10 Tips for Reducing Average Handle Time
Average handle time? Still important, we’re afraid. It’s a constant challenge but there are ways to cut it down while still providing the quality of customer service that your company and your customers expect. Try these tips and let us know if they work!
Agents that specialize in certain types of calls will almost always be able to handle them more quickly.
Made the switch from spreadsheets to workforce management? Then you’ve taken a significant step forward toward reducing AHT – now review any other manual processes and discuss whether they can be automated as well.
Interview New Agent Candidates By Phone
One way to determine whether an agent can communicate efficiently is by interviewing them over the phone. You’ll find out how they respond to questions and unexpected situations, skills that contribute to AHT reduction.
No Cold Transfers
If a call must be transferred, always make sure the customer’s relevant data is transferred as well, so the same questions won’t have to be asked a second time.
Prepare for the ‘Top 5’
Use WFM and agent feedback to determine the top five reasons customers call. Focus on a streamlined response to these in training and equip agents with the authority to address them.
Similar to the previous tip, the more agents can anticipate what the caller may ask, the faster those answers can be provided.
Route Repeat Calls to the Same Agent
First call resolution is important as well, but when a customer has to call back, route his or her call to the agent that responded the last time. Familiarity with the situation should expedite the call.
This sounds counter-productive at first, as agents may want to get to their scripted procedure and move things along. But AHT benefits from listening as well, especially if the caller is not in a good mood. Interruptions will only make angry callers more irritated, and further decelerate the process.
Put Agents in Charge
Not of everything, of course, or they’ll pay themselves a lot of bonuses. But give them as much authority as needed to solve customer issues, investigate problems, and provide a solution. Transferring calls, even without excessive hold time, is never good for AHT.
Reward Top Performers
Give an agent a special prize for reaching the maximum number of accepted calls per shift – as long as they’re achieving this goal in a way that also provides courteous and attentive service.
Workforce Management: Big Benefits for Small Contact Centers
Where is it written that only contact centers with 100 agents or more can benefit from a workforce management solution?
Confidence: The Overlooked (But Vital) Agent Trait
What qualities do you look for when interviewing potential contact center agents? Certainly, experience is important, but as this is