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In early January, the ITS Service Desk began giving customers the option to get a call back instead of waiting on hold for tech support — without losing their place in line.

With these automated call backs, if a customer has been waiting on the phone for a minute and a half for an available agent, the customer is given an option to receive a call back. If the person chooses to get a call back, he or she can provide the current number or at an alternate number. The system holds the customer’s place until the next agent is available to return the call, freeing up the customer to do other things instead of remaining on hold.

Christina Artis
Christina Artis

The campus community has been clamoring for this call back automation, and ITS has been eager to provide it, said Christina Artis, Manager, ITS Service Desk.

“I’m so excited about this,” she said. “This is near and dear to my heart.”

The call back feature is a new option available with the latest upgrade to PureCloud, the automated call distribution software that the Service Desk uses to field its incoming service calls. For a small one-time fee, ITS was able to offer the call back queue.

Strong initial response

“It’s a great feature,” Artis said. “It will increase our customer satisfaction. I know I love a call back. If I have the option to have someone call me back, I take it every single time.”

In the first month alone, the Service Desk made 293 call backs. The tally for the first half of February was 163. So, for the first month and a half, the total was 455, said Jason Cross, ITS Operations Support Specialist.

“People are definitely using it,” he said. “This seems to be going over very well with campus.”

Callers saving time

Preliminary results, in fact, show that callers are saving time.

“The immediate impact was a huge decrease in our average time to answer calls,” Cross said.

The total volume of calls to the Service Desk was about the same in January of this year as it was in January 2020. The average time to answer calls, though, was much faster — 83 seconds in January 2021 compared to 97 seconds in January 2020.

ITS hopes this call back functionality also will save staff time. Before automated call backs launched in January, customers have routinely initiated an online help chat with an agent while simultaneously waiting on hold on the phone. If people know they’re getting a call back, they may be less likely to initiate and then abandon online chats.

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