Misplaced Calls and the Contact Center

One contact center challenge concerns the management of incoming calls that are intended for alternate service lines or destinations. Callers may dial into a scheduling center with a billing question, dial into a help desk trying to reach an employee, call the billing center to reach a salesperson, etc. But just how big of a problem are these misplaced calls? Parlance customer data has shown that as much as 30% of total contact center call load is made up of calls intended for other destinations or service lines.

The culprit is human nature. When someone opts to communicate with your organization by phone, they will most often simply plug the name into a search engine and dial the first number that pops up — regardless of that service line’s true purpose.


This routine phenomenon of misplaced calls causes many different repercussions for both the caller and the organization.

Customers: It wastes the customer’s time. Caller’s must either sit through an IVR or auto attendant that doesn’t have an option to suit their need, or hold for an agent. They then must explain their need to whomever they finally wind up speaking with, most likely to only have to repeat themselves once the agent transfers them elsewhere.

Agents: It wastes the Agent’s time. Agents must spend precious time triaging these misplaced calls, and then connect them to the appropriate resource to assist them. Meanwhile, calls that truly require agent assistance may stack up in the call queue–leading to longer or more frequent hold times for callers.

Operators: Switchboard Operators are often “passed the buck” of misplaced calls. Agents who are either too busy to properly connect the caller to their needed destination, or who don’t have access to the proper directory resources to properly manage the call will frequently just forward the caller on to the switchboard.

Managers: Managers and Directors may be looking at falsely inflated metrics. These misplaced calls, though numerous, are generally quick to manage. As a result, metrics such as Average Handle Time (AHT) may subsequently appear lower that they truly are, if one were only looking at true contact center calls (which are typically longer to handle). Other metrics, such as First Call Resolution (FCR) may be affected in a similar manner, creating false performance assumptions and potentially impacting staffing and investment decisions.


But how can you deflect misplaced calls to the correct destination, quickly and easily? How can you give customer’s an excellent caller experience, no matter which line they dialed into? How can you free Agents and Operators from the burdens of managing routine or misplaced calls? How can you ensure that misplaced calls aren’t skewing reports for management?

Parlance Adaptive Speech Automation solves the challenge of misplaced calls. Leveraging the latest speech recognition technology and comprehensive directory management capabilities, Parlance solutions are able to guide callers to the right destination or information–no matter what service line they’ve called into. Callers receive the attention they require in seconds, Agents and Operators are able to focus on callers with business requiring their specific expertise, and Managers can rest assured that reports are relevant to true contact center interactions.

And with up to 30% less call volume to manage, greater capacity and reduced costs become a very nice side effect of solving the problem of misplaced calls.