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Why “Time-on-Task” Customer Service Makes So Much Sense - Mark Fichera - Blog

Why “Time-on-Task” Customer Service Makes So Much Sense

The last thing businesses can afford is to pay for services not rendered.  Yet it’s amazing how many sales managers do just that.

In the call center industry, particularly at in-house contact centers, customer service agents spend significant time sitting idly by non-ringing phones.  Yet for each minute that happens, the agent is receiving full salary and benefits.  That’s money out the window. 

But there’s a solution.  It’s called the “time-on-task” billing model.  It means only paying for customer service when customer service is being delivered.  When there’s no activity, there’s no charge.

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Most of our inbound clients choose this billing model (a.k.a., “shared agent”).  They like paying strictly for the time we’re helping customers place orders, answering product questions, checking order status or answering customers’ emails.  When call volume and email traffic decline, so do costs.

Of course, time-on-task isn’t the right approach for all companies.  For those with higher call volume programs, or highly technical products, a dedicated agent model may be more appropriate.  There’s also the hybrid model that dynamically combines both approaches.  When call volume increases, a dedicated agent model is adopted; when volume moderates, the program reverts to time-on-task.

We started offering time-on-task long ago because it makes such complete sense.  We can measure call length and track call outcomes.  We can cost-out average talk time, first-call resolution and revenue-per-call.  We can gauge ROI in a heartbeat.

It’s perfect for clients who like to quantify, analyze and maximize the cost effectiveness of their outsourced customer service program.  And it’s great for managers who hate seeing meters running when no work is being done.

 If time-on-task makes sense to you, we should talk.

Publish Date: March 1, 2011 10:41 AM

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