GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Reducing AHT should be done with customers in mind

Clock - Time WarpIn the past few years, many call centres have thrown out the Average Handling Time (AHT) metric in favour of strategies that optimise customer services. However, AHT can be useful for gaining overall efficiency. When telephone answering services look at AHT with an eye on improving customer experiences, the indicator can become useful again.

AHT has traditionally been used to reduce call length and allow agents to get through more customers, thereby boosting their productivity. However, this can be detrimental to consumers if their problems aren’t resolved, and First Call Resolution rates can decline. With social media ingrained in daily life, it is all too easy for people to share their frustrations.

Nevertheless, there can also be positives for AHT. For example, queuing and hold times can be reduced, which means that consumers waste less of their valuable time. By looking at it from a customer’s point of view, call centres can identify the positives of AHT.

Of course, AHT needs constant reviewing to ensure the old ways aren’t creeping in. If too much focus is put upon it, agents might feel pressured to end calls as quickly as possible, thereby undoing any good work that has already been done. However, if AHT is used in conjunction with metrics and operations that boost the customer experience, working on reducing overall handling time can benefit both company and consumer.

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