Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used




Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used


This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties


Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

Article : Increasing Costs in the Contact Center Due to Increased Efficiency

#contactcenterworld, @taylor_reach

A few years back, I meet with a potential client. During these meetings, I routinely asked about the current operation of the Contact Center, what changes they had initiated (along with the results) and what pain points they were currently facing. In this meeting, she walked me through all the recent efforts in installing new technologies (such as CTI) and procedural changes resulting in a "much more efficient call handling". She indicated that in the past two years, they had managed to reduce their average handle time (AHT) from 455 seconds down to about 320 seconds. "So, what is the problem"? I asked. Well, apparently this reduction was not good enough!

The Situation

The business was growing and along with that, the Contact Center had grown in size. However, the center was failing to achieve the target service level, even after lowering the target, and needed even more staff. They were doing a good job forecasting call volumes but did not have enough resources to cover the required schedule. They had increased the staff a few times and as a result, the Contact Center budget had grown much faster than what corporate was providing. They needed more efficiency and she simply did not know other means for gaining efficiency or how much more for that matter.

I asked about call volumes and she was clear that they had a significant increase in their call volume but the increase did not match their sales. Call volume was growing much faster than the sales, hence the pressure on the budget. I asked if I could listen to some calls and also if she could provide a history of their call volume. The calls were rather straight forward and seemed to be complete but rather rushed. I could see the agents paying attention to the reader board, number of callers in the queue and noticed a desire to move to the next call and helping the next customer.

One of the calls, however, brought me closer to what I had expected. The caller had recently ordered a product and simply was looking for basic information regarding usage of the product. The information should have been provided during the first call but obviously, was not. A quick chat with the agent confirmed that they used to provide such info but in order to reduce the AHT, they were told to minimize such conversation especially during the busy hours (which happened to be almost all the time!).

Looking at the call volume tracking for the past 3 years, one could establish changes in the way call volumes were growing. After sharing the graph with the Contact Center manager, she confirmed that those changes matched their efforts in reducing AHT – although negatively! Interestingly enough, they were aware of the volume increase but not the changes in how fast it was growing as they were always looking at a shorter time frame!

....NOTE - content continues below this message


We invite you and your colleagues to join us online as we take the highest rated industry conference online - join us and the elite in the industry at the NEXT GENERATION Contact Center & Customer Engagement Best Practices Conferences!



What about First Call Resolution (FCR)?

They did measure FCR internally using sample calls, which did not indicate any decline. However, later on, I could see that the quality team was focusing more on compliance and less on the customer experience (CX). In effect, the agents were expected to answer customer questions if and when it was brought up by the customers! An external customer survey, or even crude modeling/disposition codes (how quickly a customer calls back regarding the same purchase) would have provided different results and proven insightful.
So, what was the problem and how did they fix it?

Total Work-Load

The problem, as it turned out, was a simple but common mistake of focusing on AHT instead of the total workload. Any attempt at efficiency must consider the impact on the call handling and call volume. In this case, by pushing for shorter AHT, the center had changed the call handling process and as a result also changed (increased) the ratio between the number of calls and number of sales. Customers were not receiving full information because they did not know what to ask until after they received their product and therefore had to call back. The calls were efficient from a technology and compliance standpoint, but clearly not effective from total customer experience perspective.

Adding to the problem was the false sense of accomplishment coming from their ill designed quality process. It is important to measure quality in form of compliance but that does not provide the full picture. If they had a robust or even a decent customer survey focusing on customer experience and true FCR, the alarm would have sounded much earlier.

The Solution

Working with the client, we calculated a more accurate measurement of FCR and call volume per sales. Indeed, they did not have enough staff under the current situation. Doing reverse analysis, we were able to calculate what they needed in terms of FCR in order to reach their target service level with the existing staff. At the same time, in a parallel work, we analyzed all their processes, established where they had failed in achieving higher FCR and based on what reasoning. The good news was that with a little training and minor changes to the existing processes, the center could reach that desired level of FCR.

And here comes the hard part! In the analysis and recommendations, we allowed for much higher AHT and in practice, we told the agents not to worry about their AHT. In fact, we turned off the reader board! As a result, the AHT ballooned to 420 seconds and the center had a miserable service level.

However, after a few weeks, call volumes started to drop as FCR started to improve and at the same time they started seeing a natural reduction on AHT. Little by little service level started to recover and improve.
After about 6 months, the center AHT became stable at 380 seconds while the FCR (true FCR) almost doubled and continued to improve! It’s really interesting to see how that extra 60 seconds can improve the overall service and budget so much.

Not every Contact Center runs into this type of problem and indeed most efficiency improvements result in better service at reduced costs but then again, there are times when increased efficiency is not a good thing!

#contactcenterworld, @taylor_reach

About Turaj Seyrafiaan:
Turaj began his career with Bell Canada in 1989, progressing through a number of project management, benchmarking and consulting roles. Before joining TRG Turaj operated a sucessfull consulting practice, The Pearl Advisory Group where he provided call center consulting services to organizations across Canada. Examples of his work include benchmarking studies (call centres, sales force, and maintenance), process optimization, developing business models and business analysis. He has also designed and facilitated numerous workshops on customer care related issues. Turaj’s facilitation skills and

About The Taylor Reach Group:
Company LogoThe Taylor Reach Group is a call center and contact center consultants specializing in customer experience consulting and call and contact center consulting, management, performance, technologies, site selection, tools and assessments. All we do is customer experience and contact center consulting: strategic and tactical. Our contact center and customer experience consultants have helped management in hundreds of contact centers and organizations achieve – and exceed – their business goals.
Company RSS Feed   Company Twitter   Company LinkedIn   Company Profile Page

Today's Tip of the Day - Where Is The Business Going?

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Thursday, January 4, 2018

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Business Continuity


CallGuard Remote
A flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments from home or remote locations. It’s quick to deploy needs no changes to processes or systems.

CallGuard Remote prevents agents from seeing, hearing or recording card details so, the agent, their screen, and any call recordings are removed from the scope of PCI DSS.

This simple approach means the customer effectively types their own payment information into the agent’s payment screen, but with the card details being shielded from the agent’s view. It’s simple, and highly effective.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Perfor...
(read more)


VADS Business Continuity Plan
VADS provides a business continuity plan by providing full outsource services and manage services. we've provided this to several clients. You can contact us for a detailed study case.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
Adapting to the new normal contact center industry has to be ready for work from anywhere agents to maintain business continuity. Even when working from remote locations, the work from home agents or remote agents need to be monitored for smooth customer service operations or effective tele sales.

InterDialog UCCS with its work from home agent ready call center software helps you to have complete control over your contact center operations. Agents can log in from any where , home, office or any other place where they are through their mobile phone or desktop , or even through our ID mobile app . With centralized recording & reporting , you gain visibility of all contact center metrics , and you can manage your center the same way as you were doing when working from office.

About us - in 60 seconds!

Submit Event

Upcoming Events

The place where the world's best meet and share their best practices!

A place for professionals to learn the latest and greatest strategies and ideas and to connect with the elite in the industry. 

This is the highest rated industry event with ... Read More...

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =