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.