Call abandonment rate

Call abandonment rate 101

Learn everything you need to know to understand, calculate and lower your healthcare center call abandon rate.

The basics

What is call abandonment rate?

Ever been put on hold for an extended period? We have too! 

Call abandonment happens for similar reasons: lengthy wait times, confusing automated menus, or a perception that their concerns aren't valued. These factors drive callers to give up and disconnect.

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call center agents handling calls

How is the call abandonment rate calculated?

The call abandonment rate is calculated using a simple formula:

Call Abandonment Rate (%) = (Number of Abandoned Calls / Total Incoming Calls) x 100

For instance, if a call center receives 1000 calls in a day and 150 of them are abandoned, the call abandonment rate would be 15%.

How much can your Healthcare Center save by lowering its abandoned call rate?

As a leading healthcare and radiology appointment scheduling solutions provider, we understand the importance of improving operational outcomes and recovering lost revenue. That's why we've created the "Savings on Abandonment Rate" template, specifically designed to provide healthcare and radiology centers with call abandonment rates' metrics and benchmarks and how they relate.

We hope this template is a good starting point for you to go ahead and start the optimization of your appointment scheduling operations.

Call abandonment rate industry standard

Industry standards for call abandonment rates vary across sectors. While some industries may find a 5% abandonment rate acceptable, others, like the healthcare industry, might consider anything above this high as a cause for concern. It's crucial for centers to understand the nature of each call and strive to meet or exceed standards.

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What is considered a high call abandonment rate?

When a center's call abandonment rate exceeds 8%, it's considered high and warrants immediate attention.


Causes of Abandoned Calls

Abandoned calls occur when customers disconnect before a call center agent addresses their inquiries. Several factors can contribute to this , and understanding will help your healthcare  customer interactions and boosting overall service quality.

Long waiting times

Patient waiting time is a significant trigger for abandoned calls. Customers perceive long hold times as poor service, prompting them to disconnect prematurely.

Complex interactive voice response (IVR) systems

While IVR systems are designed to route calls efficiently, more complex menus or clear instructions can frustrate callers. A convoluted IVR experience can lead customers to abandon calls out of sheer confusion.

Technical issues

Technical issues, such as poor call quality, can frustrate callers. These problems not only hinder effective communication but also increase the likelihood of call abandonment.

Lack of empathy and personalization

Patients appreciate agents who display empathy and offer personalized care. These can lead to a negative center perception, potentially prompting patients to hang up.

Unresolved issues

If a patient's issue remains unresolved after multiple interactions, they may grow frustrated and choose to abandon their calls in favor of seeking attention elsewhere.

Repetitive information requests

Requiring patients to repeat information multiple times due to inefficient data sharing among agents can lead to annoyance and abandonment. Patients expect information about studies and treatments to be readily available to streamline the interaction.

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Impact of abandoned calls on patient experience

High call abandonment rates can have detrimental effects on a business. Customers who experience frustration during their initial interaction are less likely to engage again, leading to a potential loss in revenue and a negative impact on brand reputation. Moreover, unresolved issues due to abandoned calls can result in decreased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Poor financial outcomes

Abandoned calls have a hidden financial cost that not many for healthcare centers. 

Patients who cannot schedule or confirm appointments may seek care elsewhere or fail to show up for their scheduled visits. This can lead to revenue loss for the healthcare center and disrupt the scheduling of healthcare providers.

Negative perceptions of healthcare providers

Abandoned calls can shape patients' perceptions of healthcare providers negatively. Patients may interpret a dropped call as a lack of interest or professionalism on the part of the medical facility. This tarnishes the institution's reputation and can lead to patients seeking care elsewhere. 

Delayed patient care

Abandoned calls can lead to delays in patient care. When callers hang up before their calls are answered, important medical inquiries, appointment scheduling, medication inquiries, or emergency situations might not be addressed promptly. Delays in communication can result in patients not receiving timely assistance or information, potentially affecting their health outcomes.

Operational inefficiencies

High call abandonment rates can indicate operational inefficiencies in managing incoming calls. It might suggest that the healthcare center lacks sufficient staff to handle call volumes or that the phone system in place is not optimized for managing incoming inquiries effectively.

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Part IV

Improving Call Center Efficiency

Let's explore strategies to improve your healthcare center abandonment rates and ensure a smoother patient interaction journey.

Optimize Call Handling

Implement efficient call routing and queuing systems to ensure that calls are directed to appropriate staff members in a timely manner.

Staff Training

Well-trained agents, especially in healthcare argon and radiology modalities can handle calls more efficiently, reducing call durations and wait times. Ongoing training ensures agents are equipped to address customer concerns promptly and professionally.

Improving IVR Systems

Streamlining IVR systems and ensuring clear instructions can guide callers effectively, minimizing frustration and abandonment rates.

Implementing Call-Back Options

Offering the option for customers to receive a call back instead of waiting on hold can significantly decrease abandonment rates.

Monitoring and analysis

Regularly monitor call abandonment rates and analyze trends to identify underlying issues and make necessary improvements.

Scale staffing up and down according to call volume

Ensure that an adequate number of staff members are available to handle incoming calls, especially during high call volume seasons. 

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Customer Engagement Strategies

Effective customer engagement goes beyond addressing immediate concerns. It involves building lasting customer relationships, anticipating their needs, and providing proactive solutions.

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Multi-channel communication

Offering multiple communication channels ensures customers can reach out using their preferred method, reducing the likelihood of call abandonment.

Proactive customer issue resolution

Anticipating customer issues and reaching out before they even contact you showcases your commitment to customer satisfaction and reduces the likelihood of abandoned calls.


Use customer feedback for improvement

Feedback from customers who abandoned calls can provide valuable insights into areas of improvement. Addressing common pain points can significantly reduce call abandonment.

Improve and adapt your strategy

Patients' preferences and needs evolve. Regularly update and adapt your engagement strategies to align with their changing  behaviors.


Analyzing call abandon rate metrics and insights

To truly understand the success of your call center operations, you must go beyond the surface level. By analyzing metrics and insights, you gain valuable information that can drive improvements and deliver exceptional customer service. Let's explore the various facets of this crucial process.

Call abandonment trends

Trends are more than just numbers; they provide a glimpse into customer behaviors, pain points, and potential areas for improvement. By examining trends in call abandonment rates, call centers can make informed decisions to enhance customer experiences.

Understanding the reasons behind call abandonment, whether due to long wait times or complex IVR systems, helps identify pain points. Predictive analytics then come into play, enabling you to preemptively address these issues. With a proactive approach, you can optimize your resources, streamline call flows, and offer swift resolutions.

Conversion Rate Optimization

This strategy can turn abandoned calls into successful interactions. When patients hang up, it's an opportunity lost. However, with effective follow-up mechanisms, you can salvage these opportunities and leave a positive impact.

By analyzing data on abandoned calls, you can identify patterns and common issues. Implementing personalized follow-up strategies, such as callbacks or emails, showcases your commitment to customer satisfaction. Not only can you resolve their issues, but you can also convert them into loyal advocates


Call abandon rate: your checklist to lower your healthcare center dropped call percentage

A high call abandon rate frustrates patients and affects the efficiency and reputation of the healthcare center. In this checklist will summarize key points to lower the call abandon rate and improve communication at your healthcare center.

☑ Optimize Staffing Levels

Ensure that your call center is adequately staffed during peak hours to minimize hold times and provide prompt assistance.

☑ Improve IVR Systems

Simplify your IVR menus, making it easier for callers to navigate and reach the appropriate department.

☑ Implement Call Routing

Use intelligent call routing to direct calls to the most suitable representative, reducing the need for transfers and wait times.

☑ Staff Training

Invest in comprehensive training for your call center staff, equipping them with the skills to handle various queries efficiently.

☑ Monitor and Analyze

Regularly review call logs and recordings to identify patterns and areas for improvement. Use this data to refine your call center strategies.

Efficient communication is vital in the healthcare industry, and addressing the call abandon rate is essential for providing top-notch patient care. By optimizing staffing, simplifying IVR systems, and enhancing staff training, you can significantly reduce call abandonment and improve patient satisfaction. Remember, every call represents an opportunity to provide excellent service and build lasting patient relationships.

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