10 Tips To Help Reduce Average Handle Time While Improving Quality

By admin | Quality

Reducing AHT (Average Handle Time) can be difficult because it is seen as having a direct impact on quality.

However, if done correctly, you can actually see a lift in the quality delivered to your customers.​

Shocking I know!​

This article will share the top 10 Tips you can use to reduce AHT while at the same time improving Quality.​

Reduce AHT (Average Handle Time) and Improve Your Teams Quality

The following is a list of 10 things your call center can do right now to help reduce and manage AHT.

1.  Set it up the same way each time.

At the beginning of each shift open the programs that you will need for call taking in the same order. Arrange your program windows in the same way one your screen every day. This creates a flow for accessing customer databases, websites or tools you will need to move through each call efficiently.

2.  Call takers on the ready!

As a call taker it is pertinent to answer each call quickly and use the appropriate greeting. Greetings are usually supplied by your company, but if not a standard greeting consists of:  “Thank you for calling Company Name. This is your name. How can I assist you today?”

3.  Spell it right the first time and save your time.

If you are looking up a customer’s name or documenting who you are speaking with, politely ask for the spelling. The more attempts you make to search with the incorrect spelling the more seconds you add to your call.

4.  Use those tools in your toolbox.

Many companies offer tools to identify the type of call you are receiving. Use these tools to your advantage. Knowing what the caller is looking for may help you save time.

5.  Listen, Listen, Listen.

Listening to the customer is vital to handling the call efficiently. Find out the reason for the customer’s call. Understanding the customer’s needs will help you move swiftly through the call.  Active listening is powerful, in fact, I believe it is one of the vital skills to utilize in increasing the customer experience and reducing in effective downtime on the phone.  You may want to learn more about our Active Listening module.

6.  Stay on Target.

Remember to offer information that is important to the call. Try not to sidetrack the customer with extra information regarding the account. Your company may ask you to offer other products or services that the customer could benefit from, but these are best offered after taking care of the customer’s initial contact reason.

7.  Small time for small talk.

It is always a good idea to build rapport with your customers, but keep small talk to a minimum. Some customers may try to engage in lengthy conversations that are off topic. Bring the conversation back to the reason for their call in a polite way to control the call.

8.  Choose your battles.

Arguing with customers will lengthen your call time and may escalate the issue. Typically the customer has called for help, not to argue. Keep your focus on Customer Service and how your can help.

9.  Hold on!

If you have the ability to place customers on hold, only do so when absolutely necessary. Never put a customer on hold to have a personal conversation with those around you.

10.  Type while you talk.

Documenting calls and maneuvering through databases are key skills for Call Takers. Learning to type while you talk to the customer cuts down on after call work and keeps notes in the moment. Reviewing what you have done for the customer at the end of the call is a great way to complete your notes and ensure you have solved their issue.

Sharing Is Caring!  🙂

That’s the complete list and I know what you are saying…. That is too simple.

I agree but simple works and if this list is followed you can reduce AHT while improving your teams quality.

And the point is that changing some behaviors can improve efficiency but efficiency at the cost of quality is no way to run your operations.  ​

I hope you enjoyed this article?  If you did please share it with your collegues using the share buttons around this page.  Also, if you have any feedback, comments, or a question, please use the comments section below to let me know.

To your Success,

Greg Meares on Reducing AHT in a high quality manner

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About the Author

Greg is a seasoned Customer Experience and Call Center Efficiency Senior Consultant that has had an impact in the industry for the past 20+ years.  He has developed products to help Call Center Leaders improve performance.  If you want to motivate your teams to consistently achieve goals then Call Center Games is for you.  If you want to increase employee engagement and hit amazing milestones in your call center then PRIDE Teams is for you.  You can always visit our Call Center Resources to learn more about tools that will help you become a rockstar!

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