GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Reducing average handling time not always a priority

Average handling time (AHT) has long been the focus for many call centres, with managers trying to do all they can to keep handling time to a minimum.  However, in an age where customer services is everything, it might be in a telephone answering services’ best interests to stop measuring AHT and focus on consumer care instead.

There are many reasons to reduce AHT, including the ability to serve more customers and create increased efficiency, thereby saving money and bolstering profitability in the process.  This is vital for staying in business.  However, if the reasons behind reducing AHT are not in a customer’s favour, then it may be time to reassess business goals.  It is important to look at what would happen to continued customer care in the case that AHT is successfully reduced.  Would the consumer experience be enhanced?  Would first call resolution drop as a result?  Reducing AHT can work if skilled agents are put to work answering calls.  However, in some scenarios, a customer’s problem might not successfully be solved.

Reducing AHT is a tricky area and, of course, it is important to try and get handling time as low as possible for maximum efficiency.  However, if call centre agents have to compromise customer care as a result, the long term effects of reducing AHT could be damaging.  It is, therefore, better to ensure clients are happy than to go to great lengths to make AHT as low as possible.

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