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Article : Six Ways To Manage AHT In Multi-channel Contact Centres


By Thomas Rødseth, VP of Product & Marketing at Intelecom

With all the talk of Customer Experience Management and Customer Effort, it’s easy to forget that customer service managers don’t have bottomless pits of money. Best practice in contact centre management isn’t just about being effective, it’s also about being efficient. That is why many traditional measures of call centre performance, such as Average Handle Time (AHT), are as relevant as ever.

But how do you deliver consistently strong performance when handling multiple customer contact channels?

While every organisation would love to think they could deliver first time fixes (FTF), each and every time, with great customer experience scores and a low AHT, it’s not always that easy. Targeting a low AHT can sometimes result in contacts being rushed and that can negatively impact both customer experience and first time fixes.

Here are 6 ways that we believe contact centres can reduce AHT without impacting the customer experience:

1) Analyse customer demand – use demand categorization to analyse which contacts:

  • Deliver value effectively to both parties

  • Create opportunities to develop new products/services

  • Occur when a process or product/service went wrong

  • Represent waste or demand generated by third parties

By categorizing demand, you can improve contact handling processes in a more structured way, while focusing on goals such as improved customer experience, lower cost or shorter AHT.

2) Review business process – after tackling demand categorization, address inefficiencies and fix broken processes that are inflating AHT by:

  • Removing agent requirements that don’t directly impact the customer experience

  • Examining scripts and removing time-wasting questions

  • Reducing time wasted during wrap-up by using wrap-codes to categorize contact "types"

  • Streamlining agent workflows and processes to improve efficiency.

3) Switch customers to intelligent self-service – introduce web and ‘phone self-service where customers need simple and repetitive information (e.g. opening hours, account balances etc). By enabling customers to self-serve, you can get them the answers they require quicker and allow agents to handle more contacts, leading to lower AHT.

4) Create more efficient contact routing – enable customers to self-select the best routing option by providing menus regardless of the channel used. Use natural language speech recognition technology to allow people to describe their own issues and create contact routing rules that take into account agent skills and knowledge. Ensure that your contact handling technology can support a broad range of routing options (from agent hunt groups to least idle, least occupied, skill level and service level routing).

5) Provide agents with a single view of customer conversations – invest in omni-channel technology that gives agents a single view of customer activity across all channels and time periods. If you can immediately identify customers with unresolved service issues (from phone numbers or email address) then route them to the agent that’s been handling their query or a suitable skilled agent. Also consider giving agents easy access to customer relationship management (CRM) data – such as purchased product details and previous service enquiries.

6) Shorten customer greetings – especially those that have no real impact on the customer experience. So rather than "Good afternoon madam, how are you doing today?" try "Good afternoon Jackie, how can I help you?" This will encourage customers to get to the point quicker.

Follow these six ways to lower AHT and increase customer satisfaction while delivering greater personalisation. The technology is available so what’s stopping you?


About Thomas Rødseth:
Thomas has worked in the telco sector in Europe for over 20 years, including companies such as O2 and Telenor. He has a background in managing large contact centres, employing more than 1,000 agents, giving him first-hand experience of trying to achieve operational efficiencies whilst delivering a great customer experience.

About Puzzel:
Company LogoPuzzel (formerly Intelecom) builds on 20 years’ heritage. It was one of the first pioneers to develop a cloud-based contact centre. Puzzel also encompasses leading mobile messaging and mobile payments to deliver a flexible and customisable customer interaction platform to meet the needs of today’s omni-channel and mobile environments. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Puzzel employs over 130 people who are all passionate about delivering innovative customer interaction solutions for contact centres and mobile environments.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Stop-Start-Continue

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

Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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2021 Buyers Guide Help Desk Software

eGain Corporation

eGain CallTrack™
eGain CallTrack™ is a dynamic call tracking and case management solution that helps companies provide quick, high-quality, and cost-efficient resolution of customer issues across traditional and emerging interaction channels. It is one of the many innovative customer interaction products in eGain Solve™ suite, the unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite, which helps businesses transform their traditional call centers into omnichannel customer engagement hubs. eGain CallTrack will enable you to track, manage and resolve cases and maintain service level agreements (SLA), across channels.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

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PH: 833-427-7488


Knowmax is an omnichannel knowledge management platform. Our mission is to transform contact centers into resolution centers and drive customer self service.
The platform is an industry-agnostic enterprise-grade knowledge platform with components helping in easy findability of actionable information at the right time across the desired touchpoint.
PH: +91 9702626568

Nuxiba Technologies

Nuxiba's Help Desk Software is ideal for delivering top-level contact help desk services. It not only tailors to your existing technology resources but also allows you to set staff priorities that forward clients to the most knowledgeable agents.

Give personalized assistance, and analyze performance with our real-time monitoring, recording, and reports. Integrate Salesforce or VTiger CRM systems, be TCPA compliant, protect your cardholder's data during calls, and more!

Request a quote or demo today and start the journey to increase your first-contact resolution percentages in less than three months!


OneDesk's software combines Helpdesk & Project Management into one application. No need to purchase, integrate and switch between applications. Your team can support your customers and work on projects in one place. Aimed at SMBs as well as departments at large enterprises, OneDesk is frequently used by project managers, customer service, IT, professional services and more. This easy-to-use, feature-rich, and highly configurable software can manage both ticket & task workflows.
PH: (514) 731-6878

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

ActivDesk Help Desk Software
ActivDesk Help Desk Software is an intelligent ticketing software for multi- channel customer interaction & engagement. It streamlines the entire ticket management process. With its SLA & escalation management, it enables your help desk to deliver enriching customer experience.

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