s lack of knowledge. 

The ability to actively work on a solution while keeping up a conversation with a customer is not something that comes naturally to a lot of customer service agents.

If the agent is unable to deliver right answers in a timely manner and is unaware of where to seek for them, agent training is required. 

  1. It might make customers less satisfied  

When agents are looking for information or a solution for a customer’s issue during a call, they may be so focused on the search that they do not notice the prolonged silence in the call.

Such quiet time can be uncomfortable for the customer. A frustrated customer might cancel the call and affect customer satisfaction rate. 

How can we tell if there is too much silence in the calls and when to act? 

The easiest way to determine if there is too much quiet time in calls, where it is occurring, and why is to use a conversation analytics tool

Why it is so important to measure silence in customer service calls? 

Measuring and analyzing silence in calls can give companies an understanding of how their processes work, how the calls are structured, and how their agents manage customer interactions. This allows you to make your calls more efficient and save money on customer support calls. 

Silence could take up 20-30% of phone calls without the agent or the company even realizing it. 

What gains can measuring silence in customer service calls deliver? 

  1. With proper analysis, it is possible to shorten calls by 20% while reducing unnecessary quiet time. 
  1. When looking at agents’ performance through the data, areas of improvement will become clear. 
  1. After training, agents can be more efficient and need less time for calls 
  1. The customer experience will certainly be improved as none of us want to spend our time on lengthy phone calls. 

We encourage companies to take a look at the silence data, acknowledge the silence and then go further – decide where silence is an issue and where it is not.  Where there’s room for improvement, they can start work on changing processes and training agents.  

Use cases from the telecommunications industry

A good rule of thumb, the silence in calls should be at around 20% or less

  • When a customer is interested in buying something, the phone calls with the least amount of quiet time occur – approximately 14% of the time
  • The topics of invoices, debt management, and service failure have between 16% and 20% silence
  • Wrong connections get the most proportion – a shocking 47%. Because there is no genuine dialogue or problem-solving, it is understandable that there is a lot of silence in this type of calls. 

Overall, using conversational analytics to track and analyze silence in calls allows businesses to increase call efficiency. 

If you want to see what solutions Feelingstream has to offer, please contact us for a live demo

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