In any contact center, reducing average handle time (AHT) is a top priority. This metric is a key indicator of how efficiently your call center is running. If you can reduce AHT, you will be able to improve customer satisfaction and increase profits. In this blog post, we cover five tips that will help you reduce AHT in your call center.
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What is AHT?
AHT is the average amount of time it takes for a call center agent to handle a customer interaction from start to finish. This includes the time spent on the phone with the customer, as well as any post-call work that needs to be done (such as logging the call or completing paperwork). AHT is typically measured in minutes, and it can be a good way to compare the efficiency of different call center agents.
Why is improving your average handle time important?
In contact centers, improving your AHT means reducing your AHT. There are several reasons why you might want to reduce AHT in your call center. First, shorter phone calls mean that your agents will be able to take more calls each day, which can lead to improved customer satisfaction. Shorter phone calls also lead to lower costs for your call center (since you are paying your agents for less time on the phone), and can help increase profits.
A shorter AHT can be a good way to improve employee morale in your call center as agents feel like they are accomplishing more each day.
How to improve AHT in your call center
One way to improve your AHT is to make sure that your call center agents are properly trained. This ensures that they are able to handle customer calls quickly and efficiently.
Another way to improve average handle time is to provide your agents with the tools and resources they need to do their job. This might include a script or a knowledge base that they can reference during calls.
You can also try to streamline the call process itself by eliminating steps that are not necessary. For example, if your agents spend a lot of time logging each call, you might want to consider investing in a call logging software that will automate this process.
Finally, you can improve AHT by monitoring your data closely and setting goals for your agents. If you can identify where your agents are losing time, you can work on fixing those issues. This will help them become aware of how they are spending their time on each call, and how they can improve.
Let’s dive into each of these tips to improve AHT event further:
- Improve the quality of phone calls
- Train call center agents
- Use a call routing software
- Monitor calls
- Analyze call data
Improve the quality of phone calls
If you want to improve AHT in your call center, it is important to improve the quality of phone calls. One way to do this is to make sure that your call center agents are properly trained. They should know how to handle customer calls efficiently and how to use the call routing software. Another way to improve the quality of phone calls is to use a call monitoring system. This will allow you to listen in on calls and identify any areas where improvements can be made.
Train call center agents
Another way to improve AHT in your call center is to train your call center agents. They should be properly trained in how to handle customer calls and how to use call routing software. If they are not properly trained, it will take them longer to handle each call, which will increase AHT.
Many software providers offer integrated training and agent development programs. Contact your software provider to see what’s available. If you haven’t invested in a contact center software to streamline business operations, consider adding it to your tech stack. And in your search, research the training that different companies offer. Agent enablement is one of the most surefire ways to boost contact center productivity across the board.
Use a call routing software
Use a call routing software to improve Average Handle Time (AHT). Call routing software is designed to help call center agents handle calls more efficiently. It helps your contact center route calls to the right agent, and it can also help you automate some of the steps in the call process. The software takes into account the topic of the call or the type of problem a customer is having then matches it to an agent based on these factors. It saves time for your agents, and it will also reduce AHT. Customer satisfaction also improves as people appreciate talking to the right person immediately instead of being transferred to multiple agents.
An effective way to improve AHT in your call center is to monitor all phone calls. You can easily do this by using a call monitoring system. When using this approach in your contact center, make sure management and agents are aligned on why you’re monitoring calls: to help agents improve and boost contact center operations. You shouldn’t utilize call monitoring as an intimidation tactic or to police agents.
There’s a few pros to listening in on calls. You will be able to identify any areas where improvements can be made by a specific agent. You can identify agents who handle specific situations well and empower those agents to help less seasoned agents. Finally, you can identify where your entire team may need specific training. By knowing this, you can invest in training or create your own to address common patterns.
Analyze call data
Finally, another way to improve AHT in your call center is to analyze call data. This data can be used to identify trends and patterns. Call volume, call length, and customer satisfaction are just a few key metrics to track. By analyzing this data, you can identify areas where improvements need to be made. For example, if you see that call volume is increasing but call length is staying the same, it could be an indication that your agents are not properly handling calls. If you see that call length is increasing but customer satisfaction is decreasing, it could be an indication that your agents are taking too long to handle each call. Analyzing call data is a valuable way to improve average handle time and the efficiency of your call center.