Average handle time (AHT) refers to a call center metric that calculates the average duration of contact between a customer and an agent. It 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
Therefore, a low AHT indicates good performance, while a high AHT signifies that call handling technique needs improvement. Here are some tips that can be considered in order to reduca the average handle time:
1. Set up regular training sessions for customer support agents:
Customer support agents should have a thorough knowledge of company’s products and services so that they are able to contribute efficiently towards conversions and are also able to resolve customers’ queries at the earliest. They should be trained at frequent intervals in order to help them reduce AHT. All the agents should be aware 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. They 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. Moreover in cases where managers are not able to review calls in real time, they can always refer to the recorded version and get the desired insights. Apart from this, coaching the customer support agents with the help of call recordings is the best way to improve their performance. Making them listen good examples of calls wherein the customer’s problem was resolved and the handling time was less can help them learn the valuable tactics of reducing call handling time.
3. Automate agents’ manual tasks:
One of the best strategy to reduce AHT is tailoring agent’s workflow and processes in order to optimize their productivity. For this purpose managers should work hard so that inefficiencies can be spotted and eliminated thereafter. AHT can also be reduced by automating all their manual tasks which would minimize their busy time to a great extent.