Inbound Call Centre and Longest Delay in Queue

Call centers are one of the most controversial businesses. While some argue about the validity or invalidity of outsourcing as a whole, others are enchanted by the horde of career options, possibilities and opportunities it offers to people. But, not too many understand a lot of commonly used terms of this domain quite specifically. In this article, I will write about two very commonly used terms – inbound call center and LDQs (the longest time you might have to wait for, while phoning a contact center).

Inbound Contact Centre

This is one of the most frequently used jargons of the outsourcing industry. An inbound call is initiated by a customer to a contact center. This customer could be both external and internal. For example, in cases of a technical helpdesk or a payroll service provider, the caller could be an employee of the business itself.

Based on whether the support center exclusively receives calls or not, it may be classified as an inbound, outbound or blended center. However, most of the times it is observed that while a customer service center might be exclusively outbound in environment; almost all such service providers do have some ratio of outbound calls being generated from the desk itself.

An inbound executive’s performance can be measured by many metrics. Some of them may be the queue time, AHT, FCR, CSAT scores etc. However, with increasing sophistication in customer service in general, most customer service centers find soft skills forming an important part of their performance measurement parameters.

Most inbound contact centers communicate with customers not just through voice, but also through email and chat. Also, most inbound centers stipulate service goals that they will work towards achieving in a certain SLA (service level agreement)


Another term that is frequently used among business strategists is LDQ. LDQ stands for the Longest Delay in Queue. This term indicates the longest time period for any customer in a queue; while they wait for their call to be responded to or before the customer hangs up.

In business metrics, LDQ is a very important parameter to measure the overall performance of the contact center. Smaller LDQs might be an example of shorter AHTs, or of higher agent availability or of low call volume in general. Longer LDQs on the other hand indicate to a possibility of higher customer dissatisfaction level, higher AHT and higher volumes. Longer LDQs can also lead to higher number of fast clear downs.

All offshore service providers make sure to find the best possible balance in the number of available agents at a given time and predicting the number of incoming contacts initiated in order to access their WFM software efficiently.

In call center metrics, LDQ may be classified in two broad categories – the longest delay to answer the phone or to the longest delay to abandon or action. While the longest delay to answer is the longest time frame before an agent answers the phone, the longest delay to abandon is the maximum time for which any customer waits before they hang up.

Customers also appreciate the customer services of the companies where they experience shorter LDQs and faster response time.