Wait times are affected by main factors including the percent of people on your list who pick up, the amount of disconnected numbers on your list and how many calls are able to connect, your caller actions, and more. Connection and pickup rates can vary widely from day to day or even hour to hour so its difficult to say what a "correct" wait time is for a specific calling service.
In general, wait times are highly correlated to the number of callers active in the system and callers can expect the following wait times based on the total number:
|1-3 Callers||2-3 minutes|
|4-7 Callers||1-2 minutes|
|8-12 Callers||~ 1 minute|
|13-20 Callers||30s - 1 minute|
|20+ Callers||< 30 seconds|
ThruTalk staff is always watching the pace of calls and adjusting your calling speed to keep drops (calls where someone answers but is hung up on because there are no callers available to take the call from your end) low and wait times as low as possible without causing any drops.
A simplified idea of the process can be seen in this flowchart:
From your end, there are usually two main issues that will slow down your calling and increase your wait time.
Callers logging in and out multiple times a shift
Callers logging out and back in multiple times over a calling session, especially without waiting until after a call to log out, will cause the system to force a slowdown no matter what the pick up and contact rates actually are.
Callers logging in and out multiple times over the course of a shift will cause the system to slow down as each log out (if not done by going not ready at the end of a call) will more than likely cause a dropped call.
Calls are placed when a caller becomes ready. If the caller then proceeds to log out without waiting until the end of a connected call, those calls are still going out and if someone picks up, that pick up will need to be sent to a caller. If there are no other callers available (especially if there are low callers as laid out below) then that call will get dropped and your service pacing will remain slower until the short term drop percentage comes down again.
Make sure your training materials and in person phone bank logistics are encouraging folks to stay logged in for longer sessions. Some ideas are "raise hand to take a break" and pre-set break times for in person phone banks or logged in time report cards for distributed callers. Check out the Best Practices for Caller Organizers article to see some more ideas.
Callers spread out too much throughout the day
Callers are not active at the same time, never allowing the system to get up to speed and therefore causing lower calls overall. (You can check the number of active callers and exact wait times on the Admin Panel, under "Service Overview.")
In the effort to avoid drops, low caller numbers will almost never get to high outbound call throttles since there are no other callers around to take the call if multiple people pick up at the same time. Less outbound calls means longer wait times.
Due to the way we set pacing (avoiding drops), each additional caller has a multiplier effect on the speed for all callers, beyond just the calls that single caller is making on their own. Additionally, low volumes of callers who are logging in and out multiple times (see above) will cause drops and bring down the speed but more callers allows those calls that would be otherwise dropped to be sent to another caller and answered so they have less of an effect on your overall speed.
Try to get as many callers calling at once, even if they can call for a shorter amount of time per volunteer. 5 callers calling by themselves at different times will make many fewer dials and have much longer wait times than 5 callers calling all at once. Check out the Best Practices for Caller Organizers article to see more tips.