The Abandonment Rate Benchmark: What You Need to Know

The Importance of Abandonment Rate in Call Centers

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on abandonment rate benchmark in call centers. If you work in the call center industry, you’re probably familiar with the term “abandonment rate.” This metric represents the percentage of callers who hang up before reaching a representative.

As you may already know, high abandonment rates can be detrimental to call center performance. They can impact customer satisfaction, decrease revenue, and even lead to employee burnout. In this article, we will cover the essentials of abandonment rate benchmarking and how it can be used to make data-driven decisions for your call center.

The Definition of Abandonment Rate

Before we dive into benchmarking, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what abandonment rate entails. In simple terms, abandonment rate measures how many callers disconnect a call before they can connect with an agent. This metric is expressed as a percentage and is calculated by dividing the number of abandoned calls by the total number of inbound calls.

For example, let’s say your call center received 100 calls in a day, and 20 of them were abandoned. To calculate your abandonment rate, you would divide 20 by 100, giving you an abandonment rate of 20%.

The Impact of Abandonment Rates on Customer Experience

Abandoned calls can lead to negative customer experiences. Long wait times, frustrating IVRs, and frequent disconnections increase the likelihood of customers associating the call center with poor service. This can lead to customers taking their business elsewhere and can negatively impact revenue and reputation.

Abandoned calls can also impact your call center’s agents. High abandonment rates often result in increased call volumes and frustrated customers, leading to decreased job satisfaction, burnout, and higher staff turnover.

The Benefits of Abandonment Rate Benchmarking

Benchmarking your call center’s abandonment rate can provide several benefits that help improve performance. By comparing your abandonment rate to the industry standard, you can get a better idea of how your call center is performing and identify areas for improvement.

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Additionally, benchmarking can help you set realistic goals and create actionable strategies to reduce abandonment rates. It can also help you gain insights into customer behavior, such as preferred call times and reasons for abandonment.

The Abandonment Rate Benchmark for Call Centers

Industry standards for abandonment rates vary depending on the type of call center, but a benchmark of 5-8% is generally considered acceptable. However, some call centers may have higher or lower benchmarks depending on their unique circumstances.

Call centers that deal with emergency services or healthcare may have lower benchmarks, while call centers that handle billing or technical support may have higher benchmarks. It’s important to establish a benchmark that is appropriate for your specific call center and industry.

The Components of Abandonment Rates

Abandonment rates are not just influenced by customer behavior but can be impacted by other factors such as technology and workforce management. Understanding the components of abandonment rates can help you develop effective strategies to reduce them.

The two primary components of abandonment rates are:

1. The Number of Abandoned Calls

The number of abandoned calls can be influenced by several factors such as wait time, queue length, and the number of agents available to handle calls. By monitoring these factors, call centers can identify potential issues and make data-driven decisions to improve performance.

2. The Total Number of Inbound Calls

The total number of inbound calls can also impact abandonment rates. An increase in call volume can cause long wait times, leading to more abandoned calls. By analyzing call volume trends, call centers can anticipate future workload and staff accordingly.

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How to Calculate Your Call Center’s Abandonment Rate

Calculating your call center’s abandonment rate is a straightforward process. First, you need to determine the total number of inbound calls and the total number of abandoned calls within a specific time frame. Next, divide the number of abandoned calls by the total number of inbound calls and multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.

The formula for calculating abandonment rate is:

(Number of abandoned calls / Total number of inbound calls) x 100 = Abandonment rate

Using Abandonment Rate Benchmarking to Make Data-Driven Decisions

By benchmarking your call center’s abandonment rate, you can take a data-driven approach to continuously improve performance. The key is to identify the factors contributing to abandonment rates, such as long wait times or insufficient staffing, and develop strategies to address them.

For example, if you notice long wait times are leading to high abandonment rates, you might consider implementing a callback feature, allowing customers to hang up and receive a call back when an agent is available. Alternatively, you might increase staff levels during peak call times or utilize a virtual hold solution to keep customers engaged while waiting for the next available agent.

FAQs About Abandonment Rate Benchmarking

1. What’s a “good” abandonment rate?

The industry benchmark for abandonment rates is typically 5-8%. However, it’s important to establish a benchmark that is relevant to your specific call center and industry.

2. What factors impact abandonment rates?

A variety of factors can contribute to abandoned calls, including long wait times, queue length, and low agent availability.

3. How can I reduce abandonment rates?

You can reduce abandonment rates by improving wait times, increasing staffing levels during peak periods, and using a virtual hold solution to keep customers engaged while waiting for the next available agent.

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4. How can I benchmark my call center’s abandonment rate?

To benchmark your call center’s abandonment rate, compare it to the industry standard or other call centers within your industry.

5. What are some common causes of abandoned calls?

Common causes of abandoned calls include long wait times, complex IVRs, and a lack of agent availability.

6. Can abandoned calls impact customer satisfaction?

Yes, abandoned calls can lead to negative customer experiences and impact overall customer satisfaction with your call center.

7. How can I anticipate future call volume and staffing needs?

By analyzing call volume trends and historical data, you can anticipate future workload and staff accordingly to reduce abandonment rates.


In summary, abandonment rate benchmarking is a crucial aspect of call center performance management. By establishing a benchmark, call centers can identify areas for improvement, set realistic goals, and make data-driven decisions to reduce abandonment rates.

To effectively reduce abandonment rates, call centers must identify and address the factors contributing to abandonment. By improving wait times, increasing staffing levels, and using virtual hold solutions, call centers can reduce abandonment rates and improve customer satisfaction.

Take Action Today

If you’re struggling with high abandonment rates in your call center, take action today. Benchmark your abandonment rate, identify the factors contributing to abandonment, and develop actionable strategies to address them. By taking a data-driven approach, you can improve call center performance, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase revenue.


The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal or financial advice. The reader should consult with their own legal or financial professionals before taking any action.