Tips to reduce average handle time: II

1. Inculcate short and pleasant customer greetings:

Visitors love being treated appropriately. Therefore, opening and closing greetings are critical to create a positive customer experience and also help in reducing average handle time. Whether automated or manual, it needs to be ensured that such greetings are short and pleasant. Instead of asking unnecessary questions, relevant questions should be asked such as “Hello Mr. ABC, how may I help you?”. Apart from reducing the average handle time, this would also instigate the customer to come directly to the point. Moreover, he/ she would definitely get impressed with the brand’s friendly attitude. Conversations can also be personalized by keeping the customer’s data up-to-date.

Customer greetings
Customer greetings

2. Ensure system efficiency:

Call center managers must ensure the system’s efficiency. In other words, every aspect of the system should be efficacious including the load time, number of window tabs that could be opened at one time etc. This is crucial because when system response time is slow, agents wait longer for their computer screens to refresh which adds unnecessary minutes to the overall call. Therefore, managers can take note of their system efficiency during the busiest hours of operation in order to employ strategies to reduce AHT. Moreover, the telephone lines should be up and running, with 100% voice clarity and multiple menu options such as mute/un-mute, record, etc.

System efficiency
System efficiency

3. Leverage knowledge repository:

The call center agents should be provided with necessary knowledge base so that they can quickly identify the relevant answers to some tough queries. Such that instead of thinking about the tough questions asked by the customers, the agents can quickly check the knowledge base to find the right answer, hence reducing the average hold time and eliminating customers’ dissatisfaction.

Knowledge base
Knowledge base

4. Make use of self service technologies:

Self service technologies such as the IVR technology helps in improving the efficiency of the customer support system. IVR collects basic customer information, presents answers to common queries such as address, hours of operations, and routes the calls to the right agent, which saves a considerable amount of time. Therefore, you need to make sure that your call center is equipped with an efficient call center software with features such as ACD, intelligent IVR system and skill-based routing. These self service technologies reduce the workload of the agents to a large extent.

IVR technology
IVR technology

 

Best strategies to curb agent attrition: V

1. Consider agent priorities:

According to a research, agents who have worked in the contact center for more than six months have these top three priorities namely:

i) salary

ii) progression

iii) nice environment

On the other hand, the top three priorities for those who have been in the role for less than six months are as follows:

i) nice environment

ii) salary

iii) company culture

Therefore, incentive planning needs to be done on the basis of these priorities in order to lower agent attrition levels in customer support centers. This further helps you can gain the most out of the rewards that are offered. Apart from this, customer support managers also need to focus on the salaries of jobs which require similar skills to the agent role. Also, they need to make sure that the rates of pay that you offer are competitive.

Priorities
Priorities

2. Consider benchmarking against good agent skills:

The act of benchmarking the skills of new agents against their well-skilled counterparts will help benefit the quality of calls and provide the required guidance. In order to reduce agent attrition, benchmark advisors against their colleagues instead of alongside metric based targets. Further, suggest them what to pick up from them in call quality monitoring sessions.

Benchmarking skills
Benchmarking skills

3. Monitor customer-centric metrics:

As a matter of fact, the most effective call center agents are typically the ones that make a personalized connection with their callers and derive the most satisfaction from their job. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor customer-centric metrics such as contact quality, customer satisfaction, and first contact resolution. Thereafter, measures need to be taken to enhance them. Also, the contact center managers need to ensure that quantitative metrics such as average handle time or calls per hour are not overvalued. This will help increase customer satisfaction and curb agent attrition.

Customer centric metrics
Customer centric metrics

Agent status and its importance : I

Agent status refers to a feature that allows call center agents to display their present state of work to the rest of the team. The most common method of doing this is to select a status from a pre-created drop-down menu. Generally, there are six agent statuses. All of them have been listed below:

i) Available

ii) On a Call

iii) Busy

iv) Away

v) After Call Work

vi) Offline

Agent status
Agent status

Here we have mentioned the most important reasons for inculcating agent status in call centers:

1.KPI optimization:

With the aid of this feature, it becomes easy to extract agent status reports for the call center as a whole as well, as specific agents. These agent reporting metrics further enable managers to know exactly how agents have spent their time. Moreover, the agent status reports can also be utilized for diagnosing a number of call center issues and inefficiencies. Based on these key performance indicators, managers may determine if additional agents should be hired or that staff need to be let go to properly handle the call volume. Employing the agent status feature actually enables them to notice exceptional agent productivity and detect inefficiencies. Thereafter, strategies can be adopted to exempt the shortcomings of the system.

KPI optimization
KPI optimization

2. Encourages teamworking:

Agents can easily determine who is available to make and receive calls, with the help of this call center software feature. In the case of call transfers, agent status is very useful as it helps ensure that customers who are transferred are connected quickly with available agents. It enables the agents to easily stay updated with the present status of all the others, hence further encouraging teamwork. This efficacious software helps them know exactly when to reach out, when to transfer a call and when they should take a break. Thus, the entire staff can work as a team with the help of this software.

Team work

 

Call recording and its significance: I

Call recording software records telephone conversations over PSTN or VoIP in a digital audio file format but it’s distinct from call logging and tracking. However, the software may include both recording and logging functionality. The actual recording takes place on a recording system with software for the management of calls and security of recordings. Most call recording software applications rely on an analog signal via either a call recording adapter or a telephony board. It offers a number of benefits to the call centers that use it. Some of those advantages are mentioned below:

1. Knowing agents’ struggles and helping them overcome them:

Call recording along with call scoring can be used for accurately assessing call center agent performance. While call recording helps gather qualitative data from customer interactions, call scoring helps gather quantitative performance measures. In other words, it helps managers gain a more comprehensive understanding of an agent’s performance deficits and proficiencies. They can know about agents’ struggles regarding various call types by analyzing call recordings. This also helps them to gain a comprehensive understanding of where the agent is going wrong. Thereafter, strategies can be employed to enhance agets’ performance.

Agents
Agents

2. Providing sales training to the agents:

Call recording and call scoring, together provide valuable insights into agents’ performance which can further be utilized to provide effective sales training to the agents. This training should include educating the agents about different tactics that can help improve customer service. For example, they can be taught about the correct ways of pitching a product to the customer. Calls of experienced agents can be played to trainees or junior agents so that they can gain points from it. Moreover, bad calls can be played to point out the things that affect the customer experience in a negative manner and should be avoided.

Sales training for agents
Sales training for agents