In modern contact centers, data-driven performance metrics reign supreme. There are so many parameters and metrics that one might wonder if the emphasis on data is exaggerated. However, in reality, it is the constant measurement of performance metrics that can make or break the customer experience. One of the key metrics that every customer care manager is always mindful of is the Average Handle Time (AHT) of calls. AHT is measured for interactions over phone calls and chats as well as for the resolution of tickets and queries raised by customers. It helps the managers identify how much average time is being spent by a representative on interactions and query resolution. It is a crucial metric to evaluate performance and undertake human resources planning for the contact center. By reducing AHT without overlooking CSAT (customer satisfaction), a support team can increase efficiency and handle more conversations in each shift.
Here are some of the ways to reduce AHT in a contact center.
Using the right tools and processes: For large corporations, it might be a transformational speech analytics platform, and for a bootstrapped startup, it could just be keyboard shortcuts. Either way, using the right tools and processes will increase the speed of response.
Enhanced product knowledge: The representatives should know the product thoroughly. It leads to faster and more helpful responses and a speedier ticket resolution.
Emphasizing First Contact Resolution: First Call Resolution is always a great matter of satisfaction for customers and representatives alike. It goes a long way in reducing AHT as the need for follow-up calls, and messages are eliminated. Using a speech analytics platform that has sentiment analysis abilities can help in the quick identification of customer intent and smooth single-call closure of the customer query.
Don’t confuse: Avoid offering multiple options to the customer as it is likely to confuse and lead to more extended conversations. Make your answers crisp, courteous and helpful to the callers, and focus on giving clear answers.
Use the power of analytics: Analysis of recorded calls and conversation data helps in identifying the causes of high AHT as well as responses that help in reducing it. Using speech analytics can help managers streamline and improvise the customer support processes to eliminate/reduce friction points and optimize the response. Nowadays, companies are increasingly deploying AI-driven analytics to make this happen.
Easy access to knowledge: It is a universally known fact that the representatives need to rely on documentation, information, and other such resources to manage queries. The more technical or detailed a query is, the greater the need is going to be to search and find the responses. Therefore, it is a great help if the support documentation is easy to understand and share. It should also be well categorized and accessible to the agents easily in one or two clicks.
These tips, along with the integration of modern speech analytics tools such as Mihup Interaction Analytics, can drastically reduce any contact center’s AHT and improve efficiency! Mihup Conversation Intelligence platform allows clients to create proactive strategies to leverage opportunities in a much more productive manner.