GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Call centres encouraged to ignore AHT

800px-Clock-longtimeThe Average Handling Time (AHT) metric has been used by call centres for a long time to measure performance. However, as consumers increasingly demand the best care possible, AHT has been superseded by things like First Call Resolution (FCR), which is a process that prioritises completing a customer enquiry instead of keeping communication time as short as possible. Now, for those who want to reduce AHT whilst providing the best care, expert Michelle Dinsmore suggests telling agents to ignore the metric completely.

It might seem that if telephone answering services ignore AHT, it will become worthless and should be eradicated altogether. However, focussing on other aspects of customer care can actually cause AHT to drop. Whilst having a low AHT might be great in theory and can look like a positive business sign on paper, it can bring about negative consequences for a firm. For example, customers might become increasingly frustrated with service levels if they have to make several short phone calls time and time again instead of getting their issues resolved in just one call.

The best way to fix AHT is to tell agents to ignore it. This creates a positive change of culture in the call centre, enabling agents to actually focus on helping people instead of trying to get them off of the phone as quickly as possible. By paying attention to quality interactions and increasing FCR, metrics like AHT are likely to sort themselves out.

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