Average Handle Time (AHT) refers to a call center metric that calculates the average duration of contact between a customer and an agent. This includes both hold time and talk time.
The formula for calculating AHT is:
Average Handling Time = (Total talk time + Total hold time + Total wrap-up time) /Number of calls handled
A low AHT indicates a good performance, while a high AHT signifies that the call handling technique needs improvement. Here are some effective tips that help reduce the average handle time to a large extent:
1. Set up regular training sessions for customer support agents:
Customer support agents should have a thorough understanding of the company’s products and services so that they are able to contribute towards conversions and also resolve queries instantly. Agents should be trained at frequent intervals in order to help them reduce AHT. This training should include educating them about the usage of the contact center software and tools such as CRM and chat to ensure that the call is answered in the lowest time possible leaving the customer satisfied. Moreover the agents should also know whom to contact in case of any doubt and from where to extract any relevant information.
2. Record all inbound and outbound calls:
Recording every inbound and outbound call makes it easier to assess the productivity of an agent and other issues that might affect his or her output. This can also be helpful in case managers are not able to review calls in real time such that they can always refer to the recorded version and get the desired insights. Moreover these calls can be leveraged to train the customer support agents and improve their performance. Making them listen to some of the good examples of calls wherein the customer’s problem was resolved and the handling time was less can help them learn valuable tactics for reducing AHT.
3. Tailor agents’ workflow and processes:
Tailoring agents’ workflow and productivity can help optimize their productivity. Managers should work hard to spot inefficiencies and work out strategies to eliminate them thereafter. One of the best method of doing this is automating all their manual tasks so as to minimize their busy time and hence reduce AHT.
Arrange regular meetings for knowledge sharing. The basic idea is to discuss and understand the overall experience of your support agents with your clients. Try to understand what obstacles they face while they carry out a live chat with the website visitors, what kind of tricky questions customers may ask and how to resolve their queries. Agents can uncover important techniques of live chat support in this knowledge sharing process. This can aid in improving their overall performance.
2. Club videos with training sessions:
As a matter of fact, humans are visual learners. They tend to learn things more effectively if taught through graphics and videos. You don’t need to spend extra bucks on video tutorials. There are thousands of useful videos available on YouTube which can be utilized for this purpose. This is one of the best customer service training ideas that gives tremendous results.
3. Help them know their actual roles:
Yet another concept of your training should be to help your chat agents understand the actual role they need to play in building customer relationships. Educate them about the lifetime value of a customer as well as the consequences of a bad customer interaction. Let them know how the quality of customer support impacts on sales conversion, customer retention, and brand image. Once the support agents have this basic understanding, they will be more efficient in providing top-notch service.
4. Train them practically:
Practicing something practically helps you learn it better. Team up all of your agents and assign them different chat scenarios. Encourage them to try their best to deal with those given situations. Give them enough time to understand the whole support process, your products/services and most importantly, how to manage the live chat software. These practical sessions are very important to cultivate a capable workforce.
Make it a point to review your live chat agents. Their training should include mock chats, secret evaluation and much more. Apart from that, distribute customer success manuals amongst your agents where all important tips and techniques of online customer support have been mentioned in written format. This will help them to go through the important tips whenever they have any doubts.
2. Inculcate tech support along with live chat:
In order to create a power-packed support environment make use of live chat features such as canned messages and links, the ability to push files and screen sharing and co-browsing. Also, train your agents to go slow and ask short, simple questions to get to the root of problems and to make solving them easier and faster. More important than training your agents to provide tech support is ensuring they have the resources they need readily available. Ensure your tech support agents are provided with canned links for knowledge based articles, how-to tutorials, videos and other resources they need to help customers resolve issues or problems instantly. Make sure the agents know how to find the resources quickly and then send them to the respective customers whenever they need them.
3. Help them to be platform experts:
LIve chat agents need to have thorough knowledge of the platform they are working on and the tools they are dealing in. When chat agents are familiar with the tools they are utilizing while assisting customers, they perform tasks with a higher level of confidence. Task your agents providing both a customer and organization friendly experience when chatting. It’s important to be fully trained on all customer and agent facing platform features. For this purpose, customers might be presented with a pre-chat survey while initiating a chat request, which gives the ability to choose the reason for wanting to communicate.
Today’s era is an era of digitization. These days the purchasing decision of any customer is not only based on the quality of your offerings but also on the quality of your customer service and support. Customer support refers to the process of building a healthy relationship with your customers by convincing them that you value them and you are there whenever they need you.Thus, the quality of your support service can improve or destroy your brand image and ultimately your business revenue. So, you need to train your live chat agents with the right customer service skill. Here, we have mentioned some of the customer service training ideas!
1. Good product knowledge:
Educate your support agents about the products and services you provide. Good product knowledge not only improves the support speed but also helps to build a much stronger, long- termed relationship with the customers. If your chat support agents lack the knowledge of products and services you are dealing in, they will tell customers to hold for a while for finding the solution or transfer the chats to a more knowledgeable person, which becomes time-consuming. Therefore having proper knowledge shows confidence and builds trust amongst customers.
2. Good writing skills:
Live chat provides instant assistance to anyone visiting your site. Customers utilize the live chat option as it is the fastest way to interact with companies in case they have any queries. A key component of a live chat interaction is the agent’s ability to exercise good writing skills. Utilize the auto spelling and grammar check feature of your live chat platform to ensure efficacious agent communications. Tell them to keep sentences short and to the point. Agents must be able to write as if they were talking on the phone in order to keep the conversation flowing by mixing free form and canned messages. Interject the customer’s name while chatting to personalize the conversation and take care of punctuations.
3. Refrain from taking things personally:
There are instances when the customers are not in a good mood and they interact in an unexpected manner. Teach your support agents not to take those things personally. Complaints are gifts from the customers. They contain customer insights and are a great way to know what exactly are their opinions about your offerings and support quality. Tell them not to lie to the customer. If they don’t have the answer just admit it. Ask your live chat agents to spend some more time with the website visitors and dig personal info like customer’s hobbies, liking and disliking and so on. In this way, the conversation will be friendlier and the person on the other side will feel comfortable and relaxed.
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