Call latency is something that any call center that uses digital VoIP solutions for voice communications likely experiences. Why is that such a big deal? Because the vast majority of contact centers are using VoIP to communication with consumers and clients!
So, how big of a problem is call latency? How much do you really stand to lose when latency becomes an issue in your center? Check out this information about how latency could be costing your company big - and how you can offset and eliminate those costs.
First - What Exactly in Call Latency?
Latency is something that exists inherently in any form of telecommunication. It is defined as the amount of time between when the first party speaks and when the second party hears their voice. While this may be a matter of only fractions of a second in a high-quality voice transmission technology, it may be much longer than that, too - and that’s when problems arise.
Imagine being on the phone with someone and experiencing a long pause between every transmission of sound. This creates the sense that a conversation is dragging on forever - or that the person on the other end of the phone isn’t listening actively to what you’re saying. Worse, it can cause parties on the line to talk over one another when attempting to speed things up, causing a jumbled audio mess and making an actual conversation difficult to have.
Anyone who has made a long-distance call over an unreliable connection has experienced call latency before, but it’s not something you want your consumers to experience when they are talking to your agents. The problem is, many of today’s call centers are remotely stationed, meaning that calls are increasingly taking place on a long-distance basis. That means that connections must be reliable to keep this kind of lag from happening - and to deliver on the kind of voice quality that consumers expect.
As previously mentioned, a matter of milliseconds can mean the difference in a satisfying call that yields results and one that is frustrating and unproductive. Studies have shown that as little as 100-150 milliseconds worth of latency can create major problems in conversation. That’s a small difference - no more than a couple of full seconds - but it can mean a customer goes from having a positive experience with your center to a negative one with the entire company just that fast!
What is the True Cost of Call Latency?
Call latency may not sound like such a big deal, until you realize that seconds can mean real dollars in the world of customer service. Every second you seem to hesitate, the consumer or client is less likely to have a positive experience with your brand. That means from the moment of connection, you are on a countdown to provide great service - and if that countdown goes too far without you making good on that promise, you’re losing big.
Add to that the fact that latency is an even more pronounced issue if one or both parties on your line have accents, and you have a real problem. This is simply a fact of life for most people in the call center industry, since these facilities are often stationed in parts of the world where English is a second language or hire agents who may be working in a second language. While this does not hinder the agents’ ability to service consumers, it can certainly slow down and complicate the communication process if there is any kind of lag in the transmission!
How Can You Eliminate the Problem of Latency in Your Center?
The cost of call latency is obvious, but given that so many contact centers now rely on the internet for connectivity, how can the problem be corrected?
The answer lies in improving current connections through upgrading and overhauling technology. The use of VoIP means that latency is a problem that centers with a global reach are never really going to get rid of. However, using better internet connections and better technology to complete those connections will make for less latency - and fewer complications caused by it.
One big change that can make things much smoother for agents and consumers alike is the use of VoIP prioritization in your call center technology. If you have multiple methods of communication happening in your center, you are likely to experience lags during some or all of them. Think of how badly your VoIP likely lags or cuts out while downloading a large file or playing a video. With technology that prioritizes what’s important- your VoIP solution - you will be better equipped to handle calls even if other functions take a back seat during them.
Need something that’s faster and more fully-featured all around? Don’t settle for less or for taking shortcuts when it comes to what you can and can’t do during calls. Invest in larger bandwidth, newer technology, and improved quality with today’s best call center software. Dedicate bandwidths entirely to your VoIP solution so you never have to worry about what else might be siphoning off the power you need to make clear, quick calls. Work with your internet service provider to find the fastest, best possible connection rate, so your consumers are never left waiting.
Remember to test frequently forcall latency. What may not have been an issue a few months ago may be holding you back from success now. As your center grows, so will your needs. Implement latency tests regularly to keep up with those needs and ensure you’re providing the best to your agents and consumers.
When you’re ready to make call latency a problem of the past, give the industry experts at ChaseData a call. We have the tools and technology you need to improve connections and eliminate problems - and save big money in the process. Give us a call today to learn more!