call centre Short calls

Short calls in a contact centre

In the contact centre game, efficiency can be everything so you’d think that having shorter calls in duration in the call centre would typically be a good thing with the caveat that it’s not impacting at all on quality.

But there is one type of short call that could be a cause for concern.

For the purpose of this article, a short call is typically defined as a call with a duration of less than 10 seconds.

So why are short calls a bad thing?

There are some naughty call centre agents out there that think it’s a pretty cool idea to answer a call and then hang up on the customer as a way of improving their stats on the number of calls they have handled.

For a customer, of course, this is an infuriating experience.

Especially if they have waited some time to be connected to an agent only for it to be disconnected.

For the agent though, it’s going to look like they have handled lots of calls that may (but hopefully not) is linked to their KPIs or worse still, rewards.

How do you prevent short calls?

One of the best ways is to avoid your agents being motivated to answer lots of calls in the first place.

KPIs/Targets for the number of calls answered are not the way to drive improvement in a call centre – we have numerous articles on contact centre management best practices on this if you need more convincing.

But even with the right targets in place,  you should always be running random checks so if there are any issues, they can be dealt with immediately.

How do you monitor Short Calls?

If you don’t have a call centre ACD system you have very limited options to monitor short calls apart from observation.

This, of course, is a pretty useless ambition as if an agent knows they are being observed, they are less likely to be hanging up on customers.

But, if you own some good camouflage gear and some binoculars, knock yourself out 🙂

Thankfully most call centre systems have built-in reporting and a standard report is literally called the ‘Short Calls’ report.

You can normally run a short calls report by agent or centre.

Modern call centre systems will also be able to determine who initiated the disconnect which can, of course, be very handy data to have.

The final word of caution

Remember, like all metrics, you should like at averages over time rather than a specific moment in time.

But if you ran a monthly report and there was one agent who had significantly higher short calls than the rest of your centre, it’s a good place to focus.

If it’s time to upgrade your call centre technology platform, you can find some great suppliers in our ACXPA Suppliers Directory or use our free Contact Centre Technology wizard and we’ll provide you with a shortlist of recommended suppliers to save you time, money and stress!

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