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Dead air

Dead air is defined as the period of silence during a contact center interaction when neither the customer nor the agent is interacting. 
Glossary >A - F

What is Dead Air?

Dead air is defined as a period of silence during a customer interaction when neither the customer nor the agent is interacting. 

There can be dead air when an agent is asked a difficult question, running processes on slow software, or has a knowledge gap. It’s in the interest of a contact center to lower the dead air metric, else it can prove detrimental to their brand’s reputation.

How can you reduce or avoid dead air?

  1. Prompt the customer: Proactively informing the customer about a short spell of silence, helps keep customer anxiety at bay.

  2. Use time for promotion: If issue resolution is taking more time than anticipated, an agent can utilize this time to indulge the customers in brand promotions and incentives.

  3. Share updates and progress: Looping in the customer while resolving their conflict keeps them engaged, and lowers their negative emotions like anxiety or frustration. For instance, an agent can effectively use dead air by explaining the backend process that’s happening, setting up proper customer expectations.

  4. Stay well researched: One of the main causes of dead air is an agent’s unawareness on the customer’s issue. This can be largely attributed to poor coaching, onboarding or knowledge gap. Simple processes like building a handy database of resources, personalize coaching sessions and providing the right tools like contact center AI can reduce this unwanted dead air.

Silence isn’t always golden, especially when it’s between a frustrated customer and a clueless agent. It’s been repeatedly seen that dead air has a negative impact on customer satisfaction. 

From a broader perspective, it also affects the overall performance of an organization, since this valuable time goes to waste. Simple tweaking in processes with the help of the right tools can bring down dead air.