What is Average Handle Time in a Call Center?

What is Average Handle Time in a Call Center?

Posted : 12 December, 2018

In the industry of the modern day call center, there are a lot of buzz terms and metrics in order to gauge effectiveness and handle performance. As the industry becomes more and more competitive it’s important to stay on top of these terms and understand their meaning, value and how to improve upon them.

Average handle time doesn’t just log how long an agent is on the phone with a customer, rather it measures precisely how long it takes a call center agent to go from beginning to the end of the journey. This includes the time spent chatting with the customer but also any time they are put on hold whilst the agent gathers information and also any follow-up tasks that are required for adequate resolution.

As with all performance related metrics, it is one that cannot be ignored but is only one factor of many when considering a specific agents effectiveness and worth. If you have one agent with incredibly low average handling time (AHT) but an equally low customer satisfaction rating and another with much longer AHT but a flawless relationship with your customers it’s clear to see who is working hardest for you, for example.

It’s important not to overemphasize the importance of speed as this can negatively impact your call centers performance in other areas, but it’s also true that in terms of efficiency your team should be aiming to keep their AHT as low as is feasibly possible. Here are a few ways in which you can successfully lower handling time without impacting upon your customer’s satisfaction.

Proper Training

AHT takes into account the entire customer journey and so a team who are familiar with the systems they are using, where to find the pertinent information and how to log and follow up on the actions required after a call will have an immediate impact on handling time. It should come as no surprise that the fewer questions they need to ask of other team members or higher-ups would be beneficial to their efficiency and this should be your first measure employed if you are looking to lower AHT.

Call Routing

We all have our expertise and specifically unique skill sets, employing a call routing service can ensure that your customers are always getting through to the team member best suited to handle their inquiry or problem. Having your team divided into specializations means they can focus and fine-tune one specific aspect of the business to an expert level, doing so will see AHT plummet.

Communication and Knowledge Pooling

Equipping your team with a messaging service where they can quickly and easily ask questions in a room is another excellent way to lower AHT, it allows for seamless communication between peers and provides a room full of expert knowledge to your customers.

Recording Calls

Through call recording, you can use the example of your best team members in any area as training to the rest of your call center. You can pick out what was done well and why. This form of training is invaluable.

Here at Callnovo, we are always looking to innovate and continue our learning and evolution within the industry, stay tuned to our blog or give us a call today to see how our friendly and expert team could help you and your business.

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