Table of Contents Hide
In today’s fast-paced business world, optimizing call center operations is crucial for success. One of the key metrics that call center managers track is the average handle time (AHT).
AHT is the average amount of time that an agent spends on a call, including hold time and after-call work. Improving AHT can lead to increased productivity, reduced costs, and better customer satisfaction.
But what factors affect AHT? Is it just a matter of agent performance, or are there other factors at play?
In this article, we’ll delve into the various factors that impact AHT, from the complexity of the issue at hand to the quality of training provided to agents.
How to Calculate Average Handle Time
Before we dive into the factors that affect AHT, it’s essential to understand how to calculate it. As mentioned earlier, average handle time (AHT) is the average amount of time an agent spends on a call, including hold time and after-call work. To calculate AHT, you need to add the total talk time, hold time, and after-call work time for a given period and then divide it by the total number of calls handled during that period.
Here’s an example to make it clearer. Suppose an agent handled ten calls during a given period, and the total talk time, hold time, and after-call work time for those calls were 200 minutes, 50 minutes, and 30 minutes, respectively. The total handle time would be 280 minutes (200 + 50 + 30), and the AHT would be 28 minutes (280/10).
Calculating AHT is a crucial step in managing your call center’s operations, and it’s important to monitor it regularly to understand how your agents are performing and identify areas for improvement. Now that we know how to calculate AHT let’s dive into the factors that affect it.
Factors That Affect The Average Handle Time
Long Call Scripts
Call scripts are essential tools that agents use to guide them through customer interactions. However, if the scripts are too long, complex, or difficult to understand, they can slow down the conversation, leading to longer handle times.
To address this issue, call center managers can review and simplify call scripts to ensure that agents can quickly and easily access the information they need to handle customer interactions.
Repeated Customer Interaction
When customers have to call back multiple times to resolve an issue, it can lead to longer handle times, as agents have to spend more time understanding the customer’s history and context.
Call center managers should implement strategies to reduce the need for repeated customer interactions, such as providing agents with access to customer history and context through CRM systems.
When calls are transferred, customers may have to wait on hold or explain their issue to multiple agents, leading to longer handle times.
A good solution would be for call center managers to find ways of providing agents with access to information and resources that can help them resolve issues without transferring the call.
When customers are placed on hold, it can lead to frustration and longer handle times, as agents may have to spend more time addressing customer concerns.
To avoid long hold times, call center managers should make it easy for agents to access information and resources that can help them resolve issues more quickly.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, AHT is a critical metric that call center managers need to track and optimize to ensure the success of their operations. By understanding the factors that impact AHT, managers can make data-driven decisions to improve and streamline your call center’s operations.
To optimize AHT, call center managers should review call scripts regularly, provide agents with access to customer history and context, reduce transfer times, and minimize hold times. Additionally, managers should provide agents with ongoing training and support to ensure that they have the tools and resources they need to handle customer interactions effectively and efficiently.
With these tips in mind, call center managers can improve AHT, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.