Simpro Solutions Inc. - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
DRIVING THE RIGHT AHT (RAHT)
Reducing Average Handle Time (AHT) is always the battle cry in many call centres. While true on the accounting side of the equation, AHT has a direct impact on operational costs and profitability. But to drive AHT at all costs without regard for a positive customer experience is foolhardy and in the long run leads to higher repeat calls, lower customer satisfaction ratios and lost business. So how do you achieve operational efficiencies without sacrificing a positive customer experience, high first call resolution, and high quality scores? In other words how do you achieve the Right AHT (RAHT)?
Every organization will have its limitations based upon technology, call complexity & data capture, all of which impact RAHT. So along with regular call monitoring to improve agent performance, here are five things you need to manage to achieve the right balance between accounting (cost) demands and customer needs:
Initial training for agents is the beginning of continual training. Few organizations are static in nature and the changing economic conditions, weather, global & domestic conditions and or industry conditions continually challenge the competitiveness of all businesses. Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s) need to therefore be deeply knowledgeable about the company and the environment that the company operates in. Therefore make sure you set aside enough time for continual agent training .This can be as simple as informational desktop pop-ups or more formal information reviews and training sessions. This will ensure that agents can provide the correct answers and resolve issues faster and achieve the “RAHT”. How much time are YOU setting aside for on-going training?
2. Review Reasons for Transfer Calls.
Is your IVR up to date? Is it accurate and easy to understand? Is it directing your customers to the right skill group or department?
If it becomes necessary to transfer a customer to another CSR, is there a proper handoff with an introduction and the pertinent information passed along to the CSR to quickly continue the conversation? Or is the customer with each transfer starting from ground zero. Your IVR should be set up in such a way as to direct your customers to the appropriate CSR and if a transfer is necessary, the steps are in place to make each transfer seamless. This will prevent the unnecessary question and answer time with each interaction, and reduce customer frustration and “RAHT”.
3.Review Scripting and Limit the Probe and Ask Interaction.
Does your script direct and control the conversation to immediately arrive at the reason for the call?
From the very start CSR’s need to capture all important information regarding the customer’s reason for calling. This will limit the probe and ask interaction throughout the call. CSR’s need to be able to go straight to the call concern, clear up any misunderstanding and/or misconceptions and arrive at a solution. Scripting and branching needs to be set up in such a way as to allow the CSR to immediately identify the problem. This will eliminate back and forth question and answer, reduce call time, and increase first call resolution.
4. Process Improvement through Quality Monitoring.
Call recording and call monitoring is a must in a call centre. It allows Leaders, Coaches and Trainers to zero in on agents call handling and identify gaps in agent performance. We at Simpro also use call monitoring to identify gaps in process. Our proprietary QAS Toolkit allows us to identify process gaps. This gives us the ability to target effectiveness of scripting and branching, benchmark hold time and transfer reasons, and IVR effectiveness. The key here is to recognize that agent performance is a vital component of ‘RAHT’, along with process improvement.
5. Knowledge Base at Agents Disposal.
Ward Cunningham, the father of the “Wiki”, on the front page of his own wiki gives some insight into the purpose for a wiki. “Wiki” is a composition system; it’s a discussion medium; it’s a repository; it’s a mail system; it’s a tool for collaboration.” Wiki means quick in Hawaiian and as agents are in discussion with customers they need to have a search engine where they can easily look up topics and provide information without constantly reaching for the hold button. Providing agents with facts and answers to FAQ’s at their finger tips will reduce handle time, provide faster and more accurate responses while helping to drive RAHT.
Watch for my next Blog – There is an estimated 300 million cell phones in the US, and 26 million in Canada is your call centre ready for Smart Phone Technology?
Publish Date: June 15, 2016 5:00 AM